Alex Neil – A Final View
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 8, 2016
If any of you follow my Twitter you’ll know that for starters I am a loud mouthed Norwich fan with an opinion bigger than the forehead of Dieumerci Mbokani and that secondly, within the last week my opinion on Alex Neil has chopped and changed. But, having sat and thought about the matter for some time, with my Swansea rage over, I’m putting on my positive yellow and green glasses and giving my final opinion on the Scotsman.
Alright, so, at first with me it was all happy poppy fields full of colour with a happy Alex Neil skipping by my side with Norwich City wrapped in Premier League status. I was convinced that Alex Neil was the right man to keep us in the league. A man who has great man-management skills, an excellent and free flowing style of play, as well as a ‘winner takes all’ mentality. This changed.
Over the course of the past couple of months, this poppy field has turned into a graveyard crawling with ghosts and ghoulies.
Just one point from 27, 53 goals conceded all season and a squad shaken by unsettlement; there’s no questioning as to why Alex Neil’s job security is being put at gun point by many. For me, it wasn’t until my recent voyage to the Welsh valleys that my blame deflected towards the Scotsman.
I arrived back from Swansea, sat at my PC and typed. I typed for a long while, letting out every piece of anger, frustration and bitterness I had. At the time, I just couldn’t bare the thought of Neil no more. But sitting here now, a couple of days later, I realise how fickle I was being!
I’ve stood by Neil’s side from day one. Thick and thin.
When people have jumped to criticise his ability I have been one of the first to stand in front and shield his little self. Having sat here and questioned Neil’s ability just a few days ago, I’m bloody ashamed of it. It was a moment of anger, frustration and bloody saltiness.
Whilst I made a lot of points that were true and still are, I must say having thought about it we need to stick with Neil.
Before I go onto why Neil needs to remain in charge I just want to say that I think our chances of Premier League survival with him are slim. He is out of his depth, he is learning, he does need time, we may go down. But don’t shoot me down for saying that, or him in fact if we do get relegated. Give him time and good things will come.
With Alex Neil, he needs time to learn, where better than the Championship? We all know that he is out of his depth in the Premier League but maybe that is because he is just 34 years of age with as little as two years of managerial experience on his CV. When you compare side-by-side the success of Neil in his short managerial career to date he has proven himself as a talent. Two promotions from his first two seasons on the touchline. It’s no fluke, it’s skill, skill that will only develop with age and experience, which is yet to come.
Neil needs time to develop, it may cost us our Premier League status but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Maybe the only way to go forward is to go back and start again? It may be too soon for Neil to manage in the Premier League, especially with an unrelatable squad.
We go down, we rebuild our squad to suit Neil’s style and we give ourselves every opportunity of going back up. The main focal point here though is that Neil will have no deadwood and be able to progress as a manager whilst referencing to his philosophy – attacking football.
For me, Neil is all about the future. A project so to speak. Building a squad in the near future, carving his style into Norwich City Football Club over time and then eventually firing the club back to its once reached heights. I’m 100% certain he will become a top manager, so sure that I bet my mate a tenner on him being United manager in ten years!
At the end of the day if we were to sack Neil we dismiss our future as a club too. Who else would we get in anyway? Who would want to come to a club almost certified to go down?
It really is hard to take right now, the thought that we could go down – I’ve certainly felt dreadful, hence my kick out at Neil. But, I and many need to realise that it may hurt now, but we will all be smiling in five years time when we possess one of the best managerial prospects in Europe whilst sitting in the top half of the Premier League.
An overhaul of the squad in the summer be it we go down or not, give Alex Neil a FULL window to buy in his squad to work with and we will succeed.
This is my last word on Neil, I’m never writing about him again until he retires with us in forty years time. We have to stick with him, for the long-term success of the club.
Thank you, Jack Reeve, for clearing my head and screwing back on my positive Neil in head, Alex Neil’s yellow army. OTBC.