Shedding a thought on Alex Neil

Shedding a thought on Alex Neil
Feb 19, 2016


Alex Neil is one of the greatest things to happen to Norwich City in recent history, you’d be very shallow to want to see the back of him.

I’ve seen lots of disregards and lack of faith tossed towards the Scotsman on social media. It completely bamboozles me. How can anyone want a manager who got us into the Premier League despite coming in when we looked almost certain to miss out on promotion to quit? It’s beyond me.

We all know that Neil likes to attack the opposition with free-flowing, offensive football. Alex’s ideas and tactics, if complimented by the players, could bury our ‘little old Norwich’ title but it’s not going to happen when he has to work with the squad of Adam’s and Hughton’s yesteryear.

Alex Neil needs his own team. His own players. He needs a real chance to mould his own squad to enforce his philosophy.

Since joining in January of 2015, Neil has had very few opportunities to do just this. His first transfer window was at the start of 2015, he’d just arrived, had very little knowledge of the squad and had not seen enough of the first team to know where to strengthen. He then had a great chance to create a side that would fit his needs in the summer, but this was spoilt by the lack of backing and dismal efforts of the recruitment team. Lee Darnbrough, cough. Two transfer windows where Neil was starved of a chance to get the players and team he needs!

The most recent window, however, tells a different tale, one of success! This January Neil was finally given some pennies and a half-decent scout report. In return, players that aid Neil’s ideas. Unfortunately, it was little too late as January isn’t a time where Neil could get in all the recruits he needed; one month was not a period where Neil was able to overhaul a squad full of deadwood in exchange for players suited to his system.

Neil has not yet formed his squad. He’s having to force tactics upon a set of players where most of them quite frankly cannot deliver.

The ‘he has had three windows to do so’ is garbage, he’s not yet had a half-decent chance to create his army; Alex Neil will see results turn out when he is finally given the chance to build his Norwich City side. When the players cross the white line and step out onto the pitch there is very little Neil can do, what he can do is give instructions. But, when the players are incapable of enforcing his instructions then Neil stands little chance, so give the man time to get together the team he needs, one that will comply with his beliefs.

I’ve also seen a lot of ‘Alex Neil is the worst manager in the league’ – now that really is low. In no way, shape or form is this true. For starters he is the youngest in the league, so cut him some slack, and secondly he is easily a class above Newcastle’s Steve McClaren. It is the team’s gutless performances that reflect badly on Neil giving people this impression, Neil is a top class manager and just needs the players to show that.

With all that said you have to bare in mind the age of the Scotsman. At just 34 he has been in management for just two and half years, not long at all. 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, one for the CV that. It’s no fluke, it’s skill, skill that will only develop with age and experience which is yet to come.

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.

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.

If we give Neil the time he needs to learn and progress, he will become one of the best managers in Europe. I honestly believe that in twenty years time he could be exactly that.

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.

Be it go down and come back up or stay in the Premier League, give Alex Neil time and he will get us towards the top end of the Premier League, in time. A great prospect with fight, passion, and talent, dismiss him and we dismiss our bright future as a club.

A great prospect with fight, passion, and talent. Dismiss him and we dismiss our bright future as a club.



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