Norwich City fans united once more as Adams answers Canary Call
The tenure of the longest-serving Norwich City manager in the Premier League is over. Four defeats in his final six games was enough for Chris Hughton to be shown the door.
April 25th, 2014
Whether or not the clap banner that struck Chris Hughton at the final whistle in the 1-0 defeat at home to West Brom was on purpose, the boos from the stands and the cardboard debris that littered the pitch was proof enough that the fans had had enough and, the following day, so had the City board.
The reaction to Chris Hughton’s dismissal from the national media and TV pundits was one of disbelief, with some calling the decision ridiculous and the City board deluded. In recent days those shaking their heads at Hughton’s sacking have displayed a certain degree of double standards by nodding in agreement at David Moyes’ exit at Old Trafford. In these circumstances it’s better to gauge the reaction of those closer to the club rather than those stuck in their London and Manchester bubbles. The local media and City fans – those who had seen the Canaries’ demise and woeful performances under Hughton – were only surprised that the decision had not been made sooner.
That’s what has passed, now it’s time to focus on three games that will decide City’s future. The Canaries are now just a defeat away from not only the bottom three but also bottom place. First up is Manchester United – the one game that the Yellow Army were looking at with some hope of returning home with at least a point – that was until United ditched their boss. A visit to Old Trafford with a failing manager under increasing pressure would be seen as the ideal pick-me-up for City. Now, with Ryan Giggs in charge, it’s a complete lottery.
As are the two games that follow the trip to Old Trafford. A Chelsea side still in the Champions League and an Arsenal team guaranteed fourth place with an FA Cup final to look forward to could prove just the distractions the Canaries need to gain some points from their final fixtures. However, if Arsenal need anything on the final day to secure a Champions League spot and Atletico Madrid dump Chelsea out before City’s visit to Stamford Bridge then Neil Adams’ luck could be out.
Fortune has been in short supply so far for the latest City boss. A world-class save and a crossbar both denied the Canaries at Craven Cottage before Fulham scored and closed the gap at the bottom. A week later, City are looking for an equaliser against Liverpool before a wicked deflection courtesy of Bradley Johnson handed all three points to the league leaders.
Whilst Adams has shown some tactical naivety – his use of the diamond formation against Liverpool was misguided – his appointment has reunited the fans who had spent previous weeks booing both the team and the manager. The second half display against Liverpool offered hope for the final three games. Had Hughton remained at the helm then the last two results would have been the same – of that there is no doubt – but the performances would have been lacklustre.
Adams knows the club – he played for Norwich City, he won the FA Youth Cup last season with the Under-21s and spent many an hour after games taking calls from fans on local radio. The fans are behind him and if the players can match the supporters’ passion then they may just be playing top-flight football next season.