This morning saw a rather unusual version of ‘Canary Call’ on Radio Norfolk.
Instead of an ex-player, three of the main decision makers at Carrow Road, Delia Smith, Michael Wynn-Jones and David McNally went on air to put their thoughts across and take questions from fans on all manner of subjects.
My first thought was ‘pretty brave’ but as it turned out they weren’t thrown to the lions and the overall feeling was one of support from those that rang in.
Everyone wants to know when the new manager will be announced and McNally suggested that it may be a few days yet.
“It will probably take a little longer but not a lot. We are pleased with the way the search is being managed, it will perhaps take a few days longer than indicated but that is days and I`m sure Norwich City fans are more concerned that we do the right thing rather than hit a deadline.”
Delia Smith said: “It will be any time now. It`s actually very complex, we don`t want to rush it, and the only thing that is going to occur is that we wouldn`t be able to please everybody but we are voted every year to the board of this football club at the AGM.
She added: “I would say that whoever you appoint as a football manager will be a risk, nobody has a crystal ball, nobody is going to know.
“The reason we all go to football matches is because we can`t predict what is going to happen. If we could and did it would be boring. So off we go, it`s a roller coaster but a roller coaster we all love.”
McNally also spoke about employing a technical director to take some of the pressure off the new manager.
Delia spoke about the decision making process in January and the fact that the club had got it wrong by not sacking Chris Hughton at that time. She said that the board were faced with two options, to keep Hughton and at that time he was winning the home games, or to fire him and employ a caretaker until the end of the season.
But she insisted that they were unable to find the right person to do that.
“There wasn`t anybody else out there,” she said. “We didn`t feel at that time there was anybody out there so we had a decision to make, do we bring in a kind of caretaker, so there were one or two names we were looking at, or go with a manager who is winning home games?”
She then added: “Yes we got it wrong. It might have happened that if we got a caretaker manager in that we might have stayed up.
“But I would challenge anybody to sit round that table and do what we do and get it right.”
That’s a very good point and one that I agree with entirely.
Twitter went into meltdown about these comments that ‘there wasn’t anybody out there.’ The general response to that from the Canary twitterati was ‘What a load of rubbish!’
I think a moment of pause is called for. Of course with hindsight, that would be an easy decision to make – just put Neil Adams in charge and the job’s a good ‘un.
But realistically, that’s a big gamble. No-one could know how Adams would manage the team as he had no track record to speak of.
So do you look for a Curbishley type figure to take over for a six month period? Of course Alan himself was at Fulham then, so what do you do? Who do you appoint that is actually available mid-season, that isn’t a mercenary?
Malky was only just being sacked and wasn’t available due to legal issues. Di Matteo has spent the last two seasons just sitting on Chelsea’s pay-roll collecting his massive wage – he has now let the contract run out and is only just available but I hear he has an offer from Europe.
Someone suggested a manager from the lower leagues, like a Karl Robinson.
McNally pointed out that he appointed Paul Lambert because he knew his way around Leagues one and two and knew what was required, he suggested that he didn’t think any managers at that level would be able to step up to the Premier League immediately and that again, that’s the gamble and they weren’t prepared to take it.
I can’t say I blame them. Their job is to make these decisions and people don’t get every decision right, of course Neil Adams would be in charge in January if we had a time machine, so I don’t see why people gave them a hard time now. David McNally knows far more about who is available or suitable than we, the punters do.
That stands to reason and it’s why he is a Chief Executive at a football club.
We all care about the club, it is for many of us, part of our soul and you got a sense that in Michael and Delia they are real fans who want to help in any way that they can.
Wynn Jones said: ‘All supporters have a right to criticise, to air their views, I rather like it when it`s informed views rather than through prejudice.
“You mention the overall history we`ve been directors for 18 years or so and I`ve supported this club for 61 years and I know in Norfolk terms that`s not a lot but nevertheless, it does give a certain sense of perspective.
“It doesn`t diminish the frustrations of going down, but we`ve been involved on the board for three relegations and three promotions and now we`re looking to make it 4-3 (for promotions).”
Sky Sports are reporting that City have interviewed Malky and Gianfranco Zola but don’t say that about Neil Lennon.
I’ll repeat my thoughts again, that any manager is a gamble and that at this point in time there isn’t a stand out candidate. When City appointed Hughton, I was in complete agreement that he was the best man for the job, as did all my mates – and look how that turned out.
McNally suggested that the new boss is likely to have less support from the majority of fans than Hughton did at the time of his appointment and that is down to there not being a stand out candidate.
The fact that we have a board and owners who are prepared to give this sort of access to the football club is remarkable. I remember Glenn Roeder’s face at an AGM when he was grilled by supporters. He later commented that he’d never worked at a club where the manager went and did a Q&A at the AGM.
McNally commented that Lambert and Hughton were also surprised at the level of access the club provides to it’s supporters.
I cannot think of another club that would offer such access at our level of football and I do not think for one minute that Vincent Tan is about to approach Radio Cardiff to discuss his decision making process.
Well done to all concerned this morning, now let’s get this managerial decision right.