Today’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of Liverpool appears to have sealed the fate of Norwich. They have three games to survive, but those games are away fixtures to Manchester United and Chelsea and a home tie against Arsenal. With no signs of improvement and an inexperienced glorified academy coach at the helm, the near future is bleak.
A majorly disappointing season for Norwich has left them languishing in 17th place in the Barclays Premier League, just 2 points above the drop zone. A series of high profile flops along with damaging defeats to those teams that lay around them, has meant that they have only won 8 matches all season.
The departure of Chris Houghton was expected, if a little unfair, but their fortunes have remained the same. The man brought in to push Norwich up the table was Neil Adam’s, who was victorious in the FA Youth Cup with Norwich’s U-18’s last season. Since his promotion from within, Norwich still look lacklustre and uninspired, and it is surely just a matter of time until reality strikes.
There are a number of reasons Norwich are where they are. First of all, and most importantly, are the players. They have simply not been up to it, with a few exceptions. The players from last season have not pushed on, and the new arrivals have flattered to deceive. Ricky Van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper have not lead the line well enough and have not merited their excessive price tags, whilst Johan Elmander looks far from the player that pulled on a Bolton shirt in his final year at the Reebok, instead, he looks like the player from his first two seasons with the Trotters.
For me, apart from promising displays from the likes of Leroy Fer and Nathan Redmond every now and again, only Robert Snodgrass has looked up to it, but the fans still took a disliking to him and booed him for a period of time.
It was obvious that Chris Houghton had to go, but the timing of his dismissal has and will end up costing them. Houghton should have gone at the end of a disappointing season, Premier League safety or not, instead they brought in a new man with little experience of the big time and asked him to do the impossible. Hughton’s season had been disappointing, but his track record speaks for itself and if anyone was going to stop the rot, it was going to be the man who was responsible for it. Instead, in the words of another failed manager Rene Meulensteen, the Norwich hierarchy decided to push the “Panic Button.”
Chris Houghton for the majority of the season looked depleted and beaten but the odd result against big teams offered hope, however their inconsistency has cost them and they were never able to push on. As has been the case for a lot of teams this season, Norwich have massively underachieved, but it is going to end up costing them dearly. I don’t know what Delia’s feeding them, but it is not working.
I cannot see them picking up any points in their remaining fixtures, whereas Cardiff, Fulham and Sunderland have a chance, and one win for either of those teams puts Norwich in the bottom three and sees them playing against Brentford in the 2014/2015 Championship season.
To see the Match Report from Norwich Vs Liverpool follow this link