Our mystery columnist isn’t a happy chappy about David McNally’s performances in the transfer windows. Another bad one in January may well cost Norwich their Premier League place – so is it time for a change?
Well the dream of League Cup glory at Wembley is over for another season. All is not lost though – there’s still the hope of FA Cup success in 2016 to cling on to.
However, it is league form, league points and league performances that remain very much on the minds of most Canary fans.
Suffice to say the last two league games have certainly demonstrated the potential that there is within the City squad. With our relegation potential on full show to the nation at St James’ Park we followed things up against West Brom with a performance that highlighted not only are we very likely to be relegated but we could well have it within our locker to prop up the entire table come the end of the season.
With 10 games played and nine points to show for our efforts coupled with some very tricky fixtures coming up it really does look like being a long hard winter at Carrow Road. Some of the moans and groans that greeted the full-time whistle last weekend were certainly harsh on Alex Neil and those questioning the manager really do need to take a very long hard look at themselves. This man picked up an unholy mess in January (following the chairman and chief executive “scouring Europe” the previous summer only to present us with Neil Adams and Ricky Martin!). Yet the new manager proceeded to give us those memorable moments in May and that should never be forgotten.
Neil needs our support more than ever right now as his team stumble from one catastrophe to the next disaster in a brave attempt to try and keep themselves in touch at the wrong end of the table. The manager has been let down badly by chief executive David McNally and the four-man transfer committee that McNally chairs.
As mentioned in this column on more than one occasion the failure to sign a central defender this summer simply falls in to one of three categories: incompetence, ignorance or arrogance. I know it’s a four-man committee and I appreciate Alex Neil is one of the four but who do we really think has the loudest voice? Well, suffice to say we can all agree it isn’t Ricky Martin...
So as we soldier on while awaiting the arrival of much-needed defensive reinforcements in January, is McNally the right man to be overseeing recruitment at Carrow Road?
Having a frustrated football manager as chief executive is problematic (and very expensive) as Norwich City fans are slowly learning. Looking back on the last three transfer windows, I see very little to convince me that McNally is going to get it right in January 2016.
Of course the highly successful acquisition of Cameron Jerome arrived in the summer of 2014 under his watch – as did Lewis Grabban, whose goals were also vital last season – but so did Conor McGrandles and Gary O’Neil – two signing that are widely recognised as being very much more McNally’s than manager’s. And that’s before we even begin asking ourselves ‘McNally or manager’ when considering the arrivals of Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, Ignasi Miquel, Jos Hooiveld, Carlos Cuéllar, Louis Thompson and, more recently, Dieumerci Mbokani.
Did Neil Adams really bang the boardroom door down and demand the signing of McGrandles? Likewise, has Neil really had his heart set on Matt Jarvis and Mbokani from the moment Mike Dean blew the final whistle at Wembley? Robbie Brady, sure. Steven Naismith, maybe. Mbokani and Jarvis, I’m not convinced.
The recently published club accounts show McNally continuing to be very well rewarded financially for his appalling performance of chairing this hapless transfer committee. Surely this cannot continue?
As we head into November it is now that we will be scouting in great detail for defenders in January; speaking to agents and clubs while attempting to get deals in place for as near to January 1st as possible. Remember our last January in the Premier League? Jonás Gutiérrez and Joseph Yobo arrived and we got relegated. And we still paid McNally a handsome bonus that season too!
If City are serious about trying to save their season in January then let’s have the football people – Alex Neil – making the football decisions.
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