All hope ended in 20 minutes

PUBLISHED: 18:36 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:26 10 September 2010

Michael Garwood

What an opening couple of weeks we have had to the new season in the third tier of English football.

What an opening couple of weeks we have had to the new season in the third tier of English football.

Let's be honest, we were hoping for a promotion challenge weren't we? But even the most optimistic fan must know, nothing is ever that simple with Norwich, and on the day of writing, relegation looks more likely than a title win.

It all started so well. Gunny had, on paper and in pre season performances, appeared to have rebuilt a squad, our squad, which looked capable of challenging. The bookies felt so. As did many pundits.

Optimism was spiraling, and I like the 25,000 others at Carrow Road couldn't wait for kick-off on the opening day, some whispering it was the strongest team in years. But by 3:20, 4-0 down, it was all over and only got worse! Thoughts changed immediately. It was suddenly the worst. Hands up who wanted Gunn out immediately?

It felt like Fulham and Charlton all over again. Such high expectations and optimism, all hope gone in a flash only this was the first game of the season, not the last! That's how bad things have become.

Just a blip? Certainly this was the rather optimistic view held by Delia Smith, David McNally and Michael Wynn Jones, who all attended the Capital Canaries AGM meeting the following Monday.

Ironically, the message from them was almost sarcastically clear; we must not judge the manager and the team on one game and to stay calm.

The bulk of the Islington, North London, audience agreed.

But tempers were clearly ready to burst, and Delia was clearly disgruntled by the attendance of a number of Press including a sharp tongue comment at a photographer. Did she already know Gunn's fate?

A day later, a 4-0 second half demolition of Yeovil and things were rosy again Norwich were up and running, Gunn was the man. Blip? What blip?

Then two days later he's sacked and two days after that, the man who effectively ended his City career, added insult to injury by taking his job.

You really couldn't make it up. Following a draw at Exeter, and an abysmal defeat at Brentford many seem to believe the club is in serious, serious trouble. Certainly those at Brentford thought so.

But what of the board? McNally and co repeated over and over the severity of the clubs “dire” financial state yet seemed all too eager to make a change, which will inevitably mean a big pay off.

Gunn's future had clearly been decided after just 90 minutes, the directors we hear were not happy he was in charge when they arrived. So why was he hired so soon? Surely the club knew they were coming? It oozes desperation.

But what angers me most is Gunny, a City legend, was asked to run before he could walk. He fell last season. He tried, he failed. He wanted to correct things for the club he loves. But he shouldn't have been given the chance. Giving him a second try was like playing Russian roulette and was totally irresponsible and now he had left the club under a dark cloud.

It disgusted me to see two fans throw their season tickets at him, but you can go some way to understand why. It was a statement at the club. Gunny just happened to be the man on the touchline. I wish Gunn the best of luck in the future and thank him for trying.

I for one can't remember a worse start than this season, beyond results. The club is in a confusing mess and in danger of becoming a laughing stock, if it isn't already.

On the evidence at Brentford, I'm afraid Lambert has joined a team and club in crisis and as McNally insists it's a results based business so things need to change and fast.

At the time of writing two defeats and a draw means we are already in a relegation battle. People wrote Southampton off for a 10-point deficit. We already have dropped 8. But we don't look like a team that can win a game right now.

Let's hope Lambert can install some of the confidence he injected in to Colchester when we play Wycombe, and it goes without saying, we wish him and the boys, the best of luck.

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