Would it have turned out the same under Gunn?
PUBLISHED: 20:00 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:35 10 September 2010
On the 8th August my daughter Gemma and I skulked out of Carrow Road in the 87th minute of a football match that was possibly the lowest point ever in the history of Norwich City FC.
On the 8th August my daughter Gemma and I skulked out of Carrow Road in the 87th minute of a football match that was possibly the lowest point ever in the history of Norwich City FC. It was a horrific display against Colchester and the worst home defeat I could remember in my forty years of following City.
What a contrast to the four nil victory against Barnsley in January which at the time, was seen as a great result. Carrow Road was packed to the rafters and the post Roeder feel good factor was at an all time high. What could have possibly gone wrong that day?
With the benefit of a huge dollop of lovely old hindsight, and in true Dr Pepper style, the worst thing that could have happened was a four nil victory. The assistant kit-man who was fired by Roeder could have picked the team that day, and whatever eleven was selected would have stuffed Barnsley. Gunny got the job mainly on the strength of that one result, much to the surprise of everyone, bar Gemma.
The opposite is true with regard to our defeat by Colchester on the opening day of the season. Although it certainly didn't feel so at the time, with the benefit of hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened.
If we had not have suffered that appalling defeat, City could well have meandered though the opening games tactically bereft, as we were last season, picking up a point here and a win there. We may have started the League 1 campaign with say, a win, two draws and three defeats in the first six matches. We may have been near the foot of the table, with mumblings of discontent from the City stand and a poisonous atmosphere in the more vocal areas of the ground.
With but five points from six games, and City back in relegation form, maybe the Board would have been forced into a decision as regards a change of manager. Once the new man was in place, would the season have been recoverable from there? Would we have even able to get our preferred new man?
Of course none of the above happened, but it may well have occurred were it not for the decisive intervention of David McNally.
Nearly four years ago, I wrote an article for the Capital Canaries Column in the PinkUn about the value of shares in Worthington PLC. City had just lost 0-1 to Millwall who had won for the first time in ten home games at the New Den. We had also been badly beaten by QPR and Luton, and Carrow Road had been like a morgue for the games against Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff. It was obvious to all bar those in charge that Worthington's time was up at Norwich.
My advice to the Norwich City Board in November 2005 was as follows:-
“Sell your investments in Worthington PLC immediately. It will only cost you a million pounds to get out now, but it will cost your two million in six months time”. But what would they say to that? I would argue that it was a good deal, but would our rich investors like admitting they were wrong and waving good-bye to a million pounds? Or would they wait, more in hope than expectation that things would pick up, and risk yet more money by hanging on?
My advice was acted on, but unfortunately a year later than it should have been, and this procrastination cost Norwich City FC millions of pounds as the majority year of our Premiership parachute payments were squandered.
But this time our Chief Executive acted decisively and in complete contrast to his predecessor. He had already seen enough in one game. Yes the sacking was brutal, but there was no other way. It was a cruel end for a Norwich legend. But it would have been much more cruel to Gunny to have given him more time.
Those supporters who think Gunny was treated badly should ask of the reasons why a complete novice at management was appointed to a job that he was not cut out to do. Those close to him should ask themselves why they thought he was qualified for the job, and why on earth they pushed him into doing it.
I'll finish up with another quote from November 2005
“.....The worst enemy of an investor is emotion. Take the emotion of out it, make decisions that are based on cold-hearted facts and you will see a winner. The hardest decision to make is when an investment goes pear-shaped and it is time to quit and get out. Knowing when to cut your losses is more important than knowing when to sell near the top of the market. The reason - because it is a tougher decision...”
David McNally recognised that it was time to cut our losses.
Whoever it was that didn't say, “Thanks and goodbye Gunny”, in May let emotion get in the way of the most important decision that the football club needed to make.
Perhaps they should consider where the football team was at 4.55pm on 8th August.
They should then look at where football team is now.