Norwich City held an AGM this past week and discussed a number of different issues, including the future of head coach David Wagner.
The Canaries got off to a dream start at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night, scoring twice within the first 15 minutes to race into the lead. Goals from Danny Batth and Hwang Ui-jo put the visitors two goals to the good.
However, the Forfolk-based side crumbled by the half-hour mark. Two goals in three minutes from Ismael Kone and Mileta Rajovic drew the game level before half-time and a 77th-minute strike from Yaser Asprilla earned all three points for the hosts.
Norwich failed to make it three wins from three, having beaten Queens Park Rangers at the weekend and Cardiff City prior to the international break. Wagner’s men now sit 14th in the table, seven points behind the playoff places.
Nevertheless, the German coach has retained the backing from the club’s owners. Shareholder Mark Attanasio admitted that the performance on Tuesday was “awful”, but insisted that constant turnover of managers is a “uniquely British” trend.
“It was a difficult night (at Watford). The first 26 minutes were pretty special but the next 50 minutes were pretty awful. All of our deficiencies at this club were laid bare that night, and it’s not just the coaching.
“It’s uniquely British to say ‘coach out’, but I’ve been here about 14 months and in two years we’ve had three coaches. That is not something you see in American sports – if you have two CEOs in two years, that is not a prescription for success. That is a sign of a knee-jerk reaction.
“We should all give Ben (Knapper) a chance to assess things and make moves that are strategic and work in the middle to long term. I’m convinced he will make the right choices. We will leave it to Ben.”
Delia Smith chimed in and revealed that her dream is to have a “long-term manager”:
“I have no crystal ball. I do not know. Football goes up and football comes back. I think Mark is surprised that we keep changing managers. My dream is to have a manager long-term and I hope he is right.”
It’s quite refreshing to see owners coming out and backing the manager publicly amidst a difficult spell of form in the league. The Canaries will want to get promoted back to the Premier League once more but constantly sacking managers in pursuit of that isn’t best practice.
In Daniel Farke’s first full season in charge, the club finished 14th, coincidentally the same position they are in now, but were then promoted to the top-flight the campaign after. Perhaps the hierarchy are looking to follow a similar strategy this time around with Wagner who has experience getting teams up to the Premier League and keeping them there.