Eight years ago, a Norwich City relegation to League One rocked English football.
Painful though that event was for the East Anglian club, events took a drastic upturn thereafter. But those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
After a Premier League demotion in 2005, Norwich failed to gain a play-off place the following year. Subsequent seasons saw a continual decline, culminating in the relegation of 2009.
With the FL Championship (then Division 1) title-winning team of 2003/04 by then completely dismantled, Bryan Gunn’s appointment as manager represented the ultimate nadir.
Flash forward to 4.50pm on Saturday, 4 March 2017. A sorry Norwich City side has just been annihilated 5-1 by a promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday team. It is also the fourth match without victory for Alex Neil’s men.
After a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate on Tuesday night, Norwich remain well adrift of 6th-placed Sheffield Wednesday. This run of dire form can only deepen the doubts surrounding Alex Neil’s charges – as a recent fan poll suggests:
Promotion hopes over now?
(Only 8% of voters believed that Norwich were still capable of qualifying for the EFL Championship playoffs)
— Norwich City Polls (@PollsFL92NCFC) March 5, 2017
In turn, the players themselves will begin to doubt their futures in East Anglia.
Norwich are running out of time to mount a serious challenge for the playoffs. History shows that failure to reach them could have disastrous consequences, as players leave for greener pastures.
Troubles ahead at Carrow Road
The 2015/16 season saw another Norwich City relegation from the Premier League. However the continual sight of Nathan Redmond tearing opponents apart was one highlight.
But therein lay the problem. The rest of the squad could not consistently play to Redmond’s strengths.
Throughout 2015/16, it was also clear that Alex Neil and his players enjoyed a mutual relationship of trust and respect in the dressing room. But this no longer appears to be the case.
With twelve goals to his name, Cameron Jerome is Norwich’s MVP of 2016/17. He has stated in no uncertain terms why the Canaries have failed this season:
— ITV News Anglia (@itvanglia) March 5, 2017
So the question raised is simple… who else could join Cameron Jerome through the exit door?
Click on the gallery to see our hot tips to leave Carrow Road this summer if the Canaries don’t get their act together!