It seems fair to say that there was an inevitable feeling about Sunday’s relegation. A select few may have been hoping for a miracle to happen, but to be honest, many Norwich fans had done their grieving after the defeat to Reading last Monday.
However, the manner of the defeat at Charlton was (perhaps naively) unexpected by most. Surely the players would put up one last fight? A performance with passion and determination would have been the least many of us expected.
Instead though, we were dealt a gutless and embarrassing performance that the players should be ashamed of. To go 3-0 down inside half an hour to the worst side in the division during a must-win game is mind-blowing. It seems a safe football bet that only Norwich could do such a thing.
It was as if many of the players didn’t care. At one stage 18-year-old Korey Smith – who was making his first start for Norwich – seemed to be the only one encouraging his team mates. The majority of the team were completely absent.
In fact, I think there is every chance that the academy side would have performed better. With Smith, Tom Adeyemi, Luke Daley and co in the side, at least there would have been a bit of desire or a passion to play for Norwich City.
This leads me on to the plans for next season – build around youth. There needs to be a complete clearout of personnel with all of the loan players, this may not take too much, but it might need to be more than this.
The likes of Smith, Adeyemi, Daley and Cody Macdonald are the future of this club and they should all play their part next season. Fair enough, you can’t play a team full of youngsters, but a few of the club’s most promising should be trusted to perform.
As for who will leave in the summer, well Lee Croft will probably be the first out of the door as his contract will soon expire. Other than that, Sammy Clingan will probably be sold, with fringe players such as Jamie Cureton, Simon Lappin and Adam Drury possibly following suit.
There could be a case made for shipping players who have underperformed somewhat in recent weeks as well. Jon Otsemobor, Darrel Russell and David Marshall have had their fair share of critics, after all. Would anyone want to buy them though? I’m not convinced.
As for the management team, in my opinion it should be all change here as well. Bryan Gunn is simply not up to the task. A Norwich legend he may be, but the right man to get us out of League One? No, I don’t think so.
So, who would I want in charge? Well, in an ideal world it will be someone who can work well with the youngsters at the club and someone who has the right attributes to get us out of this mess. For me, this is Aidy Boothroyd. He would be my first choice.
Actually, had he been appointed when Gunn was, I think we could have been saved from relegation. I really do. Gunn’s inexperience showed when it came to half-time team talks and second-half substitutions. So, bring Boothroyd in and start from scratch.