Norwich next permanent manager odds
It was a dream come true for Hamilton Academical manager Alex Neil, aged just 33 and still in the early stages of his managerial career, when Championship club Norwich City were granted permission to speak to him back in January 2015.
Despite his lack of experience, Neil quickly earned the respect of the Carrow Road crowd, winning 17 of their remaining 25 games to earn the club promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.
Despite failing to keep them in the top flight the following season, Norwich picked up where they left off during the early stage of the 2016/17 Championship campaign. However, after climbing into first place in September, a run of five consecutive defeats have left the club struggling to keep up the pace with their fellow play-off hopefuls.
Things will need to change quickly if Norwich are to make it back to the Premier League on their first attempt and if results continue to go against the club, the blame is likely to fall at Neil’s feet. Norwich will be reluctant to part ways with a manager that has served them remarkably well over the last few years. Yet, such is the nature of the game - a few bad results and the speculation begins.
Should the club choose to part ways with their manager of two years, who are they likely to bring in as his replacement?
Unless they turn to the familiar faces of Sam Allardyce, Harry Redknapp or Nigel Pearson, it’s difficult to see who The Canaries will turn to next.
Roy Hodgson is without a job following his dismal display with England at the European Championship, but he did well at both Fulham and West Brom and would undoubtedly do a good job on a low budget with Norwich. He will be reluctant to return straight to the Premier League, where he will be scrutinised every step of the way, but might consider returning to the game to manage a Championship side, away from the spotlight of the top flight.
Steve Evans is another man who might be worth a shot. His Leeds United dismissal was unfortunate and he deserves the chance to prove himself as a Championship manager. He isn’t quite a big name, but he proved during his time at Leeds that he can take a club above and beyond their expectations.Norwich will have to persuade him to ditch League Two side Mansfield Town, but the promise of a return to the second tier should be enough to convince him.
While unlikely, Gary Rowett would be another fantastic capture if the club are able to convince him to depart Birmingham City. The up-and-coming manager took over a Blues side sat in 21st place back in 2014 and has since guided them to consecutive 10th place finishes. Rowett looks set to take them one step further this season, with the club pushing for a place in the play-offs. It will be a tough task to convince him to make the switch, especially given the club’s current league positions. Yet, things can change at a moment’s notice in football.