Tuesday, 12 August 2014

We need football, not faith

We are one match into the new football season, and already the shrapnel is flying.  After one game, Norwich have lost a match, had a man sent-off (and subsequently investigated for pushing a referee), had allegations of racism, and are still managed by a man who has never won a competitive match in his managerial career.  So, things are going well!

Even worse, though, the sadly predictable mudslinging from fans has started as well.  There are inevitable calls for Neil Adams to be sacked, and a new manager brought in - after six games in charge, that is demonstrably ridiculous.  So ridiculous that I don't need to dwell on it here.

Then there are the others.  Those who implore us to 'give Adams a chance', despite his abysmal record in first team football - which they are absolutely right to do - and who insist on constant comparisons between Adams and previous manager Chris Hughton, which is almost unfathomably stupid.

Despite his being sacked at the beginning of April (a decision which history has proven to be the wrong one - as I explained before it even happened), many Norwich fans seem unable to let go of the idea of Hughton as the 'villain' figure.  Despite his not having been at the club all summer, anything that goes wrong is still, somehow, Hughton's fault; every decision Adams makes is measured up against whether that is what Hughton would've done in this situation.  This infatuation with the past and refusal to move on and let go of old grievances is crippling and perpetuates the negativity which was supposed to have been alleviated by Hughton's dismissal.

I'm fed up of seeing the phrase 'attacking football'.  Style doesn't win you points, and style won't get us promoted back to the Premier League - results do.  Who cares whether Adams made an 'attacking substitution' when we were 1-0 down against Wolves on Sunday, when Hughton would never have done that?  We still lost!  That's not to say that Adams was wrong to make the substitutions he did, or that he should be removed from his post as a result of the loss against Wolves - of course not.  But to say that losing under Adams is inherently more virtuous than losing under Hughton is nonsensical.

But whilst I totally agree that we should give Adams a chance, I disagree that we need to 'have faith'. We get this with England during the World Cup - we have only to 'believe' in Roy Hodgson and his rag-tag band of journeymen, and they will do extraordinary things - and now Norwich fans are spewing the same rubbish about 'faith'.  This is fairytale stuff; football is about results.  The idea that all we have to do is 'believe' hard enough and everything will be OK is total rubbish; it's Peter Pan-like.  Close your eyes and repeat "I do, I do, I DO believe in Wes Hoolahan at the tip of a midfield diamond", and everything will be just fine.

Football results are not decided by which set of fans has the most faith.  But they are affected by the decisions made in the boardroom, and in the dressing room.  Neil Adams was not my first choice to be Norwich's new manager, but whether his appointment was a good or a bad decision is something we won't discover for some time yet.

One thing's for sure, though…  We need to get rid of this ridiculous notion that we can just light a candle, all hold hands in a circle and wish our team to victory - and we need to see each result for what it really is, neither praising the manager indiscriminately for no more spectacular feat than simply not being the previous manager, nor slating the manager and calling for his head after every minor setback.

This is a long season, with a lot of matches - none of which are going to be easy.  Let's get behind the team and support them all the way - but not hinder them with irrational hysterics of any kind.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave a comment - give your feedback, answer a question, start a debate, make a point, or simply hurl abuse... It's up to you! ;)