Neil Adams

Premier League 2015-16 season preview: Norwich City

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For newly promoted Premier League clubs, the name of the game is, simply, survival. For Norwich City, the 2015-16 Premier League season will be just that.

[ MORE: All of PST’s season previews ]

Back in Premier League after a year in the Championship, the Canaries from Carrow Road showed last season they belong in England’s top flight. A scintillating finish to the regular season and rampant run through the playoffs proved just that, earning the East Anglian club their deserved place back among England’s elite.

The last time the Canaries were in the Premier League, the managerial duo of Chris Houghton and Neil Adams led the club to an 18th place finish.

Best possible XI:

— Ruddy —

— Whittaker — Martin — Bassong — Olsson —

— Redmond — Howson — Mulumbu — Johnson —

— Hoolahan —

— Jerome —

Transfers In: Robbie Brady ($11 million, Hull City), Graham Dorrans ($4.5 million, West Bromwich Albion), Youssouf Mulumbu (Free, West Bromwich Albion), Andre Wisdom (Loan, Liverpool)

Transfers Out: Luciano Becchio (Free), Javier Garrido (Free), Carlos Cuellar (Free), Mark Bunn (Free), Sam Kelly (Free)

Last season: Finished third in the Championship regular season, earned promotion to the Premier League through the promotion playoffs — After starting the 2014-15 season strong (top of the league on October 4), the Canaries faltered over their next 15 games and looked destined to miss out on the playoffs altogether, then they changed managers in January and went on to win 13 of their final 18 games, just missing out on automatic promotion by three points. Cameron Jerome, who was signed for just over $2 million before the start of the season, bagged 20 league goals to led the way, while Bradley Johnson (15), Gary Hooper (12) and Lewis Grabban (12) all reached double digits, as well.

source: Getty Images
Nathan Redmond, Norwich City FC

Star player: Nathan Redmond — The 21-year-old contributed six goals and 13 assists in league play last season, which are numbers he’ll have to somehow replicate in the Premier League this season to continue to English national team-bound career trajectory. While the likes of Johnson, Howson, Jerome, Hooper and Wes Hoolahan (more than 250 appearances for the club) are all undoubtedly important to the Canaries’ hopes of staying up this season, Redmond is the one transcendent type of game-changing player within the squad.

Coach’s corner: Alex Neil took took over at Carrow Road on Jan. 9, days after Neil Adams was fired. Neil, who is just 34, led the Canaries to wins in 15 of their final 22 league games. Following the conclusion of his playing career at age 31, Neil managed his final playing club, Hamilton Academical, for two seasons and won the club promotion to Scotland’s top flight in his first full season in charge.

source: Getty ImagesPST predicts: Considering the Canaries went down for just a season, the current roster is still largely a Premier League-quality squad from two seasons ago — only Leroy Fer, Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington were players of consequence to leave after the 2013-14 season. Neil still needs to do a bit more business to further strengthen the squad before the Sept. 1 transfer deadline, but it’s been a summer of smart signings thus far. The one thing lacking from the Norwich squad as it currently stands: a proven Premier League goalscorer — Jerome and Hooper have scored just 36 PL goals combined.

Norwich taps Adams for promotion bid; Oversaw final games of drop

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Neil Adams could not save Norwich City’s season, but he’s going to get the chance to lead them back to the Premier League.

Given the manager’s chair with the floundering Canaries nearing a departure from the top flight under Chris Hughton, Adams and company were relegated. The coach earned just one point in his time at the helm of a sinking ship.

Still, the Norwich hierarchy loves them some Adams.

From the BBC:

“He is a very talented coach who is hungry to succeed, playing the kind of football we want to see,” said chief executive David McNally.

“Neil impressed us when he stepped up to the plate for the last five games of the season in the most trying of circumstances and he’s continued to impress us during a very rigorous round of talks about the full-time managerial position.

“We have the nucleus of an excellent squad and Neil will be given funds to refresh and strengthen the squad where required.”

Adams, 48, is still in search of his first win, as Norwich went 1D-4L to close out the season. He plans on bringing attractive football to a Canaries squad that isn’t lacking in talent (assuming there aren’t too many departures):

“Work starts straight away on putting into place the necessary requirements for next season,” added Adams.”The priority is to ensure that attacking, attractive and winning football is once again the norm for supporters of this club, and I can assure everyone that we will all be working as hard as possible to achieve our objective of returning this club back to where it belongs.”

Ahead of relegation six-pointer, Fulham manager Magath wary of new Norwich boss

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It’s a relegation six-pointer and this time, there’s an added twist. With just five games left to play, Norwich City took drastic action last weekend, firing Chris Hughton following the 1-0 defeat to fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion. Now it’s up to Neil Adams to lift the Canaries to safety, arresting a poor run of form that’s seen Norwich pick up just one win in six matches.

But can the former Academy coach really have all that much of an impact in the final five games of the season?

(READ MORE: PREVIEWING NORWICH’S TRIP TO FULHAM)

Felix Magath, who was appointed Fulham manager with just twelve games left of the season, doesn’t believe that Adams can have that much of an effect on Norwich’s tactics. He does believe, however, that the new coach will be able to change the players’ attitudes – and that change could be significant.

When asked about the potential changes the new Canaries’ boss might bring about in his first match in charge, Magath said, “Only the atmosphere. He cannot change the tactics. But that’s not important. He can change the atmosphere and that will help the players. In one game you don’t make players better tactically but with the right mood they are able to fight and they are able to change the game. That makes it more difficult for us to win on Saturday.”

And Fulham desperately need that win at Craven Cottage. Their 2-1 victory at Aston Villa last weekend may have lifted them into 18th, but the Whites are still five points from safety. Since it’s Norwich that are currently closest to the drop, a Fulham win could very well see them into the Premier League next season – especially since the Canaries’ final four matches are against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal…a run-in that just might see Norwich sent down.

 

Chris Hughton sacked as Norwich City manager

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Norwich City’s loss to fellow relegation-scrappers West Bromwich Albion has spurred the board room into action, and the run from Premier League relegation will happen without Chris Hughton, who’s been sacked in favor of youth coach Neil Adams.

The former Newcastle United and Birmingham City boss has endured a season far below expectations that sees the Canaries in 17th place with five matches to play. They have a frightful run in, but also have a five-point lead on 18th place Fulham.

NORWICH City can confirm Chris Hughton, Colin Calderwood and Paul Trollope have parted company with the Club with immediate effect – and former Canary winger and FA Youth Cup-winning coach Neil Adams has been appointed as First Team Manager.
The Norwich City Board has taken the decision to give the Club the maximum chance to secure the points required between now and the end of the season to ensure retention of our Barclays Premier League status.
The job will be Adams’ first head coaching post after a strong playing career that included an English First Division title with Everton in 1987. His thoughts on being named boss for the final five matches:
“To say that I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity of managing Norwich City Football Club would be a massive understatement.
“People know what this club means to me, and so it goes without saying that we will be doing everything possible to ensure that we maintain our top-flight status for next season.
“These final five games will be a huge test for us, and everyone must step up to the mark. But with the full backing of these magnificent Norwich supporters we will have every chance of achieving our objective.”
Hughton was the only active black manager in England’s top five divisions, and had spoken out on the matter. Norwich’s next match is against Fulham, and could perceivably alter both club’s fortunes, or keep both on their separate paths to safety and the drop, respectively.