Lee Payne: A message to Dean Smith and why City fans want him sacked

If you are reading this, it means that Dean Smith is still the manager of Norwich City Football Club.

It shouldn’t be, but there you go.

I made no secret of my dislike of Smith’s style of football. I’m very weary because the last game I went to at Carrow Road was the Luton game in October.

There had been an undercurrent of resentment from my fellow fans for some time, but against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday it seemed to come to a head.

Watching it on TV, there were only 14 minutes on the clock when the first boos came from the home fans. City were already behind to Ben Gibson’s own goal, however, there was no positive response from the team.

They made no forward, there was no sign of urgency, it was just the usual sluggish passing around the back that was the hallmark of Smith’s miserable rule. As the game went on, derisive cheers sounded around the ground whenever the ball was passed back to Angus Gunn – and that was too much.

There were loud cheers telling Smith what the fans thought about what they were watching, and the team was booed at the end of both halves.

When the fans turn around, there is seldom much time left for the manager. In the 20 years I’ve been following City, it’s pretty much been assumed that Karoo Road is a slicker. There is an increasing number of empty seats in each game.

Yes, it was a cold Saturday night and the game was televised, but how easy was the decision not to go for these fans, knowing what they were going to see? Also, thanks to the efforts of the likes of Barclay End Norwich and AlongComeNorwich, Carrow Road has been a bustling place in the past few years.

On Saturday, it started to get quiet and only got louder when it started getting booed.

After another defeat at home – their fourth in seven matches – and one defeat in which we were edged out by Blackburn, Smith made a big mistake. He turned on the masses. His post-match comments were quite the thing. Well, I like.

I do not speak for this paper and certainly not for my fellow supporters, but these are my own thoughts, those of a regular Norwich fan.

The Pink Un: Teemu Pukki misses a missed opportunity against BlackburnTeemu Pukki misses a missed opportunity against Blackburn (Image: Focus Pictures)

Dean, I don’t want to touch your head. I want the team to be successful, and if that’s the case, I’ll be happy to take you over. The truth is, you didn’t do what you were brought in to do. You were hired to keep us in the Premier League – you failed to do that.

Once we landed, it was your job to bring us back right away. We may somehow be in fifth place despite how poor we are, but the gap between us and the best two is getting wider and not getting smaller. Having “second or third highest shots in the league” isn’t good if those shots barely threaten a goal.

I doubt we would have had that many shots under Farke, but his quick passing and movement helped us create more clear chances. As you rightly point out, a lot of the guys on this team have won championship titles twice before. Two years ago, they basically walked on it. So what is the main difference between past and present? You, Dean.

Why doesn’t Citi’s new American investor turn to Delia and Michael and say “The masses are clearly unhappy – why don’t we do something about it?” Out of my control.

It won’t be long before season ticket renewal letters hit our doormats. The atmosphere around the club at the moment will not push people back next season. Come on, something needs to be done.

What do I want for Christmas? New manager for Norwich, please.


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