Defiant Grant will have to be pushed

By Rick Lamb
Last updated : 08 October 2007
Despite the listless performance of his team and the desperate demeanour of all involved with Norwich present at Loftus Road tonight, Peter Grant continued to wear the look of a man who doesn't understand the gravity of his situation.

Grant has had the problem since joining the Canaries as Nigel Worthington's replacement that he was nobody's choice except those making the appointment. He had achieved little as a player at Norwich and nothing as a manager (and not much as an assistant), but he somehow managed to sell himself into the position.

There was patience in abundance for Worthington for the brief spell of success he brought back to Carrow Road, but there was still a vocal campaign for him to be removed when things went awry. Even in the new Northern Ireland boss' darkest days, however, the side never found themselves with only two teams, both of whom have beaten City, between them and the foot of the Championship.

Grant's approach has consistently been arrogant and confrontational. He has shipped out anyone who clashed with him, which it would now appear means anyone who had anything to offer. He has failed to motivate his side by anything other than persistant criticism, which has seen a side who hit five goals in half an hour against Barnet at the start of this season look like they won't score another fove before May. His response to the devastating show at the time was to threaten to drop players because they eased off in the second half of a cup tie they had won.

The Scot did not give the impression he was about to quit after tonight's pathetic showing at Loftus Road, which hit a new low. He spoke of his acceptance that losing again before a two week break was not ideal for his position, but bemoaned not getting 'a break'. It would take some break for a team who can create nothing, hoof the ball forward and look shaky at the back to win a game.

The sight of Steve Bruce in the crowd, and the reminder this afternoon that Martin Allen, Neil Warnock and now Peter Taylor are available will not help Grant's case. Bruce would be worth waiting for if, as he seems to expect, he is shipped out when Carson Yeung completes his takeover of Birmingham City. To travel to London in order to watch on-loan Rowan Vine in a televised match seems a flimsy excuse, unless he had a date with Naomi Campbell to make. Bruce owes Norwich a break, too, after they took him from Gillingham to Old Trafford.

I've said all week that it would almost be worth losing to QPR in order to get rid of Grant. There are some decent players at the club, but they will continue to fall apart without the right leadership. The most unforgivable aspect of the recent management has been the abandonment of any sort of football in favour of whacking the ball forward.

This evening's best move came when City played the sort of football they have traditionally been famous for. Grant needs to go before we become famous for other things.

Norwich City Match Reports

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