Saturday, November 27, 2021

Dean Smith was confirmed as Norwich City’s next manager just eight days after Aston Villa’s sacking

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The 50-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with Carrow Road, succeeding Daniel Farke after his release earlier this month

Norwich City appointed Dean Smith as its new manager just eight days after he was fired from Aston Villa.

The 50-year-old signed a two and a half year contract on Carrow Road and will replace Daniel Farke in the dugout after being sacked just hours after Norwich’s first win of the season, a 2-1 win over Brentford on Saturday 6 November.

Norwich had also spoken to Frank Lampard about the vacant position the former Chelsea manager would be pulling out of the running on Friday.

Smith was fired from his former club Aston Villa the day after Farke lost his job after a 1-0 loss to Southampton that sent the Midlands club their fifth straight Premier League loss. Villa has now named ex-Rangers manager Steven Gerrard to succeed Smith.

While Villa 16 is in danger of being drawn into a relegation battle, Norwich is already in the thick of it as they are bottom of the table with five points from their first eleven games. The Canaries are five points behind safety ahead of Saturday’s game against Southampton in Carrow Road.

Although Smith’s predecessor Farke proved adept at advancing from the championship and led Norwich to masterly campaigns in 2018-19 and 2020-21, his inability to ultimately implement that top division success counted against him.

Norwich has only won two of their last 26 Premier League games and lost 21 of them, which shows the extent of Smith’s mission to keep them in the league.

Unlike their previous appearance in the league, Norwich invested heavily in their squad during the summer transfer window, spending around £ 60million on new players. The top-class recruits Milot Rashica, Christos Tzolis and Josh Sargent have so far not been able to achieve anything.

Billy Gilmour, a new headline signing on loan from Chelsea, has also fought for season, playing just four league games so far.

Although things turned sour for Smith at his youth club, his time at Villa was an overall success as he led her to promotion to the Premier League in 2019 before consolidating the club into the top division.

He also played a key role in the development of Jack Grealish, with the playmaker becoming an integral part of Gareth Southgate’s squad at Euro 2020 before moving an English record of £ 100m to Manchester City.

Prior to joining Villa in 2018, Smith was successfully responsible for Brentford and Walsall.

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