Dean Smith and Frank Lampard were understood to be in a two-horse race to become the Norwich head coach; Lampard now out of the running after further talks on Friday; Daniel Farke was sacked by Norwich on November 6 after one win in 11 Premier League games
Sunday 14 November 2021 10:04, UK
Norwich City are expected to offer Dean Smith the manager's job in the next few days.
Negotiations have been ongoing for several days and Smith's representatives are now in advanced talks over the details of his contract.
Smith and former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard were understood to be in a two-horse race to take charge at Carrow Road, but the latter withdrew from the running as he does not feel the job is right for him at this stage of his career.
Sky Sports News has been told that, even before Lampard withdrew his interest, Norwich's bosses had been impressed by the vision and ethos of Smith's ideas for the squad.
Smith is still visiting family in New York, but talks have been ongoing with his agent and the 50-year-old is ready to fly back to sign a deal as soon as the final details can be agreed.
Norwich sacked former boss Daniel Farke just hours after they recorded their first Premier League win of the season, away to Brentford on November 6.
The Canaries are bottom of the table after collecting just five points from their first 11 games since returning to the top flight.
Their next game after the current international break is at home to Southampton on November 20.
The outlook certainly appears gloomy with five points from two draws and one win in 11 games, but the Canaries still remain only five points deep in the relegation zone - a relatively small margin to overturn with 27 games left to play.
The primary concern is how their rock-bottom status in the division transfers across a raft of metrics on the pitch: goals, expected goals, chances created, passes in the final third and goals conceded - to list just a few.
The underwhelming returns up top are a stark contrast to the team's free-scoring exploits during their title-winning promotion campaign in the Championship last term.
Of course, the step up into England's top tier plays a factor, as it did during their immediate relegation in 2019/20, but the disparity between seasons appears even greater this time around - and it ended with a rock-bottom finish last time.
The Canaries' tally of just five league goals is even more alarming when you factor that two of those came from the penalty spot. If you exclude spot-kicks, the club has three top scorers - each with a solitary goal and nearly a third of the season played.
In addition to deficiencies at both ends of the pitch, the departure of creative midfielder Emi Buendia - who joined Dean Smith at Aston Villa in a £38m deal this summer - also appears to be a key factor behind the decline.
Indeed, the visualisations below reveal a dearth of activity in the exact areas where the Argentinian operated with league-topping effectiveness last term.
Smith might look to negotiate funds for a creative midfielder in January or utilise connections for a loan deal, in addition to potentially turning to current out-of-favour Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour to boost solidity in central areas.
Rekindling Todd Cantwell's form could also be high on the agenda. The local boy shone for Norwich in the Premier League two years ago and attracted a host of powerhouse suitors before his form dipped.
November 20: Norwich vs Southampton - Premier League, kick-off 3pm
November 27: Norwich vs Wolves - Premier League, kick-off 3pm
November 30: Newcastle vs Norwich - Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm
December 5: Tottenham vs Norwich - Premier League, kick-off 2pm
December 11: Norwich vs Man Utd - Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
December 14: Norwich vs Aston Villa - Premier League, kick-off 7.45pm