Personal over Professional
When a manager loses the fans it can be a hostile place. We've all seen demonstrations against clubs who are not acting swiftly enough in the eyes of the supporters.
Now Norwich City fans are not known for their fervor (just look at the EDP headline suggesting we were 'Marching on in our slippers') but the tide had turned against Alex Neil and my guess is that it wouldn't have been long before a couple of fans had invaded the pitch and thrown their season tickets at the feet of the Scot in disgust - aka 2009 (and we all know how that season turned out (bet they still regret that to this day)).
But a football club board are likely to take little stock in what the fans are thinking and more likely to defer to the internal situation. If the players are all 'on-side' and blaming themselves rather than the manager then there is every likelihood that the board will give the manager (and the players) more time to sort it out.
So - did Alex Neil lose the dressing room?
It would appear to me that he had. A quick look at the squad, any prolonged absences and the rumours behind them and you can easily come to the judgement that AN would quite happily drop a player he had fallen out with or just didn't like.
Now, of course, being the manager gives you that privilege - but if every manager in every board room 'dropped' people they didn't get along with the whole economy would grind to a halt.
Being a manager is about recognising what is in the best interests of the company - not about your personal crusade to garner respect from your team. And you should always be learning. it would appear AN never quite learnt this valuable lesson.
Early on he came in and made it clear 'he was in charge'. We all thought it was fantastic how he brought Seb Bassong in from the cold with the alleged threat of violence if he stepped out of line. But this hard stance seems to have backfired as numerous tales of players being dropped due to personal disagreement with the ex-Accies boss become just too many to ignore.
Getting the balance right is not easy, granted. But if, and it is a BIG IF, Tim Klosse was dropped due to a disagreement with the boss and IF he had played instead - would we be in the position we're in?
If Russel Martin hadn't been dropped for five games - would we be in the position we're in.
If Wes hadn't fallen out with the boss at Christmas would he have played and influenced a win over our festive shambles.
and he clearly just doesn't like Kyle Lafferty!