Norwich City have offered the vacant manager’s job to Dean Smith. The Premier League’s bottom club have moved on quickly after Frank Lampard pulled out of the race to succeed Daniel Farke and they believe that Smith is capable of saving them from relegation.
Norwich have held positive talks with the 50-year-old, who could make a swift return to management after his sacking by Aston Villa last Sunday, although the deal is not done yet. Smith, who would be expected to make Craig Shakespeare his assistant, must decide whether he needs time to recharge his batteries following his departure from Villa.
Norwich, who sacked Farke last Saturday, will hope to have a new manager in place by the time they host Southampton next Saturday. The Carrow Road club spoke to Lampard on Thursday but the former Chelsea and Derby manager decided the job was not for him. Lampard, who has not worked since being sacked by Chelsea last January, did not feel that jumping into a relegation battle would have been right for his career.
That has left Smith as the obvious candidate to replace Farke. Smith, who boasts vast experience of the lower leagues after spells with Brentford and Walsall, has an impressive CV. He was appointed by Villa in October 2018 and made an instant impact, lifting his boyhood club back into the Premier League at the end of his first season.
Villa won promotion by beating Lampard’s Derby in the play-off final and Smith, who has been on holiday in New York, led his side to safety in their first season back in the top flight. He then went on to lift them to 11th place last season but he lost his job after making a disappointing start to the current campaign. Villa struggled after selling Jack Grealish to Manchester City and Smith was fired after five successive defeats.
However, his coaching credentials are not in doubt and Norwich, who are five points below 17th-placed Watford, need someone to rouse them after an awful run of form. They have toiled since winning promotion last season and believe Smith is capable of sparking an improvement.
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard’s backroom staff have followed the former England midfielder in switching from Rangers to Aston Villa. The former Scotland midfielder Gary McAllister and Michael Beale will now assume the roles of assistant head coach at Villa Park. Tom Culshaw, Scott Mason and Jordan Milsom have also made the move to the Midlands club.