“Safe pair of hands” – Former Norwich City boss in contention for Cardiff City vacancy: The verdict | OneFootball

Icon: Football League World

Football League World

·26 January 2023

“Safe pair of hands” – Former Norwich City boss in contention for Cardiff City vacancy: The verdict

Article image:“Safe pair of hands” – Former Norwich City boss in contention for Cardiff City vacancy: The verdict

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Cardiff City are reportedly considering former Norwich City boss Dean Smith for their vacant managerial position.

According to Wales Online, Smith is on the club’s list of targets to replace Mark Hudson, along with Sabri Lamouchi and Valerian Ismael.

The Bluebirds are on the hunt for their third permanent manager of the season after Hudson was sacked earlier this month following a run of just four wins from his 18 games since replacing Steve Morison in September.

Dean Whitehead is currently in interim charge at the Cardiff City Stadium, with the club sitting 21st in the table, three points above the relegation zone.

We asked some of our FLW writers for their thoughts on Smith’s potential appointment.

James Reeves

Smith would be a solid appointment for Cardiff.

There may be concerns among Bluebirds supporters if Smith is named as Hudson’s replacement after his disappointing spell at Norwich, but arguably Smith was treated slightly unfairly at Carrow Road with the club still in play-off contention at the time of his departure.

Smith has a good track record in his career and his experience of leading Aston Villa to survival in the Premier League could prove crucial should he make the move to South Wales.

The 51-year-old would be a safe pair of hands and importantly, he would be an external appointment which would add much-needed fresh ideas to a club seemingly lacking direction.

But Smith has had two demanding spells in charge of Villa and Norwich and on a personal level, perhaps he could benefit from a break from the game rather than jumping straight back in to a relegation battle.

However, Smith would be much less of gamble than Lamouchi or Ismael and you would not bet against him keeping the Bluebirds up this season.

Quiz: Are these 20 Cardiff City facts real or fake?

1 of 20

Article image:“Safe pair of hands” – Former Norwich City boss in contention for Cardiff City vacancy: The verdict

Real or fake: The Cardiff City Stadium holds more than 25,000 people!

Real Fake

Ben Wignall

Yes, Smith somewhat underperformed in the first half of the season with Norwich City, but the expectations of both clubs are wildly different.

If Smith were to land the Cardiff job, then he would perhaps only be expected to get the Bluebirds back into the mid-table pack but if things go well, they could push for the play-offs due to the close-knit nature of the standings this season.

Smith has done some good work at Championship level, both with Brentford as he consolidated the Bees as a second tier club, and then he won a promotion with Aston Villa in 2019 – albeit with a very strong squad.

For what he’s done prior to being at Norwich, Smith should be a top contender, but there is perhaps less intrigue regarding him over someone such as Valerien Ismael or Sabri Lamouchi.

Marcus Ally

Dean Smith does not appear to be a great manager for a relegation battle, but he could be a good bet to get more out of the Bluebirds’ current attacking contingent.

The 51-year-old oversaw some exciting attacking football in his time at Walsall and Brentford, and he fits the bill with Cardiff looking to bring in a manager with plenty of Championship experience.

It would be a surprise not to see Smith take more of a break following his dismissal at Norwich, and the Cardiff job is not the most attractive in the bottom half of the second tier due to their financial constraints.

It would be a risk for Smith, potentially going from being a Premier League manager to taking a club to League One in the space of a year, but from the Bluebirds’ perspective it would be a coup to get him in.

View publisher imprint