New Norwich boss unlikely to improve on Lambert’s fine work

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Norwich have almost certainly hired the best available coach for their managerial vacancy in Chris Hughton, however it is 4/1 that he will better the remarkable 12th-place finish engineered by Paul Lambert in 2011/12.

Lambert departed for Aston Villa at the weekend after a glorious three-year stint in which he achieved two promotions and that comfortable mid-table finish, beating Tottenham and Newcastle and holding Arsenal and Chelsea en route.

It took the Canaries only five days to identify Hughton as the ideal successor, agree terms with him and Birmingham and present him to the press, chief executive David McNally highlighting that “Chris stood out as number one candidate”.

But despite the success he enjoyed at Newcastle, winning the Championship and being sacked while sat 11th in the Premier League, and Birmingham, ignoring financial restraints to steer them into the play-offs, he is expected to inherit a side on a downward trajectory.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

Though Newcastle and West Brom successfully escaped the shackles of second season syndrome last term, the fact that Norwich’s squad have less top-flight experience sees them rated more vulnerable.

The doubt surrounding the future of star striker Grant Holt, who has asked to leave following the club’s refusal to offer him a three-year contract, doesn’t help matters, with West Ham rumoured to have bid £3 million for the 31-year-old.

Norwich are still fancied to avoid relegation under Hughton though, with odds of 7/4 on them going down rating them more likely to survive than Wigan (11/8) and newcomers Reading (4/5) and Southampton (10/11).

Whatever happens, he is tipped to see out the entirety of the campaign at 1/3, and is 1/16 to last until Christmas, two feats he didn’t manage on his previous Premier League adventure with Newcastle.

It is 11/5 that he finds himself out of work before May, and 6/1 that he doesn’t even make it to Christmas.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.