I must tip my hat to Fair Deal who pointed me towards an article in the Belfast Telegraph claiming that Nigel Worthington is being lined up for a return to his former club, Norwich City. The Canaries are currently without a manager since Glenn Roeder got the chop. Obviously such speculation causes grave disquiet at the IFA, where memories of Lawrie Sanchez’ mid-campaign departure for Fulham still rankle.
Certainly brief consultation of Google reveals many papers are running with the story that Worthington could provide interim cover, taking the manager’s post until the end of the season. The suggestion is that he need not relinquish his duties with Northern Ireland in order to do a temporary job at the Championship club. Given the acrimony of his departure, I’d be surprised if he would accept a short-term arrangement and I would be equally astonished if Norwich supporters welcomed him back enthusiastically.
Although I’m not Nigel’s biggest fan (to say the least), neither do I think managerial disruption at this juncture of our World Cup campaign would be beneficial. Ultimately, however, it will not be Worthington who leads Northern Ireland to its next major finals.
If he does wish to go back for another spell at a club with unrealistic aspirations, whether it is full-time or on a temporary basis, on no account should he be allowed to continue his duties with the IFA. I’ll shed no crocodile tears and we can begin an earlier search for a manager to arrest the decline Worthington has set in motion. Personally I don't think it's remotely likely.