Norwich City manager odds: Dean Smith the new favourite to replace Farke

Despite winning their first game of the season against Brentford, Norwich decided to part ways with Daniel Farke, and are now in search of a new manager to keep their survival hopes alive.

After four years in charge of the Canaries, Daniel Farke left Carrow Road on something of a high after beating Brentford 2-1 to claim Norwich City's first three points of the season.

The result temporarily lifted them up to 19th before Newcastle's draw with Brighton dumped them back down to the bottom.

With just five points this season, Norwich already find themselves five away from safety and the board decided now was the time to act.

Whoever enters the door will know the challenging task that awaits, but Norwich's Premier League status means there are still plenty of big names on the shortlist.

Here are the main contenders.

Dean Smith

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Boss Dean Smith questioned Aston Villa's game management after their late collapse against Wolves

Dean Smith is the runaway favourite to become the new manager of Norwich City.

The 50-year-old was sacked on the same day as Daniel Farke following Aston Villa's poor start to the season.

Despite a disappointing end to his time at Villa Park, Smith looks set for an immediate return to management as his move to Carrow Road edges closer.

The former Leyton Orient and Sheffield Wednesday centre-back has worked in management since 2011 and has enjoyed his fair share of success.

Back in 2015, Smith helped Walsall to the Football League Trophy final. Four years later, he led Aston Villa to Premier League promotion - beating Derby County 2-1 in the play-off final at Wembley.

Smith also oversaw Villa's memorable run to the Carabao Cup final in 2020 - a run which ultimately ended in heartbreak as the Birmingham outfit fell to a 2-1 defeat against Manchester City.

Kjetil Knutsen

Kjetil Knutsen, manager, FK Bodo, Norwich City

A slightly more experienced option is the current manager of Norwegian side, FK Bodo/Glimt.

Knutsen has been in management since 1995 and has enjoyed plenty of success in Norway, where he has turned FK Bodo into a title-challenging side.

As recently as 2017, the club played in Norway's second tier. Knutsen took charge in 2018 and transformed the club, winning their first league title in 2020 and looking set to add another to his trophy cabinet this season.

However, this is not the best time for Norwegian managers with a history of success in their native country - as Manchester United fans will testify.

Mark Robins

Mark Robins could ring the changes against Brentford following defeat to Norwich

Former Norwich player Mark Robins is also on the shortlist, but it'll take some convincing to poach him from Coventry City, who currently sit fourth in the Championship.

The 51-year-old has led the Sky Blues since 2017 and has taken them from League Two to the heights of the Championship.

While the Premier League will be tempting, Robins' side look set to make another promotion push of their own, and the prospect of gaining top-flight status at Coventry will surely be enough to keep him where he is.

Nuno Espirito Santo

Nuno Espirito Santo under pressure at Spurs

Following his recent departure from Tottenham Hotspur, it's no surprise to see Nuno Espirito Santo on this shortlist.

The 47-year-old was only given 17 games at Spurs before being replaced by Antonio Conte.

Santo rose to prominence following his three-season spell at Wolverhampton. During his time at Molineux, he took the club from the Championship all the way to the Europa League.

The Portuguese manager is currently priced at 25/1 to take over at Norwich and those long odds don't come as a surprise. Santo suffered reputational damage in north London and taking over a bottom-of-the-table side might not be the ideal way of fixing that.

Russell Martin

Swansea City manager Russell Martin looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry.

Another young manager in the running is Russell Martin, who currently leads Swansea City in the Championship.

Aged just 35, Martin has taken the Swans up to 12th in the Championship, and is known for playing a possession-based style.

His first stint in management came at MK Dons, who he'd also played for, and his attractive, open style was praised by both fans and pundits.

Back in March, Martin's MK Dons side broke the British record for the most passes (56) leading to a goal, beating even the likes of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

And while Farke didn't have much success in the Premier League, he always insisted upon sticking with his free-flowing style. The Norwich higher-ups will want a similar philosophy in their new coach.

The only issue with Martin is whether he'd take the role just months after starting the season with Swansea.

It's likely that he'll be leading Norwich in the Championship next season anyway, so he could be tempted to just stay put in Wales for the time being.

Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce Newcastle United frustrated

After being hounded out of Newcastle United, the best way for Bruce to answer his critics would be to take charge of Norwich and keep them up.

To do so, he'll have to battle with his former side, who sit level on points with Norwich after 11 games.

Whether or not Bruce is prepared to immediately return to management is another question, but he'd certainly get more backing - and support - at Norwich than he did on Tyneside.

One thing the 60-year-old doesn't guarantee, however, is an attractive style of play. If Norwich do lean towards Bruce as their Premier League saviour, it's more likely to be an ugly scrap than an elegant escape.

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