￼All is not well at Norwich City at the moment. Poor results. Worse performances. A new and inexperienced manager seemingly unable to impart his philosophy to players who may or may not be good enough. A philosophy that may not even be the right one for Championship success anyway. And all played out against a backdrop of the kind of money problems that are inevitable given City’s ultimately unsuccessful recent dalliances with the Premier League.
It seems disaster is looming. But, are things really all that bad? And if they are, is the new setup to blame?
7 games: 2 points
I write this piece following another defeat. This time 3-1 in Wales against high flying Cardiff City. Yes, we went 1-0 up. Yes, it should have been 2-0 had Nelson Oliveira shown any kind of team spirit to slip in Wes Hoolahan for a simple 1-on-1 chance.
But this was another game in which we never really looked like winning. Only the most optimistic of City fans expected to get anything in Wales. But it surely shouldn’t be that way. And it certainlyt doesn’t stop the moaning that takes place following the final whistle.
Yes, Daniel Farke this was another improved performance. That’s improved. Not good. Although things could hardly get much worse. But improved’s not enough. We need points. Quickly.
Time to take stock
Are things actually that bad? City sit 16th in the table. Just 10 points off the playoffs. But only 8 points above the relegation zone. Played 20, won 6, drawn 6, lost 8. That would be mid-table form.
Well, it would be, were it not for recent statistics – Played 7, won 0, drawn 2, lost 5. That’s relegation form. And that’s worrying. Really worrying…
This week’s AGM also confirmed what we all already knew. The coffers are empty. With no parachute payments next season, more cuts will have to be made. Assets will be sold. The sooner Oliviera goes the better in my opinion; but to lose Alex Pritchard and in particular, James Maddison will be particularly galling.
I honestly believe Maddison is one of the best players I’ve ever seen in canary yellow. I definitely see him playing for England in the future. And unfortunately, I also see him banking Norwich £20 million plus in the summer.
It will keep the club going, but at what cost. Another 10 years of championship football? Relegation?
Things can quickly change in football. This time next month we could be on a winning run, and playing good football.
We also might be in the bottom 3.
The board, the management, the players. They’ll all take the credit should the first scenario play out. If it’s the second. Well…
Is the Webber/Farke experiment the way forward?
In the Premier League, there’s a managerial merry-go-round that’s just taken its latest turn. Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce, David Moyes and Alan Pardew have all recently accepted new jobs. Tony Pulis will soon find another one following his sacking by West Brom. In the Championship, the horses are the lesser lights of Clough, Holloway and Cotterill.
And of course the one and only Mr Neil (Colin) Warnock. He’s been promoted with Sheffield United and QPR and looks likely to give it another good go with Cardiff.
Despite this, he’s never been given the gig at Norwich. Grabbing managers from the merry-go-round is not Delia’s way. While ex-players have been sentimental mistakes, up and comers have had success. Of the promotion winning managers she’s employed, Nigel Worthington, Paul Lambert and Alex Neil were all relatively inexperienced in management. Certainly, none had managed in the top flight before. They possibly may never do again.
It’s an approach which has had success. and one the board are looking to replicate with Daniel Farke. True, he’s the first foreign manager the club have had. And the Head Coach/Director of Football setup he and Stuart Webber inhabit is a change from the norm. But the profile still fits.
Whether or not it is successful remains to be seen. But given the wholesale changes that occurred during the summer, it needs to be given time to see. It’s not being shown on the field at the moment, but Farke has pedigree, Webber the knowledge gleaned from some top coaches.
It may not work, but it’s an approach I still favour over being another stamp in the Neil Warnock passport.
Although, taking his league position would be nice…