Home comforts abound at Aston Villa

Villa Park (16 Colours)ASTON VILLA 4 NORWICH CITY 2 | 🔰

‘Why’s he starting Jerome over Oliveira?’ ‘He’s an idiot’. ‘Who’s this Stierpermann guy?’ ‘Russell bloody Martin!’ ‘#*@#!’



The best thing about being a football supporter and not a football manager is: you can be a football manager without the heart attack inducing stress, sleepless nights and ultimate futility the role brings.

Of course, you won’t be remunerated to the tune of millions of pounds for an average of 0.6 years’ (or whatever the current, increasingly low average management tenure is) work, seemingly irrespective of achieved success. But you’ll still always know better than your team’s current incumbent. Unless it’s Alex Ferguson. If you think you know better than him you are, quite frankly, a fool.

Outspoken and always right…

As a football supporter, I too have all too frequently fallen into this trap. During the week I declared my belief that Daniel Farke had gotten his team selection wrong, despite the fact his charges were victorious on the night. Another downside of life as a football manager, sorry Head Coach; you’re wrong even when you’re right.

So it was again at Villa Park that a vocal minority (is there any other kind) decried Herr Farke for his team selection.

‘Why’s he starting Jerome over Oliveira?’ ‘He’s an idiot’. ‘Who’s this Stierpermann guy?’ ‘Russell bloody Martin!’ ‘#*@#!’

Not all the complaints above were mine. But they were definitely emoted. In the stadium. On message boards. Social media. Directed at my long-suffering girlfriend.

Of course, had Norwich gone on to win then the criticisms would have diminished. But a 4-2 defeat against a Villa side lacking in confidence did little to dissuade the armchair managers.

All is not always what it seems…

So what if the actual coaching staff knew Oliveira was carrying an injury. Or if Martin had to play as Pinto couldn’t.

With social media, we now think we know everything that happens in the corridors of Carrow Road and on the pitches at Colney. We don’t of course. That would be madness. As Russell Martin himself alluded to in his excellent interview with Talk Norwich City some players put across a different front to the reality on social media. Who was that posting gym pics when they hadn’t been working out?

What we do know is what we saw on Saturday. That this Norwich side are a decent team going forward, and a bit of a shambles at the back.

Hopefully, the latter part is a work in progress.

Only Daniel Farke really knows.

And as Head Coach he’s the only one that matters.

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