Disneyland – a theme park for kids that adults endure.
La La Land – a film with two endings, the one we all wanted and the reality we were handed.
Daniel Farke’s Norwich City – a style of playing that teenagers will relate too, adults will find hard to accept; and which could have one of two outcomes come May next year.
After the excellent point at Fulham, and the functional – with moments of brilliance and atrociousness thrown in for good measure – League Cup defeat of Swindon it was back to Carrow Road for the first home league game of the season. It didn’t go to plan.
A 1-3 defeat. 0 pts. Few shots on target. And a defensive performance of such ineptitude that Lewis Bloody Grabban managed to scored twice. This was not how Daniel Farke’s reign was supposed to start.
A whole new world at Carrow Road
There’s no denying the German Head Coach’s European style of football will polarise opinion at Carrow Road this year.
While young adults have been bought up on this style of play, fans of a certain age will be more used to knee high tackles and mud than the tiki-taka and total football imported from the continent. Unfortunately, a high percentage of the fans at Carrow Road are of a certain age. Which means when things start to go wrong, like wannabe Victor Meldrew’s their patience wears thin.
Groans when a crossing opportunity is turned down grow more audible. Ironic cheers when a shot is had from outside the box start to surface, even if Josh Murphy’s effort was well, well wide. And boos are emitted at the final whistle.
All of these happened on Saturday.
Which highlights that things went wrong.
Norwich City: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Goals scored aside, the stats looked good for Norwich City.
- Possession: 71%
- Shots: 14
- Corners: 13
Unfortunately, only three of those shots were on target, with most of the possession happening outside of the opposition’s penalty box, and in front of an organised bank of 10 Sunderland players.
Possession based football is great. It keeps the opposition chasing shadows, expending more and more energy, while you prod and probe looking for gaps, chinks in the armour that can be exploited as your opponent tires.
Which would more than likely have happened on Saturday, but for this:
One long ball, one missed header, one goal, game over.
From this point on, Sunderland sat back, soaked up some admittedly fairly weak pressure, before hitting the Canaries with two more sucker punches.
More poor defending from a back five that really should be able to do the basics like defend a corner correctly led to goal two, an admittedly good strike from Aiden McGeady, before Grabban headed home unmarked for the third.
Given he looked like someone who had won a competition to play football with the pros during his time at Norwich, Grabban’s two goals we’re particularly galling. His own goal being more reminiscent of his time in Norfolk, and Norwich’s only bright point on an otherwise fairly poor day at the office.
The Championship goes on
Thankfully, there’s usually another game just around the corner with which to put things right.
On this occasion it’s Wednesday night under the lights at the Carra. I’m sure the same mistakes went be made against QPR.
For all its lack of a cutting edge, the passing against Sunderland was at times a delight to watch. That Daniel Farke and his team have implemented this style so quickly shows they’re good at coaching.
Now they just need to sort out the defence.
Or else the locals may start waving their walking sticks.
Bring on Wednesday.