Regular readers of MyFootballWriter will be familiar with a gent who comments regularly under the guise of Cyprus Canary. Well no longer just the commenter, Terry Wright (he does have a real name) has kindly committed his thoughts to 1000 words and sent them across to MFW.
Take it away Tel…
‘Over the past season I have enjoyed reading and commenting on the many articles on MFW and the sharing of views with fellow supporters, which of course we miss living out here in Cyprus. (The weather and lifestyle do compensate somewhat) So, as you tried to get ‘Jeff’ to do on many occasions, I thought I might have a go.
‘There is of course plenty to discuss with the Webber/Farke revolution in full swing and now that the real work is under way perhaps it is a good time to take stock.
‘The dealings in the transfer market have certainly been revolutionary for Norwich City with so many changes taking place and so early in the window. There is no doubt that changes were required in order to freshen up the squad and improve the finances after the disastrous Neil experiment.
‘But like many on here, I would really like to know who was the driving force behind such change. Of course making changes is the easy part – making them work is the difficult bit.
‘It appears that the major changes will be in playing style and training methods, with experienced hands like Wes commenting that he had “never trained on the morning of an evening game before”. Indeed, it seems that fitness is no longer a worry, as it was this time last season when we faded regularly towards the latter stages of games.
‘The playing style has also undergone a real revolution with a short passing and patient build-up from the back now being the order of the day. And ‘bravo’ I say; last season we saw far too many hoofs from back to front.
‘So there we are then: new structure, new coach, new super-fit players and, of course, great supporters. What could possibly go wrong? A sure-fire recipe for success. Or is it?
‘Firstly, what is your definition of success? Mine is simply promotion. Top six, top eight… these can be regarded as progress but, for me, not success.
‘I am reminded of a good friend – an Arsenal supporter – who I have taken great delight in teasing over their lack of success in the Champions League and failure to win the Premier League despite their star-studded side. Twenty years in Europe mean little to him when the goal is one of those two titles.
‘It’s funny how we all have different views of success.
‘Talk of Arsenal brings Arsene Wenger to mind and his style of play – short passing, patient build-up from the back… sound familiar? It also brings to mind the reason why my friend and I think Arsenal have failed in their goal of winning those major championships; namely they lack that solid spine through the team that they had in the days of Adams and Keown at the back, Viera in the middle and Bergkamp up front.
‘We agree that on too many occasions they have been bullied out of games and lost the points as a result.
‘That, of course, brings me to the point of taking stock of where we are at City. There is no doubting the similarities in the style being put forward by Daniel Farke and that of Wenger and let’s hope he can be successful with it for us. However I suspect that the same weaknesses of a lack of solidity through the spine may be our Achilles heel too.
‘The goals we conceded against Sunderland were made even poorer by the fact that we had just done the same against Swindon and despite being told “we have been working on that”, lo and behold we did it again.
‘Another revolution for me is iFollow which allows me to see the games live via the web. It also allows me to replay the whole game after a couple of days and I can rewind and replay the key moments even in slow motion and it didn’t make for good viewing if you look at goals conceded.
‘I replayed one of the goals from the Caribou Cup game and at the point of contact with the Swindon player’s head there were four City defenders around him all facing their own goal. Not good.
‘So to take stock where are we up to?
‘I think the Webber/Farke revolution has got off to a good start but with some reservations and I would like to see a good solid English centre-back recruited. I am concerned that we continue to be linked with German imports and worry that the recruitment department cannot find us players from the lower leagues here at home.
‘Another positive is that communication has improved and the club seems to coming together with all departments moving in the same direction.
‘He has impressed me with his man management skills, particularly in dealing with the Nelson Oliveira episode, and his ideas of how he wants the game to be played.
‘Until the interview he gave after the Sunderland game he always seemed to be able to put across a good assessment of how we were progressing. However post-Sunderland, he worried me with his positive assessment of a poor performance.
‘We dominated possession only because they sat back and allowed us to do so and waited for the opportunity to strike quickly and effectively. Maybe something was lost in translation or he didn’t want to be too critical of his players in public and if the latter is true I applaud that.
‘Overall he fills me with hope and I think given a little time he could certainly achieve progress this year if not success.
‘It’s great to see them fighting to the end of games and some of the passing between James Maddison and Wes was ‘Arsenalesque’. And while we’ve been weak at the back, Christoph Zimmerman has impressed me, if not necessarily his partners.
‘Some say we are weak up front too but I want to see how effective we are with Oliveira up front as I don’t think the new playing style really plays to Cameron Jerome’s strengths.
‘And some of the newcomers are struggling a bit but given time may well grow into it.
‘So, the message from me is patience, patience, and while I am not always good at that, in this case I will give it a go (reserving the right to express an opinion where applicable).’
Cheers to Terry for sharing his thoughts on the current state of play. Let’s catch up again as the season progresses.