Farke out or shut the Farke up? Luckily, we’ve not quite got to that stage yet, but with the season already over in early March there is no hiding or masking of the fact that that is bitterly disappointing and not what any of us was hoping or expecting at the start of the Championship season.
Considering we have owners without the wealth to finance big wages and with no desire to sell Norwich City for the good of the club, it means our options are streamlined and in all likelihood our chances of a Premier League return are reduced too.
We all agree we have wasted money, we all acknowledge we’ve had to operate with finite financial resources this season. Many of us don’t like this fact considering the squandering and ineptitude that has gone before but we made the effort to start afresh and go into 2017/18 with renewed gusto.
My what a shock some of us have had, myself included. I was walking across a bridge earlier today in the Far East, sun beating down and my mind was transported back to August last year; full of hope and enthusiasm at the start of a new dawn for Norwich as I was again lapping up the sun on London Bridge before merrily walking into the New Den and seeing us get thumped 4-0 by Millwall.
This was after already being humbled by a disastrous Sunderland side who have about as many wins as we do strikers this season.
We’ve failed to score a goal past Burton Albion home or away, and in six games we’ve been beaten by Bolton, Forest and Hull and only picked up a point each in the three return fixtures.
We haven’t yet beaten Barnsley this season and in what I counted as nine games against the current top six we haven’t beat any of the top five over seven games, but we did beat Middlesbrough twice. (Thanks Maddison.) This year, goals at Norwich have been as rare as Lib Dem MPs.
Whichever way you stare through the prism, that paints a picture of a very lacklustre campaign and explains why we are, much as we protested at the time, mid-table cannon fodder as journalist and ‘Boro fan Graeme Bailey said after our win.
People will not like me pointing out what is plain to see and will encourage me to be more supportive of Farke and what he’s trying to achieve. But what is he trying to achieve?
For me, 95% of Norwich fans have seen the implementation of a new structure and bought into a brand-new project that has so far shown about as much identity as Banksy.
A typical Farke team reminds me of a Madeira cake; nothing to write home about on top, a delicious middle section but alas, more often than not, things go wrong and the @rse falls out of the whole thing.
Gunn can be the baking tray if you like – but even the best baking tray can’t compensate for poor method put into practice. The irony of having a celebrity chef as owner is not lost on me.
We’ve got rid of a lot of senior players this campaign, and the team is only going to get younger the other side of the summer. I’m not by any means ready to throw the towel in yet on this new experiment, but things need to rapidly improve.
We’re going to have to roll our sleeves up and find a few lower league gems. Gunn, Reed, Leitner, Edwards are all set to go back to their parent clubs and the future of club stalwarts Alex Tettey and Wes Hoolahan look set to be away from Carrow Road.
Add to that the fact Klose has a chance of playing at the Russia World Cup and is on healthy wages, a volatile Nelson Oliveira seems desperate to get away from his current predicament and suddenly Farke and Webber are going to have to completely rebuild the squad again this summer.
Ardent supporters of anything the club does ever talk about ‘transition’ but that blanket phrase is no excuse for just giving up and witnessing sloppy defending like we saw at Hull or having a completely toothless attack.
Was it really wise not to add a third striker in January?
If this is the way it is, I would really like to see us buy more talent from the English league system. As the likes of James Maddison, Grant Holt and Jamie Vardy have all shown, there is still real value right here in England. Paid up connoisseurs of the Farke revolution didn’t seem at all convinced by the purchase of Grant Hanley but my what a delight he’s been – my choice for next season’s captaincy and a real modern take on the ol’ Malky Mackay school of defending.
So, I’m not one way or the other. By all means, I would love the current set-up to succeed but as I explained on Twitter after I had to firefight against the party-political broadcasters that are Canary Trust members, I am always optimistic if I am given good cause to be.
Hoping you are going to fly when you take a run and jump off a sixth storey building for me, is not optimistic, and it looks like that has been Norwich City’s strategy in recent times – throw enough money around and hope we stay up.
Now we have to hope that the safety nets and bedsheets Webber is trying to lay down will stop the club falling into real difficulty. It does take time to turn around the fortunes of such a cumbersome operation that is football club, but I think a second full season is too long for a transition.
If by the time Autumn arrives we have not improved, I sense some of Norfolk’s torches and pitchforks will be taken out of their sheds and cleaned in anticipation. But who knows, we could be lighting up the Championship by next season.
It’s the hope that kills you…