After watching City dismantle highly-rated, bookies favourites Leeds on Saturday, you could be forgiven for thinking the project was fully in gear.
But rather than nearing its ultimate conclusion, the long term plan constructed by Sporting Director Stuart Webber and his staff is only now really beginning to bear fruit. The supporters’ conversation has shifted from accepting the limitations of this current squad to now beginning to believe.
But the orchestrator, Daniel Farke, is out of contract at the end of the season.
The supporters’ concern around the longer-term future of their hero naturally rise after every win and is something that remains near the top of Webber’s to do list as the season edges closer to its conclusion.
Few expected this outcome back in July but Farke has galvanised the club and reconnected the team and supporters by constructing a youthful side with dynamism and energy at its heart.
“We’ve been in dialogue for quite a while now”, said Webber.
“The key thing is, Daniel wants to stay and we want him to stay and that’s the most important thing. We’ve both come on the record and said that.
“It has to be right for everybody, a bit like last season, which wasn’t particularly great for the club. That was all of us.
“That’s not pinning it all on Daniel or on me or the players, that was all of us. Likewise, the success this year isn’t down to one person. It’s a big team here. Our leadership approach is collaborative and it’s going to be that way in the future.”
Caution seems to be the way forward but, equally, where there is a will there is a way, and while there are clearly external factors at play, both parties seem to want to extend the German’s stay in Norfolk.
“This club hasn’t made great decisions in the past when it’s felt it has had a gun held to its head, and we can’t do them again. Daniel’s not holding a gun to our head, to be honest, but at the same time, it has to be right for everybody.
“For him, he’s desperate to stay. However, it’s a big decision, he’s moved over here without his family – if he commits to a longer period, does that mean the family come over? It’s the little things that people don’t see.
“They see the guy on the sideline in his trendy parka waving to the fans. They forget that he has two kids and a wife back in Germany. They are the things that take time to iron out about how they are going to look going forward.
“Then, from the club’s side, we have to be really honest and say ‘listen, Daniel, if we’re not promoted, this is what it’s going to look like. If we are promoted this is what it’ll look like.’ We’re not through the woods yet as a club.
“Whether we go up or not, we’ve still got challenges to keep readdressing the balance. It’s not as easy as, give him a new contract with loads of money, he signs and everyone’s happy. It’s a bit more nitty-gritty than that.”
Any talk of an imminent announcement seems to be in hope rather than expectation but it does appear to be a case of when rather than if. The club is opting to be patient and ensure that any deal suits their financial frameworks. And for the German, the deal has to be attractive and worthwhile, one that offers security in the longer term.
Farke’s stock is undoubtedly on the rise considering the job he has done at Carrow Road.
As my conversation with Stuart continued, the German was working away in his office next door. Occasionally the sound of a marker being pressed against a whiteboard is heard accompanied by a symphony of Germanic voices.
Little did we know, Farke could have been constructing the game plan which would lead to the defeat of Leeds – a masterplan has been labelled as one of the best this season.
The possession of a high work rate seems to be a prominent characteristic at Colney, as Webber discusses:
“Because he’s a workaholic, and I’m a workaholic, often you don’t have time to talk about it. It’s wrong because you put your personal situations on the back burner. We should sit and talk about this actually and we delay it to next week. Next week comes and something else comes up. So, that’s something we’ve both got to get better at and develop.
“Can I confidently sit here and say I think he’ll be our head coach next year? Yeah, I can.”
That final line should provide City supporters with the reassurance they need.
Both Farke and Webber have commented on how “relaxed” they are about the situation, and that can only bode well. Some outside the Colney bubble may see it as a distraction, but inside the walls, I can confirm the mood is indeed relaxed.
So, at ease, folks.