A highly productive festive period and the tide has seemingly turned for Norwich City.
The headlines are now healthier. Seven points from a possible nine and suddenly Norwich can afford to glance upwards as the precarious situation previously brewing has been stabilised. From a side devoid of all confidence and rhythm, suddenly an injection of urgency has been put into this previously deflated side.
Captain Farke may have steered Norwich into calmer waters yet it seems they are only a few waves away from a storm. Consistency must be reached over a 90 minute piece before this side can proclaim to undergoing a period of revival.
Daniel Farke’s seat must have been covered in an unhealthy layer of sweat as he opened the door to a tirade of criticism following an abundance of changes at Burton but the subsequent display against Millwall proved Norwich’s head coach correct. He should be praised for his bravery.
Everyone expected changes at Burton, but the scale of change was unpredictable. It provided evidence of an overcautious coach wary of the congestion in fixtures, yet some will argue astute management of a reduced squad. Farke’s first winter break could have seen Norwich profit further. Had City have been in this position heading into those previous fixtures, Farke might have gambled.
If Burton displayed Norwich’s major deficiencies, then the Millwall fixture offered more positivity.
There are still issues that need rectifying rapidly. Norwich are static when possession is with the defensive line or in their deeper midfield position; those in more advanced roles lack real movement. This is the cause for City’s lateral and slow possession; they require dynamism.
City do not possess the Midas touch, which has been made abundantly clear. With January now upon us, rumours will spread like wildfires, but they do have to sell to buy. Recalling Stuart Webber’s reluctance to do business in this window, let’s pray City get their business finalised relatively early.
I must confess that I feel desperately sorry for Farke and the straitjacket he has had to operate within. Although, admittedly, the head coach knew the situation upon arrival.
The constraints he would be limited to would have been presented to him in no uncertain terms, but never would he have foreseen the departure of three critical senior players in Jonny Howson, Graham Dorrans and Jacob Murphy. When you add that to an inflated wage budget, which has been subsequently halved with further cloth cutting to come, it’s been a tough period for the German.
It all feels a bit last ditch.
Sure, you can sell top talents for millions upon millions, but if the recruitment structure fundamentally fails, Norwich will be left with an average replacement. The club isn’t gaining promotion and supporters must cherish the crown jewels in James Maddison and Alex Pritchard.
The parameters surrounding the debate of the majority shareholders are well documented. The stagnation of this club has been sour and whilst season ticket prices are the highest in the division, supporters will continue to expect a firm challenge from their side.
Expect no movement on that in the near future, but Delia will step aside because she’ll have too, yet it may not be huger, brighter nor hugely richer. What cannot be denied is her loyalty towards Norwich City. The tirade of personal abuse is disrespectful and distasteful.
Tactically, upon Farke’s arrival, Norwich began as a fluid, free flowing outfit. Since the retraction of the 4-1-4-1, City have returned to a side looking to find an identity that fits with the rigour of the Championship. They initially began as a side constructed to pass teams into submission, but they lack the quality to do this.
Farke hasn’t applied his ideologies onto this side yet.
The possession has been too slow, too lateral and too restrictive. The movement has been pretty non-existent and there have been an abundance of flaws, but the last three league games saw improvement. There is now a substructure on which to build some momentum.
The backdrop of the transfer window will be an unwanted distraction, but the beauty of this new off field structure dictates less significance on the man spearheading the on pitch direction of the club and allows Webber to put month’s worth of hard graft into action.
Farke is not a coach who will install Hurra-Fußball at Carrow Road; the possession based style is something he believes in. The mind wonders whether Norwich possess the required ability to carry out the intricacies of Farke’s philosophy. They require players like Tom Trybull to be located and snapped up, as oppose to the pricey Marcel Franke.
It seems the club are bracing themselves for the departure of Pritchard. It won’t be Huddersfield however, but let’s pray Norwich can find a player of suitable quality to replace him; a player who can align himself to Farke’s philosophy and benefit City’s offensive output as they look to build momentum.
The opening of window is untimely for City and the make-up of this squad could be radically altered come February 1.