It’s not a phrase he uses anymore but Daniel Farke was keen not to go ‘too deep’ into certain topics (as he would describe them) in his first few Carrow Road months. We knew what he meant.
And now that phrase sums up a Sunday morning when I’m looking for 800+ words to describe a 0-0 draw that had precisely zilch hanging on its outcome. I don’t really consider the battle for 12th to be even a thing.
To go too deep when it really didn’t matter seems a bit futile, so I’ll not sub-analyse every aspect of yesterday’s performance – as if I ever do anyway – but it is worthy of note that up against a side with everything to play for, City did not wilt.
Even in the dying embers of a game with the home side desperately pushing for a late winner, roared on by an excitable home crowd, Angus and his protectors held firm and had it been a mid-season game we’d have come away content with a hard-earned point.
So, on that basis, we should still be grateful for the point.
The issue of being toothless up front and not getting a single shot on target would be cause for concern if it was something that had just crept up on us, but it’s one that’s been documented, discussed, mulled over, cogitated over and analysed to within an inch of its life.
We know that Dennis Sbreny is still in the formative stages of rookie territory and we know that Nelson Oliveira is a better – if stroppier – player, yet, hopefully, most see the logic in giving game time to the one who both needs it and will definitely be here next season.
When both are operating at full tilt, right now there is no question who offers a greater threat but given that player oozes ‘I’m a minor Portuguese celebrity, get me out of here’ from every pore, then the route being taken by Webber and Farke makes sense.
That it’s an area that needs addressing in the summer is a given – it’s the biggie, no question – but we won’t be alone in being on the lookout for a goalscorer. In fact, every single team in all four divisions, plus non-league, plus local leagues will be looking to add a striker to their squad. Every single one.
And, obviously, it’s the most difficult area of the squad to address. Those who score regularly and frequently are two a penny. In his excellent midweek column, BBC Radio Norfolk’s Chris Goreham summed up perfectly just how rare they are and how quickly those who display that happy knack of scoring goals are snapped up.
Of course, we’re probably better placed now that we have been for some time to identify either a youngster or a German, or both, who will offer us these qualities but to get them through the door and sign on the dotted line won’t be an easy task.
It’s a cut-throat business, and when you’re offering Smarties while many of your rivals are offering handcrafted Belgian chocolates it’s a tough old game to be playing.
I trust Webber to plug any gaps that need filling in the defence and in the midfield, and can already see signs that the new set-up is delivering us technically proficient players who can help us work it methodically through the thirds, but the sharp end is ultimately where games are won. And while the mechanics of buying a striker are the same as buying any other player, the chances of identifying a bargain are infinitely smaller
And so, while I’ve fully bought into City’s brave new world and those who have been tasked with delivering it, I have to confess the sphincter tightens when I ponder this summer’s pending search for goals.
I hope I’m wrong, and genuinely hope some of you will be heading me in the direction of this piece as we rip up Championship defences next season but, while being self-funded clearly doesn’t preclude us from identifying and signing a prolific striker, it makes it much more difficult. In the 2018 marketplace, we likely lack the financial clout to even land a prolific League One striker.
But we are where we are and it is what it is, and I’ll spare you another rant over our owners’ stubborn refusal to even contemplate any of that nasty old external funding. That would be as futile as me penning 800 words on a largely meaningless 0-0 draw.
All we can do is try and make the most of the final two games of the season – Leeds are, after all, locked in the titanic battle for 12th – and then await the white smoke from the Colney conclave when a shiny new striker is ready for his unveiling. Then we cross everything.