That headline may be greeted with open-mouthed incredulity – especially by the Capital Canaries players I managed in the West Fulham Sunday League.
But I stand by it.
You see, Daniel doesn’t always get it right.
He’ll sometimes say, for instance, that he’s “pretty pleased” when he clearly means he’s very pleased. It’s because he doesn’t appreciate that the German equivalent of pretty is ziemlich, a similarly weak adjective.
You get the drift: in the dim mists of time I was a linguist.
Actually, I’m not quite sure how it happened. Having reason to sort through my mum’s papers earlier this year, I found a number of my old – and I mean old – school reports from Great Yarmouth Grammar.
They contain the stunning revelation that I might have done better if I’d worked harder.
And apparently, the subject in which I showed promise was…physics. A bit late for that now (though it perhaps explains my subsequent fascination with heavenly bodies).
But I digress. Languages can trip you up at any moment, and in fact, it’s remarkable how proficient Daniel Farke and others have become in the particularly challenging and capricious one that is English.
When I spent a year studying (well, that’s what I was supposed to be doing) in Germany, we had the odd linguistic adventure. I remember an early trip to the supermarket, when one of our group wanted to buy some gherkins – specifically, loose rather than pre-packaged.
He had no problem with the word for gherkin, but struggled to find the right word for loose/individual. He settled on a close-but-not–quite-right one, and asked if they had any einsame Gurken – lonely gherkins.
That was a memorable year – both for the fun we had in Germany, and following the progress of a promotion season for the Canaries back at home. Joining in five-a-side games with local students certainly expanded my German vocabulary (though not necessarily in a helpful way for my formal dissertation).
In coaching terms, of course, I have nothing whatsoever to offer Daniel. At the end of last season and beginning of this one, I saw some potential for what we’re witnessing now – but I had no idea it would blossom so dramatically.
Perhaps I’m not the only who hasn’t tired of re-living the end of Saturday’s game. It was special in so many ways.
A vital three points, of course, but secured in a fantastic way. One or two on this forum have expressed sympathy for Millwall, and I get that they’re a proper club – but Saturday was brain against brawn, and it was so satisfying for the footballing team to win out. And what football – the build-up to the third and fourth goals was pure Farke; all skill and composure when the conventional answer is a hopeful boot upfield.
And so many details to relish. I loved Jordan Rhodes’ reaction to his goal: no running to the crowd to celebrate, but grabbing the ball and returning it the centre circle so that we had extra seconds – perhaps crucial ones, as it turned out – to create a winner.
We may need to get Marco Stiepermann to contain himself a bit, though. If he continues to hurl our goalscorers to the ground, someone may end up with a dislocated shoulder.
We mustn’t get ahead of ourselves, of course, but the depth of this year’s squad and its belief in the Head Coach’s philosophy are surely strong foundations. If we can put another chunk of points in the bank by year-end, it should be an interesting second half to the season.
Apart from ourselves, there are some eight or nine similar-standard contenders who will be taking points off each other. In the meantime, teams like Millwall will put a periodic spanner in the works of more favoured clubs – and who knows, perhaps Ipswich will too.
One thing I’m sure of. Despite some of the gloomier readings of City’s Accounts, if we’re still around the top in January I cannot conceive the club will jeopardise our chances by weakening the squad.
No-one at Carrow Road is anything but wholeheartedly and passionately behind City doing as well as possible.
A final translation story that older readers may particularly appreciate. One of the items at a European conference concerned a conflict in northern France. The French delegation declared solemnly that the issue sera résolu par la sagesse normande. They were outraged to see the British delegation laughing – not realising that the source of their amusement was the literal but unfortunate translation: “this issue will be resolved by Norman Wisdom”.