? All the Germans. So many Germans… ?
Well, since the dawn of Farkelife in the summer of 2017 we have had quite a few, haven’t we?
There’s Daniel himself, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund II and on his coaching team are assistant head coach Edmund Riemer, first-team coach Christopher John and sports scientist – or head of performance if you prefer – Chris Domogalla.
It won’t surprise MFW readers to learn that all of the above have strong experience with BVB, and Riemer and John were also with Farke at Lippstaat but left the horse-riding to the boss.
Now until that pioneering, revolutionary summer of 2017, Norwich City had never had a German player to my knowledge. But then, like buses, several arrived seemingly at once but in reality, it was much more staggered than that.
As always there’s no chronology from me so here we go.
Ralf Farhmann. A highly-rated keeper from Schalke who was brought in to compete with Tim Krul for the shirt. Tim won, Ralf lost and went back to Germany via Norway. His loan fee was allegedly astronomical.
Felix Passlack. Another one who never cut it here. I only ever saw him once but he eventually became a victim of the Aarons/Lewis/Byram emergence and relatively recently returned to Germany.
Marcel Franke. Oh dear. Looked good on paper. Started the first half a dozen matches of 2017-18 but never played for us again after the 0-4 at Millwall. Currently with Hannover 96.
Let’s proceed to four far more effective contributors.
Super Tommy Trybull. One of those rare beasts in that he was signed after a successful trial. Sometimes deployed alongside Alex Tettey in defensive midfield and the subject of a book written by his wife describing the highs and lows of his career.
Said book features a picture of a pigeon on the cover which would doubtless please Jonny Howson, although I haven’t asked him. Tom could yet prove valuable next season, as might Moritz Leitner.
Seemingly out of favour in the PL, Mo Leitner more than played his part in our recent promotion season and might well prove useful again if this season somehow crawls to an end and we are indeed relegated. Knows how to keep a team moving and I reckon the deeper he plays the more effective he is.
And then there’s Marco Stiepermann, or the Stieperdude as our lot in the Barclay refer to him. Another one I felt could step up to the Premier League, but seemingly not. Not the finest finisher around but almost snatched double figures in 2018-19. Yet another who could prove a key asset in the Championship.
Lukas Rupp seems like another who may well cut it in the Championship. He’s neat and tidy but sometimes reluctant to shoot.
Timm Klose and Onel Hernandez feature here as, although the former is Swiss-German and the latter Cuban-German, both are injury-prone but also exceptionally endearing characters.
Timm has voluntarily declared his love for the Norfolk Broads and involuntarily shown his “checking out” of Pornhub to the world. I prefer Trimingham beach and XHamster myself Timm but each to their own. 😉
Onel’s love for Argos only served to increase our endearment to him. But with two terriers, a bad back, a calcified vein in my thigh and an often distractional Mrs P, surely if I can avoid falling upstairs he can too.
The first Cuban ever to have played in the Premier League. We love you Onel.
Always leave the best to last they say. So I have.
Occasional on-field captain. Mr put your body on the line. Our very own BFG and my favourite current player.
When he arrived from the third or fourth tier of German football he expected to be a fourth choice centre back and previous to that he had seriously considered quitting professional football altogether in order to pursue a career in teaching.
Glad you changed your mind Zimbo – you’ve been magnificent for us.
Yes, as almost always I’ve left one out on purpose. Who is he?
And it’s not our other Dortmund connection as in one Paul Lambert, who had a couple of very successful seasons with them as a player back in the day.