“We are not a big favourite for winning the title or something like this.”
The words from manager, Daniel Farke, following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Luton Town. It is now 12 competitive matches without a win and counting. That elusive first win behind closed doors can’t come quickly enough.
Listen, I know some fans regard the League Cup as nothing more than a competition for the elite to throw in fringe players and the kids – almost a Mickey Mouse competition that isn’t to be taken seriously. However, I’m of the opinion that clubs such as ourselves should target cup competitions as a chance to lift some silverware.
I wasn’t around for the famous 1985 Milk Cup Final and I’d love to see the club lift something other than the second tier trophy in my lifetime.
Prior to Manchester City claiming the trophy as their own over the past few years, teams such as Birmingham City and Swansea have both emerged triumphant in the League Cup over the past decade.
Are those clubs of a higher standing than ourselves? No, of course they’re not. Instead, we’ve been knocked out by the likes of Crawley Town, Shrewsbury and MK Dons during that time, and now you can add Luton Town to that list.
I understand that we had 17 players on international duty, I really do. It’s testament to the calibre of players at this football club and most of our division rivals can only look on enviously at the strength in depth of our squad. But, how different would that first XI really have been with a fully available squad?
As to be expected, rotation is often used in League Cup competitions, particularly in the early rounds, and with the exception of young Daniel Barden in goal, is that team really too dissimilar to what Farke would have picked? Christoph Zimmermann, Timm Klose, Kieran Dowell and Jordan Hugill were involved and there were also starts from the promising Bali Mumba, Sam McCallum and Josh Martin.
You can’t say it didn’t have quality.
But going back to Farke’s original comment, how can we go into the season as anything but favourites for promotion? As a fan, I want confidence from my manager in the media. Stuart Webber famously said that as a club, they sent Farke to “war without a gun” following relegation last season.
However, fast forward a few months, and there are 11 new signings through the door. On paper, they’re exactly what we need. Quality from Skipp, Championship pedigree from Dowell, a physical presence in Hugill and another centre back option that we were crying out for in Gibson, to name but a few. It’s clear that this season Farke has been given all the tools to succeed.
In addition, we’ve also kept most of our big names too so far, with Jamal Lewis the only departee. It’s likely one or two others from Ben Godfrey, Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia will leave, but it doesn’t seem to be the mass exodus we first anticipated.
In closing, I guess I just want a bit of optimism from the management.
For the past 14 months, we were told we would probably finish 20th and that the season was a free hit. Mission accomplished. It’s a new season, a fresh start.
I want Farke to be bullish and give us fans something to really cling to and get behind. Farke’s got some way to go to put the nightmare of last season to bed but a win against Huddersfield on Saturday would certainly be a start.
Saturday loss to Luton was a wake up call for Farke but Luton are on a high after their end of season miracle to escape relegation, they also had nothing to lose and all to gain.
City were still reeling from relegation and a terrible run of results and as you say possibly over half the team might have been select with out the international.
My honest opinion is that Farke might have tried out his 11 for the huddersfield game to get them all game time and hopefully a win to get up their confidence.
His game plan changed when Klose got an injury and Tettey had to drop back into CB mode we had no shield for the defence but no matter it has gone and now we must look forward and hope for a good start come this weekend.
We have lost one of our so called famous 5 and still have until the 5th October for international transfer to end and 16th October for domestic transfers to end let’s hope clubs are not hoping city will cash on at lower prices nearer the end of the windows.
Onwards and upwards
Stay safe and stay healthy
Keith B says
“As a fan, I want confidence from my manager in the media.”
Yes, it’s odd that the other 23 managers are all publicly predicting promotion for their side whilst Farke is talking it down….
Herr Cutz says
Mr F has had two average, one tremendous and one awful season. I know there are excuses a plenty for the awful season, there always are, but excuses alter nothing. So pick anyone outcome of the three for this season, the average is? An average season. The way the club is now set up is, on paper, an excellent concept, but as Zimbo said after the Luton game, ‘you don’t win games on paper’. So Danny strut your stuff, I’ll be hiding behind the sofa.
He’s a clever guy but four seasons since arriving for the 2017-18 – no on is that cleaver!
Well Sean, as you so rightly quoted SW when you said that last season -,’ we sent DF to war without a gun’, the same can’t be said of this one. Might DF have made a better choice by bringing on an under 23 CB from the bench,and leaving Tettey as DM – who knows.
I too would have liked us to win, if only torestore some much-needed confidence to the team and we desperately need to get back to winning ways and QUICKLY!!
The trip north on Saturday is not an easy one and I sincerely hope that we can stop the rot of giving away soft goals – an ill that has pervaded the team for at least the last 9 seasons. 🙁
Unfortunately, still almost a month of the transfer window left and we can only that only one or two of those you mention will mone on, but whatever happens – I wish them well.
Klose and Hanly injured again, I know they gave us a classic Canary moment equalising v ipshit a while ago but they are taking the piss now.
Norwich should let Pukki leave. Average championship team is not right place for him, Norwich is way too much dependent of him. Pukki played very good second half against Ireland, he played in his level. So he is fit and fine form, maybe his only chance to get away from Norwich is playing purposely badly. If he plays in his level, there is no chance Norwich will let him leave until his contract ends. These kind of things has happened and sometimes its best and only solution for player. Pukki will get his salary anyway.
Colin B says
If Norwich get a very high bid for Pukki then he will be allowed to leave. There are no rumours of any bids at all for Pukki. He will get game time at Norwich, which he may not get elsewhere. I doubt Pukki will purposely play poorly. He will soon be dropped and not in the shop window. His only chance then of getting game time would be with Finland.
Remember his best form has been with Norwich and that has continued with Finland. A change of club is no guarantee of a change for the better.
Pukki was playing great for Brondby before, only thing what changed was quality of league. Danish league is higher level league than championship is, championship teams have more money but problem is that they use way too many british players and have british managers. Better premier league teams are full of foreign players and have foreign managers, homegrown rule is bad for quality level of english football leagues because teams are forced to take players in their squad who are nowhere near of required quality. Pukki would surely get plenty of playing time in any league, Norwich fans have very short memory, he has been already best player in championship. He would want to play in higher level league, but because of financial things clubs in Europe and outside Europe are not afford to buy him. He was free transfer for Norwich and should let leave free. Then Norwich fans would see difference, this is very unfair situation to player who already has been giving I would say way too much to Norwich because promotion to premier league would have never ever happened without Pukki. Now Norwich is punishing him for that. Pukki surely has about 5 very good seasons left in his career, he keeps himself very fit. Now that coming season is wasted season to him no matter even he scores 50 goals. I can understand that Norwich fans want best possible results, but Norwich should find other solution and let Pukki enjoy his career again.
Colin B says
If Bronby thought Pukki was playing well why did they let him go on a free transfer? If Pukki thought the Danish League was so good why did he leave to go to the English championship? Why should Norwich let Pukki go on a free transfer, he willing accepted a contract with Norwich, which still has time to run? Would you give me all your assets for no cost?
Brondy tried everything possible to keep him, they offered double salary and other benefits. He played 4 seasons for Brondby, his last 2 seasons overall stats were 70 league games 37 goals. In european cups 12 games 7 goals. During his time in Brondby he started to train harder and basically changed his attitude too. Celtic fans claim that he was bad in Celtic, in 25 league games he scored 7 goals and in 9 european games 2 goals. That is not bad, Celtic fans hated him because he is no leg breaker and not player type what they appreciate. John Park was Celtic chief scout during that time and he has said that he still does not understand why it didnt work for Celtic. Pukki was very much against move to Norwich, it was not really against Norwich but against english football playing style. Farkes Norwich at least tried to play different football than just fighting and kick and rush football. Aapo Halme (Barnsley) just commented english championship game completely different than for example how they play in finland. He has started to struggle when playing u21 international games. Nowadays its interesting that some young british players have moved to play abroad.
Norwich plan in premier league was keep on playing some british youngsters, no matter what results were. Reasons were surely financial and now Norwich just made huge profit by selling Lewis to Newcastle. Price was crazy for player who was part of premier league worst defence and who lost his place during the season to way much cheaper Byram. Newcastle also bought Wilson and Fraser, so they basically seems to bury after 1 season Joelinton which they paid 40 million. Joelinton price seemed unreal to all european football followers, so by that Lewis 15 million was not surprising.
Norwich might get back to premier league, but Pukki must win again plenty of games for Norwich. Im concerned that opponents plan to stop him might very well be hurting him, there is clear skill level difference between premier league and championship and also worldwide interest keep premier league safer to skilled players.
Stewart Lewis says
“How different would that first XI really have been with a fully available squad?”. Very.
Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Lewis, Skipp, Hernandez, Cantwell, Pukki – all of those would have played, for a start. I agree many teams play their second choice keeper in the Carabao Cup; we didn’t even have that option.
Much as I love cup runs, our priority can only be one thing this year: the 46-game league season.
Christopher Riches says
Sorry, Stewart, but recent history says otherwise. GK would have been McGovern and there’s every chance our England U21 defenders would have been kept out of the first XI.
Idah would possibly have started, not Pukki, and Hernandez was in the match day squad already.
Skipp may have been given a run out, but the rest? I doubt it.
I agree about the league focus, but we have list the opportunity for fringe players to get proper match practice in later rounds.
Inside Right says
My hunch is that this will be Webber’s and Farke’s last season. Whatever happens.
If we get promoted, they’ve been there and done that and know the restrictions and reluctance the club have for the EPL. What else to do?
If we don’t, then they will simply state that have taken the club as far a they can and possibly blame the financial restrictions placed upon them.
Farke has never criticised the club – at least in public – and is unlikely to do so, but if the season turn sour, then where will the fans anger be directed? Delia, Farke or both?
If Farke is painted into a corner, things could get very interesting – if not on the pitch.
What the club needs to focus on is post Farke & Webber. Do you go down a similar route? I suspect yes and Webber will have a hand in that, but if not, the traditional manager approach is unlikely to sit as well with the board as it may deflect more criticism on them.
Onwards and Upwards. Or as Delia might say, Upwards and Downwards.