Farkeball is quite a narrow doctrine and the demands the manager makes on his squad are pretty specific. Players need to be excellent on the ball, clever, fluid of pass, clever, and extremely fit.
Following on from Samuel Seaman’s finely researched article this week I wondered which players from the past would actually fulfill Daniel Farke’s current criteria and find a place in his team.
With a little bit of thought this is the shadow squad which I think could assimilate and excel in Farkeball:
Chris Woods (Keeper)
Ever able and brilliant. Consistently so.
Mark Bowen (Left wing-back)
Reliable, creative, and scored more goals than any left-back should.
Dave Watson and Steve Bruce (Central defenders)
Watson and Bruce were a fantastic centre-back pairing. Extremely solid. Watson edged it with his ability to distribute from the back, but Bruce succeeded with his just-get-it-done-ability. They both scored goals too. A perfect plug-in pair of replacements for the dependable Hanley & Gibson combo.
Ian Culverhouse (Right wing-back)
Extremely committed and effective marauding right-sided defensive player.
Mike Phelan (Covering midfielder)
One manager described him as a ‘Rolls-Royce’. Cleaned up messes and got things moving again. No fuss.
James Maddison and Martin Peters (All-round midfielders)
Maddison was just class – easily the best NCFC player of recent years. I remember just before he left someone posted a video on youtube (sorry, can’t remember who) showing all his best little bits of play. Although it proved what a fantastic player he was, it also highlighted how lacking the teammates round him were who kept missing missing one-twos, not getting the little flicks, or moving up with play). A sobering thought at the time – although things have imporved since. And of course Peters just purred round the pitch oozing class, creating, and scoring.
Darren Eadie (Attacking left-midfielder)
Slickly quick, always a threat, scored goals, and could win a game on his own. Robbed of long England career by injury (during that decade when they couldn’t find a left-sided midfielder for love nor money).
Dale Gordon (Attacking right-midfielder)
The Dancer. Great to watch, an exciting player who created and scored. Irrepressible.
Efan Ekoku (Striker)
Faster than hot weasel, Ekoku was brilliant. Scored for fun and had great ball-control. A brilliant option to replace a misfiring Finn.
Darren Huckerby (Striker and/or attacking wide-player)
Hucks could play anywhere across the top, or on the sides, or back a bit. Caused problems for opposition wherever he played. Also gave a lot of goalkeepers back-ache as they had to keep picking the ball out of the net. Must have been very annoying.
Just imagine that lot at their peak sat on the bench now? How many of them would you throw straight into the team for the next match?
Just a thought…