This Premier League lark isn’t much fun is it.
Not when you support Norwich City. Not at the moment.
In fact, it’s hard to recall a time when City have been in the top flight and things have felt quite so grim. The stats back it up.
Played 6. Lost 6. Goal difference -14.
Things have been worse of course. Those of a certain age talk of blankets being carried around the pitch in the late 1950s for supporters to throw in some loose change to help keep the club afloat, and the relegation of 2008-09 and all it entailed were particular lowlights.
But in terms of top-flight disasters, it feels like we’re living through one.
And just to compound it; just to remind us of what is possible, Brentford’s Premier League odyssey continues apace.
I was reminded of this inadvertently last night when, in attempting to flick over to catch the latest Ryder Cup disappointment, I accidentally stumbled upon the reaction to the final whistle at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The whole ground on its feet, Thomas Frank accepting the acclaim of the fervent, buoyant crowd, the Brentford players soaking in the noise, colour and adoration. All as one. In the words of Frank, the Bees had just gone “toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in Europe”.
Their 3-3 draw with Liverpool was in stark contrast to our own meek dual-surrender against the same opponents. Brentford didn’t write off a visit from Klopp’s men as a “free hit”, neither did they accept their fate on opening day against Arsenal before a ball had been kicked.
Instead, they took four points from those two games. They had a go. They believed they could get something from those games and their performance reflected that.
We braced ourselves for a Brentford love-in from the moment they were promoted; assuming that the London-based press would be seduced by the fairytale of west London. We weren’t disappointed.
But from the minute the season began, that acclaim has been earned. As much as it pains us to say it, they deserve all the plaudits currently heading their way. Watford too look Premier League competitive.
Yet while the national media were girding their loins ahead of the Bees love-in that has since unfolded, City fans were defending their club from whatever is the antonym of a love-in.
Swipes aplenty were taken by those who wrote us off before a ball had been kicked and we fought back hard, defending our club for doing things its own way while reminding ourselves of the need to ‘ignore the noise’.
But everything that has unfolded since has played perfectly into the narrative that ours is a club that doesn’t take the Premier League seriously; relying instead on receiving sizeable chunks of Premier League prize money and parachute payments to keep the self-funding model alive.
I don’t of course believe for one second that Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke began their second crack at the Premier League of the belief that it would, again, be a brief one-season stopover, but nothing has happened so far to suggest the brains trust of talkSPORT are wrong to deem us “woeful”.
Right now we’re writing their stories for them. And those who fought so passionately in defence of our club in the summer as the brickbats flew are being made to look fools.
Quite why it has unravelled so spectacularly and so quickly is not clear. I suspect Webber and Farke are equally mystified, but six games in and it’s hard to see where a point let alone a win is coming from.
While Liverpool and Man City were deemed high-level opponents against whom we shouldn’t expect too much (even if Brentford have since rendered that approach far too defeatist), the other four games, including Leicester and Arsenal, were eminently winnable, or at the very least draw-able.
But right now we’re miles off.
Everton’s attack was decimated yesterday through injury, they had a Goodison Park crowd ready to revolt, they were bereft of confidence but still managed to beat us at a canter. Only when Demarai Gray used the afterburners to set Doucouré up for the second goal did they need to get beyond second gear, such was the level of comfort.
We’re not competitive. We have moments, some good ones, but for a full 90 we’re not competitive.
We still give away soft goals. We still get outmuscled in the middle third. We still make elementary errors. We still look weak and impotent in the attacking third.
Farke’s three at the back had its merits yesterday but is crying out for a left-footed, left-wing back – like Giannoulis – to make it less staccato and more fluid. This system also enables Farke to get some support up alongside Teemu Pukki although, as it transpired, Josh Sargent had an afternoon to forget.
But what has happened, through all the tweaks and changes to formation and personnel, is that Farkeball as we know it no longer exists.
Since Webber’s arrival, the one thing upon which we could all agree was that, finally, we had an identity. After years of talking about the ‘Norwich way’ without actually knowing what it was, we finally had one. Everyone knew what it was, even people who hated it, like the “HOOF IT!” bloke in the River End.
We passed it. To death at times, but we passed it, starting from Tim Krul and the centre-backs through the thirds, using clever rotation and precision to work some space to ultimately spring Pukki into a channel. It was joyous.
At Championship level we’re masterful at it but even in the Premier League season of 2019-20, against better opponents and more effective presses, we still did it. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t but it was our way and we stuck at it.
I don’t see that anymore.
Through the changes in shape and the bringing in of new faces, that distinctive passing ethos that we named Farkeball is no more. At least not in a form I recognise. Hopefully, it hasn’t disappeared for good – there were moments yesterday that felt familiar – but right now, in terms of a playing style, there is nothing to differentiate us from the rest.
And that, to me, is equally as troubling as the 0-0-6.
Quite where we go from here I’m not sure, but feeling sorry for ourselves is not one of the options on the table. I expect the rallying cries to come thick and fast as we approach the end of the week and Burnley (a) gets closer, and I hope that one day soon those rallying calls will spark a response.
Right now, as fans, all we have is hope. The expectation has long since subsided.
Gary Field says
Looking on the bright side, when you really want to get your season going with a point, or three, where better to head next than Burnley away! Dycheball v Farkeball, I’m not sure it’s going to be one for the purists.
John Asher says
The thing about Farkeball is that it takes time a-learning. So many new players on the field yesterdsy: they need more time to get to grips with it. Frustrating though it may be we need patience, understanding and to offer continued dupont.
Gary Gowers says
Good point, John. Very true. Learning it in ‘real time’ is tricky but PL season is such a short one.
Exactly. And the previous players that were fundamental to Farkeball have gone, Tettey or Skipp s a CDM, Vrancic or Buendia, even Steiperman, and those that remain after the summer are not the technical players that made Farkeball viable.
Don’t worry there are still 32 games to go – with a maximum of 0 points available.
Beyond embarrassing. How dare the club visit this result pestilence on the most patient & supportive supporters in the league.
I state this without fear of contradiction: No other professional club would still have the same manager in charge after 16 straight defeats – and hopeless defeats at that – scoring only 3 goals and conceding, I don’t know, what is it now… 108? Name me one situation? Just one? Where that manager was still in charge. There is only one decision, it’s just a matter of time. And once the players get a sniff of that, performances will – ironically, as it’s barely possible – deteriorate.
I think DF is about 3 games away from losing the dressing room because they will doubt his tactics, I do get the feeling a new manager would freshen up the what is clearly becoming a deflated group. The body language is really apparent now,
The way McLean looked was sad. Of course. It was a shite ball into him before his poor control, but he’s named and shamed in the media.
The tone from all corners is getting negative. And then there will only be one outcome,
The talksport guys were simply correct and our board hate the epl but want to accept all the glory in the championship,until that changes nothing ever will!
Brother Johnny says
Sorry but that is total rubbish. Norwich are poor and I’m happy to blame that on Farke, Webber, players etc . But to say the Board hate the epl and just want to be in the Championship is fatuous. I suspect many fans however feel that the Championship is the place to be , not just at our club
Cant you remember Delia coming out and saying she hates the epl?fans like the chump league because we win more than lose,wheres the ambition in that?
That still isn’t why we are crap. We have thrown money around on prospects when you needed a proper CB, proper no.6 or two and a proper big old fashioned no.9. What we have got is square pegs for round holes. At least with a CB, some steel in the middle and a target man I would expect to have more than we have now!
Let’s see where Brentford are when the weather turns cold, is this their customary fast start followed by reverting to the mean or are they really upper mid table quality.
For us, I don’t mind us trying to offer some variation from playing out of the back but what I do mind is poor attacking corners, how many times did we hit the first man…
We also still seem so hesitant around the box. How many goals did that Derby team score?
Alex B says
My first question would be to SW and DF is what are the playing clauses in our loan players.
Have we guaranteed them playing time or is it money natters the more they play the less we pay.
Dimi and Tzolis are known to each other both at international and club level and have a good understanding of each others game but so far it hasn’t been tried in a league game maybe against Burnley.
Gilmour is he the answer to our creative problem’s or is he the cause of them in not getting the best out of him.
I must admit that like many I wonder what Sorensen has to do to get so playing time Normann and Lees-Melou are strong in midfield and have a creative streak in their game but neither is happy just to sit and sweep up like Skipp last season so maybe using Sorensen in that role just might work.
No10 is it Cantwell, Dowell, Rashica or Gilmour that could open up for a Pukki/Sargent or Idah front two, on these questions only time will tell next weekend but Burnley will not want to be mugged by city.
Many moans and groans on the EDP/Pinkun in game report but towards the end the question was asked how much time will DF be given to turn it round and one of the 3 reports said let’s see during the International break but also said a trashing at Burnley could see repercussions sooner than expected.
Can we see Delia out signs, fans throwing season tickets at the bench or the coaching staff falling on their own swords but one thing is for certain there will be no outside investment our owners like being in the limelight and lording it over friends as a football club owner that unlike Morris at Derby knows when he can no longer keep up with Alias Smith and Jones.
No matter how much they say they love the club eventually they will be the death of it as we know it but they are to stubborn to admit it
It’s all right saying go back to playing farkeball, but with buendia,steiperman,vrancic,all gone and cantwell seemingly out of favour, because at the end of the day these players were setting up loads of chances for pukki ,the players we have signed at the moment do not seem any better than the ones we have sold .
David Bowers says
Correction. It’s not “ones” we’ve sold. It’s “one” we sold.
The rest were contracts we paid off.
Tim Ball says
Just to say Todd is not out of favour.
I always suspected that with so many new signings it would take time for everyone to get used to ‘Farkeball’, but the lack of passion and desire is far more worrying.
After Liverpool’s 2nd goal on Tuesday, I could see Hanley’s shoulders visibly slump. He should be doing the same as our previous GH did as captain and drive his teammates on to at LEAST try to salvage something from the game.
Nice article, not enjoyable as such, but good. Nail. Head. Bravo to Brentford. Compared to them we are scared and lacking any confidence. Tim Krull was astonishing, a “long project” indeed. How about Norwich stand up, and like Brentford, start to play in the here and now? I want no more talk of foundations being laid, green shoots, a slight improvement here and there. Everton were average, we made them huff and puff in spells, yet they scored 2 and won handily in the end. Norwich would not have scored if we were still playing now.
Next week we will be better, that is the message from Krull, from the Club. Really? What is that based on? Are Norwich spectacular in training? Brentford are better motivated, better managed, a vastly better team. As is everyone else you suspect. The Norwich support at Everton was above and beyond. Brentford have shown a contrasting light. This Norwich team are cowards. Beaten when they cross the white line. Time it was said. Cowards. That hurts. Everything TalkSport said has come to pass. We hope to win next week, but there is no expectation. None. But like every Norwich fan, I still have a wisp of hope. Please….
Jon B says
Agree on an overlapping left wing back Gary, ok maybe not the full answer but adds to our very limited threat. Did my ears deceive me, did Farke refer to a 3 point target at this stage? Surely not that ambitious are we !
I think it was Roy Keane who said last time we were in the premiership that passing it out from the back was ok but you need better players than Norwich have.
Little has changed in that regard.
Brentford are more competitive than us.
When you allow for the Buendia income Brentford spent more than us but seem to have spent on the right type of player.
You can tell things are really bad when MOTD no longer criticise us but moves quickly on to the next game.
Something has to happen as not only is our football dire but the sympathy we used to receive nationally appears to have disappeared and we are looked upon as parachute payment scroungers with little interest in competing.
If ever a club desperately needed a change of ownership it’s City as changing Farke or Webber will have little effect.
Tim Ball says
I too am scratching my head as to how this Premier League dream has turned into a nightmare.
We started similar to Brentford last time we were in the Prem, Newcastle were easily beaten and who will forget the heroics v Manchester City at home. That was until the worst injury crisis that I can remember in over 50 years to hit the club.
But before Project Crapstart we were competitive against the likes of Arsenal, Spurs, Leicester on occasions.
But this is absolutely dreadful. Yes I have highlighted on here all the mitigating factors but we really do look like we will beat Derby’s lowest points total in a season.
Yesterday Everton were without CL, Richarlison, Gomez and Coleman and we still lost.
I always thought that horrid start could affect confidence but this malaise goes beyond that. Tell me one player who has stood out yet this season ? Normann in a few cameos. Even the ever reliable Hanley ( no preseason to be fair) and McClean have not looked themselves. And Todd is going through a rough time and the poor lad is definitely missed.
And I have applauded Stuart Webber for his work in the transfer market, but these players need to improve fast. Have some players noses been put out of joint as I am sure these new players are earning a bit more than some of the guys already here.
Has Farke changed the championship winning team too quickly ? We have gone from the Man City of the Championship to the Ipswich of the EFL a few years ago . Even in Farke’s early days at the club we were always competitive against Premier clubs in the cup.
I do wonder if we can adjust to this new challenge. Take Arsenal, Brentford exposed weaknesses at the back in the air and I just wonder if it was a game for Adam Idah or Josh Sargent ?
A guy on Canary Call last night highlighted Farke’s record without one Emi Buendia in the side and it isn’t good. But surely one player can’t make all that much difference, can he ?
This era, bar Project Restart, has been a wonderful time under Daniel Farke playing some of the best football ever seen at Carrow Road and my over-riding feeling is sadness mixed with embarrassment to see this possibly end in such dire circumstances.
I really hope the club holds it nerve and gives Farke time to sort this out, he is a notoriously slow starter.
You rightly say Gary that we want Farkeball back, but I also want to see us have a bl….y go.
Brentford had 4 men in the box yesterday in nearly every attack and that’s against Liverpool. Our attacks are so laboured.
SW said we needed stronger and faster players this season but I am sorry to say I see precious little of either.
Another great Norwich City manager lost his job against Burnley, so much so poor Nigel forgot the score. I just hope the score (1-4) and the outcome are not the same because sooner or later SW will pull the trigger on Daniel’s reign.
And its Brighton at home next, do or die ?
Inside Right says
Hard to argue against what you’ve said Gary.
For me, The attitude of this club is all wrong. While that starts at the top, the trickle down effect has also worked its way through to some of the fans, who neither want, not care, for the EPL. The league is not perfect, but it has the best players and the best quality of football. Those rubbishing it to distract from the Norwich City’s failings is simply pathetic. The club is ultimately responsible for the situation we are in, not the league.
Farke is not so much a busted flush, but a man in a league above his capabilities – he played for a draw yesterday and still lost – and still has to go in my view. However, the problems do not end there. Will Webber save his own reputation to find a new coach, because if this farce continues, who would want him? And what about the ‘5 Year Plan’?
If the club is serious about staying in the EPL – which you’ve pointed out in your piece that the increasing narrative is that we are not – then something has to change and change fast. But there isn’t the will to do it, because the club only needs the EPL for the money. But wouldn’t the club be financially be better served by staying there? – No, because there isn’t the will to do it from the top. At best, it is lip service,
It is very hard to be positive in any form about the current situation, because so much is wrong. For me, unless there is a massive upheaval and attitude at board level, the will be the last season we will be in the EPL for an indefinite period, as the parachute payments run dry. My nephew is going to as many away games as possible, not to see Norwich win because he’s too smart for that, just to see the grounds while he has the chance to do so. I can then see us in The Championship, with another flirt with League 1 not to be ruled out.
Football is a results business, but the attitude of the club is stuck in the 1950’s. It is arguably more interested in community projects than being successful, but surely the more successful you are means you can fund more projects?
The club has bought too many players, with generally not enough talent for this level – Hello Stuart! – Even an Emi-less starting XI from last season would have achieved more, because at least they knew what they were doing, even if they couldn’t quite achieve it. Farke is desperately shuffling the pack this season, only to find that when he places his cards on the table, it’s nearly always 7 high. Yesterday was simply another foregone conclusion.
Norwich City have made a mess of things, but who do you want to sweep it up? That’s the question that every fan should be asking, but as your Mother used to say ‘The mess doesn’t clear itself…’
Midfield Mike says
“Even an Emi-less starting XI from last season would have achieved more.”
And without Emi in the Championship, we wouldn’t have made the play-offs, let alone without Skipp too. But half of Norwich’s problem is that the happy clappers, 20,000 of the 28,00o that go to the games, they don’t see all that, and they are happy to just plod along, rough with the smooth, ‘it’s just a game’. Paul Lambert had grit, and I still hail his achievements above what DF has done.
People are welcome to opinions but 2 years ago, that team scored TWENTY more goals and only had 4 points less….. take Buendia out of last season and ….. wow…,, people still think this team is better than it was 2 years ago. PLM or Tettey? Rupp or Stieperman? Gilmour or Vrancic? Gibson or Godfrey? Williams or Lewis? Rashica or Cantwell? Srybeny or Idah? And for the time being, Buendia or Tzolis?
I think people need to stop assuming negativity of impartial analysis of NCFC and consider whether they are being sold baseless bias from too many well meaning reporters. This was all obvious last season and in the summer.
Hopefully, DF will turn it around though,
Alex B says
Daniel Levy insists that they are a self financing cup and that Joe Lewis refuses to bail them out.
They gave a 62k seater stadium and are looking for investment in naming rights for it
Again a club that says it’s self financing and use a moneyball data system to recruit players in that their mold then sell them on for large sums and buy cheaper players in that mold to continue to improve.
Some say the original self financing club but are we really if it wasn’t for promotions over the last couple of years we would be in Derby’s boots long ago.
Buying cheap has worked to a certain extent Buendia and Maddison are the best two examples for that.
Aaron’s, Lewis and Godfrey were recruited for the Academy and have progressed with two going on to make profits for the club.
Having well heeled owner’s can be a double edged sword in that other clubs expect you to pay higher prices for transfers and supporters think it’s their entitlement and expect them to buy success.
Can there be a happy medium I don’t think so but running a club is like any business you are at the whim of your customers when you are winning everything is quiet and the customers like the project, start losing and they start looking who to blame.
It’s now over 25 years with lack of real investment Robert Chase was the last owner to do major work on the Stadium due to a fire but he got that wrong it was too small.
Since then ground outside the city stand has been purchased but we are told it is to expensive to expand the ground when will it not be expensive to do that work.
Some say knocking it down will lose the club revenue, Loserpool had a similar problem and found away to build over the existing stand they are now doing it again to increase the capacity by 7k at a cost if £60m, ten years ago city reported that it would cost £20+m for a whole new stand these owner’s are happy to stand and watch Rome Burn as long as they still own the club, if it all goes the way of Derby they will do an interview saying we tried our best but have they really it all boils down to a dirty word in the corridor of power and that is Investment
Norwich new playing style worked well as long as Kabak made his stupid mistake. Possibility to penalty was also very well taken by Allan very much thanks to his italian years. Clearly man of the match yesterday.
If Norwich prefer to play like that now, individual defensive errors have no place, Kabak would have been substituted to other defender at half time. So there is no room for mercy either, because its only way to make defenders learn that individual errors costs points.
Norwich likely got 2 real scoring chances, problem is that neither of those went to Pukki. Opponents have seen same as everyone, if scoring chance comes to someone else than Pukki then almost surely there will not be a goal. Gibson my opinion has been before in obvious scoring chance and like always he should at least do little bit better. That effort was again awful, but like always Norwich fan base just accept that and demand nothing outside Pukki. Then there was absolute hilarious happening, Lees-Melou made absolutely perfect pass to Sargent which Sargent was not able to read at all and just kept standing. Lees-Melou started to smile ironically and shaked his head towards Sargent. Its obvious that he has seen in training sessions that there is so many limitations that he could only laugh the level of majority of his team mates. There was positive things too, Lees-Melou, Normann and Pukki combined some very nice passing together which is something very new and gives some hope for Pukki too. Normann has adapted to premier league very well and he has made team better. Defense played much better than before, but opponent was Everton and played without its best players which happened to be strikers.
I said already before season started that your recruitment policy is disaster to premier league level. Normann, Lees-Melou and Williams I understand. Opponents started to pick Giannoulis right a way as too weak link, so something had to be done. If Norwich is like Farke keeps on saying rather poor club and especially players which you paid several times more than you should have been are all complete disaster to this level it can very well become reason to overall fall. On the other hand Norwich have sold to other english clubs players which have been disaster to them too. Godfrey was not good and has not been good, maybe not disaster like that guy which you sold to Newcastle. Buendia, we shall see but im sure Villa did not pay so much for player who sits mainly in bench and Villa have got good results now.
And Brentford, Brentford is brilliant. Its very nordic team, plenty of players from that area but not all. Their talent pool is good, player recruitment is good and yes Brentford-Liverpool was very also very entertaining game.
Next manager to be sacked? Solskjer, immediately now that Ronaldo and Varane is also there. Farke? Absolutely not, no matter the results even you loose every game in premier league. Its of course possible that Farke has had enough and leave by himself if he feels that there is nothing he can do anymore.
Midfield Mike says
Gary, I agree with your post.
What we are witnessing though is our own downfall. When you join the dots, our problem is that in the summer we took an inappropriate strategy to merge new and old.
The stalwarts, guaranteed starters, were Krul, Hanley, Aarons, McLean, Cantwell and Pukki. What was imperative was that those core players carried through some continuity and the way to do that was to identify a system where all those thrived, and when that system was identified, then to cherry pick specific players to put meat on the bones.
Instead, SW and DF keep wanting to reinvent the window. Alex Mowatt, Conor Hourihane, Stefan Johansen…. even Danny Drinkwater, Aiden Flint, Sam Clucas, Andre Gray. These are better players than what we had and together would make for a great team…. Complimentary players to the core we had.
Elevate the leadership burden on Hanley. Add maturity to Kenny McLean, as we so clearly saw from Alex Tettey in the past, otherwise Kenny looks lost. Add pace to Pukki, rather than add pace in wider areas. But every failing we are witnessing so far was categorically identified by armchair quarterbacks all summer long, that’s the annoying thing,
What we clearly have is a group of players and I think we’ve been led up the garden path with the depth of ‘research’ of some of these players. We were promised CDM attributes in PLM, then we got him and found out he has no running stamina and prefers to play more like Vrancic than Tettey, Then we were promised the same of Normann….. then these last few days mooted hints that actually he’s not a CDM but rather an all-rounder. We got Williams who seems to be more right footed than left…. Yet Tzolis and Rashica both play on the left… whilst Cantwell was already squared away on that left side last season,
For what it’s worth, I feel that DF is a single tinker away from a viable formation. For me, Cantwell and Sarjent ought to be behind Pukki in a 3-4-2-1 at the forfeit of PLM or McLean and that should be enough defensively but would significantly improve our attack, because at the moment, I don’t see a goal coming from anywhere.
I just wish we were left with Normann and Mowatt or Hourihane in midfield and a 3rd CB with genuine, last chance in a career mentality. We are a pathetically soft touch,
Would Eddie Howe fancy this in January?
Williams Norman Hourihane Aarons
Gibson Flint Hanley
Nailed on survival in my opinion. No reinventing the wheel necessary.
PS; I have written a piece about 3-5-2 and how we aren’t playing it to our tactical optimum. Hopefully out this week,
Colin B says
Looking at the other teams in the PL it will need them to have a total off day and us to play out of our skins to get a win. We don’t seem to be able to play without lots of mistakes and little creativity. All the teams know that you only need to press us hard and we will are mistakes. We don’t have the quality of players to break any reasonable press. We don’t have the quality to play Farkeball in the PL.
We need a bigger forward or two to allow us to relieve the defence by playing long balls. With Pukki we have to play the ball on the ground which leads to mistakes and a slow build up.
I think 3-5-2 might help. I would try Krul Kabak, Hanley, Gibson Aaron’s, Normann,Rupp, Lees-Melou, Giannoulis Idah with either Sargent or Tzolis.
Having seen Ajer against Liverpool I think Webber should have paid the price for him. He looks a decent player at 6 foot 5.
I expect Chris Woods to have a field day against us just like last time we were in the PL.
Bernard Owen says
Catton canary says
Let’s be honest, This is going to end in tears. Lose to the bullies at Burnley then lose at home to Brighton and it is over for DF as it will be toxic. Webber talks a good game but I wonder if the squad has been selected with a view to sell on values rather than this all important season.. We needed a DM or two. WE are full of nice, lightweight players. If Nomann gets injured we are well and truly screwed. Somehow Webber has managed to make the team worse by his signings. Worse still I can’t see many of them staying for a wet evening at Blackburn next year. Emi and Skipp were the x factors and they are gone. Brentford spent big money to fill the gaps they had. Quality over quantity. We have signed wingers. Why? When was the last time Pukki scored a header?
We have three of the very average Scotland football team in our ranks and we wonder why we lose so often? We seem to be keeping DF because we feel he will get us up again next year. What are we basing this on? Would he even want to?
To use an analogy from another sport Emma Raducanu has just dismissed her coach because she wants one with experience of grand slams. We keep Daniel on when it is obvious that he is out of his depth at this level. Another thing she did was hire a coach for each aspect of her game, take what she wanted then move on. That is a champion’s mindset. Can we at least have a defence coach??
The root of this is Delia’s ‘project’. She doesn’t have the money to compete at this level but she stays on and on and on. Yes if Daniel went this could be our Mick McCarthy moment but at the end of a grueling season being the nice little team that everyone beats is he really going to want to put himself through that again?
I don’t think Eddie Howe is the answer. He is a one club wonder and his signings were nearly all dreadful but we need some new ideas. Rather than being the culmination of ‘the project’ this feels like the ceiling. The Premier league does not want Norwich City. Would we have got a penalty like the Everton one? Time for new ideas. Pretty football is great but I want to see players playing for the shirt. Paul Lambert’s team were not as talented but they at least had the cohones to give it a good go.
As per usual, a super piece of writing and some seriously good responses. Even though Norwich city are dragging their name through the sewer this site continues to up its game.
The white flag hoisted in June when the brummies came a-calling with their nice foreign money is now fluttering high above carrow road. It’s clear that there really is no intention or appetite to remain in the top flight. The money comes in handy to pay the bills and keep the wolf from the door but Webber’s dealings are telling. The players brought in are not ready, may never be ready for this level of football.
To be fair, the whole squad looks unprepared, lazy, unfit and afraid,of it’s own shadow. The propensity of this team to cough up cheap possession by playing sloppy passes direct to opponents is indicative of a total lack of care and attention. Mcleans boneheaded intervention yesterday mirrored that of last week and cost us a goal.
The wastefulness in midfield and defensive mayhem is matched by the profligacy in front of goal. Gilt edged chances spurned at vital times during countless matches, the last thing a team in our position needs. Frankly, sick of it.
The painful fact is that we have traded buendia directly for a clutch of players, most of whom would struggle to get into last seasons side. Family silver flogged off and replaced with a load of tin plate tat.
What we are witnessing is the real cost of ‘self funding’. . Some revel in the virtue signalling that accompanies it and the moral high ground as they look down their noses at the rest of football. Truth is though, we are seen, as another respondent says as a parachute payment scrounger, cynically taking the money while despising the origin and ethos of that money while using it to fund the clubs day to day survival. All while proclaiming that we are in some way so virtuous and whiter than white.
Contrary to the view from clap clap land, the reputation of the club in the wider game as a whole is terrible. Pitied, derided, in some cases openly despised, criticised and ignored, the butt of a million jokes, none of them remotely funny.
For those of us who love the bones of the club, remember the tribal days out and the pride in our city and county and defended it to the hilt when criticism came it’s way, this situation hurts, it physically hurts. I can take losing, I can even take relegation on occasion, but I can’t take ridicule and total embarrassment, derision and snide comments from snide to55ers. To that end this morning I’ve blocked a business associate from my mobile due to his endless flow of crap which follows every defeat. Suffice to say after the name I called him has sunk in we won’t be doing much more business. I’m taking this personally.
There really is only one answer to this. It’s too late to,salvage this season, but it need to happen and soon.
martin penney says
A slight spoiler for my piece tomorrow but – a fine comment nonetheless.
I’ve worked in many, many distant places [I don’t mean Fakenham or Watton] and believe me I get some messages from passively vindictive mates who are positively revelling in our misfortune right now.
I don’t block them – mates are mates, after all.
But I’ve got nothing to fight back with as they are collectively correct!
Andrew Delf says
I was going to write a response to the article however Chris you have captured many of the points I was going to raise. As I see it the options are
Change the players. ( we cannot)
Change the style of play ( we can )
Change coach. (we can )
If you actually rebrand it Buendiaball you can understand why it is not working without him. We have tried this strategy for two PL seasons and have 21 points in 44 games – less than half a point a game.. Have Farkeball if you want but don’t expect many goals or points in the EPL without Buendia (and not many more with him). I would rather try to win games by any means – like we use to.
Cyprus canary says
I am sick and tired of Farke coming on saying we were the best team, the VAR call was wrong, we had COVID problems etc etc etc. The common factor here is that sadly he is not a premier league manager. We have enjoyed the Farkeball in the championship but now it is time to move on and establish a place in this league. Sorry Daniel but that is football.