I’m not sure the ‘board’s dreaded vote of confidence’ is even a thing anymore but even if it was I don’t think Stuart Webber would do them. Not in the sense of it being indicative the manager getting the tin tack.
That’s why when Webber told the gathered media yestreday that Daniel Farke’s position is not under threat or even (at the moment) scrutiny, I’m inclined to believe him. Whether that’s the right take will continue to be a matter of debate as long as City remain uncompetitive but, for now at least, that’s how it is.
And so when he says Sunday’s game with Leeds won’t be a make-or-break for Farke, it won’t be a make-or-break for Farke. He did however demand improvement.
The relationship between the two men has clearly been crucial to the transformation that has taken place at our club since April 2017 but there’s only one boss and for all Webber’s tact and diplomacy in public, Farke will need no reminding of the high standards the sporting director demands both of himself and all those under his umbrella.
As Webber puts it, it’s unrealistic to offer win-or-you’re-out type threats because, to paraphrase, “you could play rubbish and win 1-0 or be outstanding, hit the bar three or four times and still lose”. He was therefore quick to put to bed any idea of there being a timescale upon which Farke’s immediate progress will be judged, but also made reference to the next five games being those that should yield some positive results and performances.
If they don’t, then the landscape may well shift.
But what clearly has irked Webber is that folk, both locally and nationally, have given up on Norwich City after just nine games. Some of us on this site probably fall into that category.
He also admitted, however, that what happened at Stamford Bridge was unacceptable and that any criticism that came in its aftermath was warranted.
In response to his claim that some supporters have already thrown in the towel, I’d suggest that right now we desperately need something to cling onto. Two nil-nil draws were, I guess, a start but it was hardly the stuff of a racing pulse and an adrenalin rush.
Just as Farke did prior to the Watford and Brighton games, Webber used his media round to try and stoke up the Carrow Road faithful ahead of Sunday’s game and I get it. A raucous, noisy Carrow Road offers the best platform possible for the players to produce a win, but – as the old debate goes – it is very much a two-way street.
In the same way the players should expect to be roared on and not picked on by their home support, those same supporters need something on which to hang their fervour.
Players are not robots, as we’re often told, but neither are supporters. The pre-match atmosphere is pretty much fan-generated, with a little help from the pre-match in-house DJ, but can be very easily and quickly flattened by a lukewarm start from those in yellow.
The Brighton game was a classic example – ten minutes of watching our players chase shadows and barely touch the ball and the atmosphere was as flat as pancake. I’m no psychologist, but I know it’s easier to get the blood pumping and the adrenalin flowing when City are on the front foot, the effort is evident and there is something to get excited about.
So Stuart… we’ll be there on Sunday, all positively itching to roar this team on to its first win of the season. No one wants a negative atmosphere and we certainly don’t want the ol’ place to turn on the players and the management because we’ve been there before and it’s horrible.
No one goes to Carrow Road will the sole intention of having a moan. Even the most miserable of miserabilists, even though they may not admit it, simply want to have a team to be proud of and a win or two to celebrate.
Give us both of those things and we’ll be with you all the way. It’s been a thrilling ride so far… none of us want it to end, and certainly not amid acrimony and venom.
Never Mind the Danger.
While you’re here…
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