When Daniel Farke was highlighting the financial situation underpinning his Norwich City side, he often described them as “paying for sins of the past”. 

Although the remnants of the German’s tactical setup have appeared to recede from the Canaries’ style of play, the goalkeeper he trusted as his first-choice stopper appears to be suffering from that famous phrase of his. 

Tim Krul’s season has not been fantastic. His early season performances were punctuated by small errors and characterised by poor distribution, while understudy Angus Gunn produced quietly excellent performances in the Carabao Cup. 

But there’s certainly a feeling that part of the Dutchman’s dropping from his regular post has come as a result of those “sins of the past”, namely a poor Premier League season in 2021-22. 

The Pink Un: Krul struggled with distribution early in the season.Krul struggled with distribution early in the season. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Leading the goalkeeping discussion going into this term was the bizarre period at the end of that campaign, during which Gunn replaced Krul and impressed before the 34-year-old inexplicably replaced his teammate for the final-day defeat by Tottenham. 

Dean Smith explained that away as a selection for international reasons, but the assumption among City fans was that they were waving their number one goodbye. When he started at Cardiff City on the opening day, Smith’s rationale became even more confusing. 

The impact of that three-match spell where Gunn had enjoyed the spotlight remained in the back of the collective Carrow Road mind. That pressure-filled atmosphere led to calls for his replacement with every minor error, including in South Wales. 

Notable in that performance were several poor passes intended for Dimitris Giannoulis clipped out for throw-ins, as well as the concession of a goal many thought he should have done better with. 

Those distribution issues continued to plague Krul throughout the draw with Wigan and defeat at Hull, before an upturn in form coincided with one from his team. 

Credit is due for those performances, with three clean sheets produced in four wins for Smith’s charges. Amongst those was a questionable failure to claim when Birmingham’s Scott Hogan stabbed home in the Blues’ 2-1 defeat, but on the whole the standards were raised, and that was good news for Norwich supporters. 

Skin-of-the-teeth wins over Bristol and Blackpool saw Krul through to the trip to the Select Car Leasing stadium on October 4, but there came another minor mishap, with Jeff Hendrick’s strike travelling slowly towards Krul’s near post before nestling home to earn Reading a point. 

At that point the ice was thin for both the former Newcastle man and the Canaries, with a seriously jeopardised winning run just waiting to end. 

It wasn’t long before it did, with Preston’s visit three days later the start of a rough period for both Norwich and Krul. The stopper was directly involved in both of the final two goals from the visitors, first finding the perfect spot between Max Aarons and Liam Gibbs before parrying Troy Parrott’s deflected cross into his own net. 

That marked his last appearance between the sticks, with Gunn impressing in the subsequent defeats to Watford and Burnley, and now firmly in possession of the neon shirt. For the first time in his Norwich career, Krul finds himself playing the role of deputy. 

A man with his experience, ambition and age will not be happy to sit on the bench, but anyone familiar with his attitude will know that presents Smith with no problems. 

As he’s done dutifully at previous clubs, Krul will undoubtedly remain the model professional as long as he’s employed by the club, but any illusions of a man satisfied with life on the periphery are misguided. 

The former World Cup goalkeeper will be pushing as hard as physically possible to reclaim the role he’s made his own over the last four-and-a-half years, but if Gunn keeps up his current form that’ll be as tough a task as faced by anyone in the Norwich squad. 

If there’s a single player in that group who’s earned the right to back themselves in that scenario, it’s the one with 15 international appearances, three Championship titles and fan-favourite status to his name.