Paddy Davitt delivers his Blackpool verdict after Teemu Pukki’s Norwich City exit.

1. Thank you Teemu

No fairtayle ending to a nightmare season. For Teemu Pukki or the club he served with such distinction. Surely there is no debate he is the best signing of the modern era.

The ‘best player’ probably depends on how long into the night you are willing to debate the merits of Emi Buendia, Wes Hoolahan, Grant Holt, etc.

It matters little. As David Wagner remarked at his pre-match media the Finn’s epic achievements – 88 goals in 210 appearances, two Championship titles, two double figure goal seasons in the Premier League, and a stack of personal accolades – will only grow in scale and magnitude.

The warmth of the tributes in the past few days underscore the man as much as the magnificent forward.

Pukki led his team out with his young daughter in his arms and a huge banner unfurled in the Lower Barclay thanking him for his epic impact.

As the national anthem died to mark the coronation celebrations before the game, Pukki’s anthem reverberated around Carrow Road.

There was another burst in the 22nd minute to mark a shirt number which has terrorised Championship defences the two previous tours.

Just before the hour mark the television close ups captured the emotion on his face as he stood in front of the Barclay as his anthem rose up again during a break in play.  

Daniel Grimshaw clearly failed to read the script, flinging himself across his line in the 20nd minute to parry a hooked effort against his left-hand post. So too Tangerines’ defender Curtis Nelson, who lunged with the air of a defender not interested in a genteel final day outing, to divert Pukki’s right footed shot over.

In the second half, Sam McCallum’s teasing cross hit the Finn at the back post and rebounded to Grimshaw on his line.

His stage-managed exit 10 minutes from the end was uplifting as it was sad. The Norwich fans gave him the tear-jerking ovation he deserved. Truly the end of an era.

2. A long shadow

To bring it bang up to date the most pressing aspect of the Finn’s departure is now trying to source the volume of goals from the vintage Pukki years. That is one of the transfer-related challenges facing both Wagner and sporting director Stuart Webber.

Adam Idah and Josh Sargent are part of the equation. There will be others who arrive this summer. Ashley Barnes is the first but not the last player of interest to the Canaries’ hierarchy.

Barnes scored on his Burnley swansong, yet should he seal a free transfer in the coming weeks will not arrive with the reputation of a prolific scorer of goals.

To turn Wagner’s ‘promotion challenging’ aim into any semblance of reality Norwich will have to take creativity to a whole new level. Strikers with a proven goalscoring record at the level required come at a premium.

Hence why Pukki’s unheralded arrival in the summer of 2018 delivered far more than any inside, or outside Carrow Road, could have dared dreamt. The manner of City’s labours against relegated Blackpool merely served to illustrate the scale of the challenge to overhaul this squad.  

3. Boos  

The soundtrack to the season. Certainly the wretched, rancid home offering at Carrow Road. No goals scored since late February and four defeats from the final five home games.

Baseline figures that led to a bottom half Championship finish for a club with publicly stated automatic promotion aspirations. Those pre-season words from previous head coach Dean Smith and Webber sound hollow now.

Webber will face the media, including this organisation, later this month to pick through the carcass and seek to put some meat on a fresh bone.

As much as it now all about actions his words will matter.

He was again the subject of catcalls from the terraces during this Blackpool defeat. Plenty blame him for all this club’s current ills on the pitch and the squandering of a Premier League legacy he might justifiably argue he delivered.

Can he do it again? That is the question and one of many he must answer. Wagner sprang to his defence when the chants of ‘We want Webber out’ rippled around home areas in the previous Swansea home defeat. They were back again. Louder and more pointed as this abject season limped to a sorry climax.

A season to forget but not yet to consign to history, until there is a level of scrutiny and accountability that can engender some sliver of optimism around those shaping the new episode.     

4. Wagner watch

There are unquestionably parallels between Wagner and Daniel Farke that go beyond their nationality and a shared spell in charge of the Canaries. Wagner has the same infectious outlook, the same positivity and enthusiasm.

He was the perfect antidote to the way Smith’s sour tenure ended. That he was unable to maintain it, and instead preside over no less a dire period, post that Millwall away win, ensure there is now an ever-increasing focus on his methods and perceived limitations.

A transfer window and pre-season are huge for him and his football club to shift the same negative narrative that accompanied Norwich out of the Premier League 12 months ago.

At one point in the second half of this Blackpool defeat there was the audible sound of ‘Farke’s on a horse’ heard on the home terraces - a homage to a head coach and a set of players who at this level delivered success.

One such member of that cast list, Tom Trybull, was feted when he appeared to warm up in the first half from the Blackpool bench. Those who have performed will always earn a special place in the hearts and minds. Those who have yet to step up have it all to prove.

Wagner was on the front foot even before a forlorn top six tilt proved beyond this group, in terms of his messaging of a big summer ahead.

When you listen to this head coach talk so positively about how ‘excited’ he is for the future, and listen to his dissection of the problems, there will be plenty who want him to succeed. But where it matters is on the pitch, and Norwich are failing.

5. Samba shuffle

A first season in English football ended with a player-of-the-year award for Gabby Sara. Decent but not the silverware the Brazilian midfielder wanted when he arrived from Sao Paulo as the poster boy of the club’s first foray into a new territory.

The 23-year-old has made no secret of his desire to reach the Premier League, and test himself against the best.

Time will now tell whether Sara gets that opportunity this coming summer.

The links to West Ham, among others, grew in regularity from January onwards, as Sara began to showcase the attacking panache and goalscoring instincts which attracted Webber.

Easy as well to forget, as he received his Barry Butler memorial trophy from departing director Michael Foulger on the Carrow Road pitch, Sara endured a delayed start to his Canaries’ career as he completed rehab on the ankle issue that curtailed his time at his boyhood club.

Sara should not have been expected to shoulder the creative burden, as he found his way, but such was the fitful nature of Norwich’s efforts he looked the only one capable of rising about mediocrity in the final third.

Blackpool’s first half goal highlighted again he lacks the defensive-minded instincts to sense danger, in the manner he was too easily turned #by Josh Bowler for the pass finished by Morgan Rodgers.

But get him anywhere in and around the opposition box and he is a cut above in the Championship. Now we await whether he is part of the rebuild, or his departure goes towards funding it.