Paddy Davitt verdict: A word to the wise from Mr Farke

PUBLISHED: 18:47 22 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:02 23 September 2019

Moritz Leitner's thumping first half hit against the post was as close as Norwich City came in a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Burnley
 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Moritz Leitner's thumping first half hit against the post was as close as Norwich City came in a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Burnley Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

If this was portrayed as a meeting between 'Beauty and the Beast' then the final outcome was Hod Carriers 2, Hipsters 0. But that would be grossly unfair to the construction workers of the world and Sean Dyche's outfit.

Chris Wood's brace sunk Norwich City 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdChris Wood's brace sunk Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City players would do well to heed Daniel Farke's advice after Burnley blitzed his boys at Turf Moor.

The game was indeed up after Chris Wood plundered an early brace in the midst of a ferocious onslaught from the Clarets.

Norwich have a culture and a clear identity of how they want to play under Farke. But so do Burnley.

That the two paths wildly diverge in pursuit of Premier League progression is irrelevant. As Dyche dismissively snorted when it was put to him the visitors had nearly 60pc possession, his side put the ball between the white things twice and prevented Norwich from doing the same at the other end.

Burnley's fans mockingly chanted 'anti-football' throughout.

There is clearly a sense in that part of the world their earthy endeavour is under-appreciated; perhaps sneered at amongst neutrals, which appears to have bred a siege mentality Dyche is astute enough to harness.

Norwich rode into town feted by all and sundry for the manner of their shock win the previous weekend over the champions.

Burnley lay in wait to ambush the Canaries.

In the footballing equivalent of 'paper, rock, scissors', City's cultured promptings may trump a team willing to concede territory and possession.

Witness how smooth an exhibition Norwich served up against Newcastle at Carrow Road earlier this season.

But there was only one winner at Turf Moor, as Burnley harassed and chased with a collective urgency that threatened to see the likes of Wood and strike partner Ashley Barnes end up in the front row of the packed away end; such was the desire to press high in those first 15 minutes.

Alex Tettey's sad injury exit, allied to Tim Krul's back issue that flared in the warm up, increased the degree of difficulty but the key to this defeat lay in Farke's post-match suggestion there was a chronic lack of self-belief, even trust, in Norwich's methods to blunt such intensity.

Norwich City left back Jamal Lewis could have a tricky customer to deal with in Crystal Palace dangerman Wilfried Zaha 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdNorwich City left back Jamal Lewis could have a tricky customer to deal with in Crystal Palace dangerman Wilfried Zaha Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Certainly City's early play lacked any sense of conviction.

Farke told the media on Friday afternoon they would have to nullify Burnley's prowess from set pieces and limit the number of balls into Krul's penalty area.

You can be sure the same messages were relayed to his players at Colney. Yet Wood was allowed to veer around Krul before rising unmarked to despatch Ashley Westwood's vicious inswinging corner.

It was a cheap and entirely avoidable concession. Television replays did not cast Marco Stiepermann's work in a favourable light.

Wood's second owed much to Ibrahim Amadou's woeful pass intercepted by Jack Cork, and the bustling frontman's trigger move to lose Ben Godfrey. A goal so uncannily similar to West Ham's opener in the last away day it should trouble City's head coach.

Farke was right to highlight thereafter how the visitors had established a measure of parity in most of the key indicators, but the damage was done. For the German his side's early sloppiness offered Burnley added encouragement to probe for vulnerability.

The travelling Norwich fans packed the away end at Burnley 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdThe travelling Norwich fans packed the away end at Burnley Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

You can focus on individual errors, speak about learning curves, fret about the goals conceded or seek solace in the mitigation of a ridiculously long injury list. But for Farke the fault lay in failing to trust the philosophy and a lack of faith in the process.

That is easier to say than do when the balls are raining into the Norwich penalty area, the home crowd is in a frenzied state, and the warm afterglow of that landmark win over the Citizens collides with a jarring realisation the Premier League is not all plaudits and prestige.

It is also a cut throat business, where the financial rewards for sustained top flight longevity were evident in the depth of resource on the Burnley bench.

Once Tettey departed the only Norwich outfield player who had kicked a ball in the Premier League prior to last month was Sam Byram.

That graphically illustrated how frighteningly steep the learning curve is and why, perhaps, there was self-doubt in that uncomfortable, game-defining early spell.

The quality, the speed of thought and movement, even the physicality Norwich now face bears no comparison to the Championship.

City have shown more than enough evidence they can compete but this is a bumpy evolutionary path.

Show respect, not fear, and they will be fine.

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