Farke’s interesting take on why Blades have adapted quicker

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke is looking forward to his latest touchline tussle with Sheffield United's Chris Wilder 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke is looking forward to his latest touchline tussle with Sheffield United's Chris Wilder Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke is a big fan of Chris Wilder, even if the feeling is not always mutual.

Farke's Sheffield United rival famously launched into a post-match rant about the Canaries' time-wasting tactics and the delayed arrival of City's coach following Norwich's 1-0 win in a 2017 'battle of Bramall Lane'.

The Blades' boss admitted on Friday he had been a 'grumpy old git' when reminded of that incident, but also praised Farke's side as the standout team in the Championship last season.

Yet Wilder's squad have made a stronger start to life in the Premier League ahead of Sunday's latest Carrow Road episode.

"I am full of respect for Chris' work," said Farke. "I am not surprised. Definitely not. All compliments to Chris. He has done a fantastic job at that club over a number of years. I am not surprised because when you have good stability with the coaches and the players it is easier to adapt when you go to a new level.

"They have looked so solid in the first 15 games or so and that has helped them get a lot of points.

"They have proved this not only in the current season but when they came up from League One to the Championship.

"They have done a fantastic job in the transfer market, made smart decisions, and brought in some very good players in attacking areas. You can see why they are praised so much."

Farke draws an interesting parallel between the Blades' defensive resilience and City's reputation for attacking football in the struggle to bridge that gap from the Football League.

"Look at most newly promoted teams in the past 20 years or so, in various leagues around Europe, and one of the factors why they have some success is often a good defensive structure and stability.

"Then it is easier to cope with the higher level," he said. "When you are outstanding at scoring goals maybe it is harder to make that step in the same way, because you come up against better defenders and it is harder to control the game and possession compared to the year before. Pretty often teams with a good defensive stability find it easier.

"In Germany, teams like Cologne and Paderborn were promoted and praised for scoring a lot of goals but they have struggled while Union Berlin, who had more defensive stability, is in a more solid mid-table position.

"That is Sheffield's big strength."

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