‘I love Emi Buendia’ - Farke defends his tough stance
PUBLISHED: 22:31 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 22:31 27 February 2020
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Daniel Farke insists he was not out of order in highlighting Emi Buendia’s flaws as well as his fantastic ability.
The Norwich City head coach delivered a brutal analysis why Buendia had dropped out of his starting line up prior to the Premier League defeat at Wolves.
Buendia's individual statistics stand comparison with some of the best in Europe this season, but Farke wants more.
"The moment as a head coach when I'm not allowed to speak in an honest way about a player and how he has to improve is the point I retire from this job," he said, speaking at Colney ahead of Leicester City's Carrow Road visit. "I'm here to develop a team and develop the player.
"It is not a case Emi is out of favour. He is a fantastic attacking option. I love Emi Buendia.
"The most important thing is you are successful as a team, not have fantastic individual statistics. I mentioned before he has the worst points per game return of our attacking players. That doesn't mean he is our worst attacking player. There are topics in football that are more important than others. This is not Fifa football manager.
"I'll give you a statistic about the best Championship defenders, in terms of tackles, last season. Many agents sent me profiles in the summer with the best defenders in the Championship on their average of tackles, or defending situations, or clearances. You know where these players played? For Bolton and the teams who were relegated.
"Statistics are important but let's make sure we are not too addicted to this.
"You have to be careful and not take one statistic and say this is proof he is the best player in the world. I love Emi's capability to provide assists and key passes and hopefully one day he will be on the level of (Lionel) Messi but like James Maddison or any of the other younger players here now he has to work and he has to improve.
"I am sure he will do. His reaction earlier in the season was what I wanted.
"He is humble and emotional and he wants to play but he knows exactly what he has to do.
"How much have I played him? How much have I backed him? And the periods when he got a red card or make some costly mistakes I protected him. I will always protect my players. They are not only in my head but in my heart. The moment I stopped loving my players is when I'm no good at my job. But I also have to be strict.
"Sometimes it has to be hard love. Our young players get lots of praise, they deserve it and we want to play them.
"But it's also important that we are honest and speak about the topics we want to develop them. With Emi we spoke about his lack of goals or sometimes his lack of technical discipline. The same for Todd, Max or Ben.
"I would say 95% of what I said was to praise Emi and to protect him a little bit.
"All I did was explain how his season developed, how he had struggled a bit and then he was in fantastic shape in December and January but then he got this injury and was out for two and a half weeks and he is struggling since to come back to 100pc. Which is the reason why he is not playing."