Paddy Davitt: Canaries already have the answer to Burnley brawn
PUBLISHED: 09:40 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:26 25 September 2019
A touch ironic that in the same week a video compilation of how Norwich City beat Manchester City’s press went viral, Burnley delivered the answer.
Of sorts. Daniel Farke certainly felt it was more a case of what his side failed to do in a 2-0 Turf Moor defeat rather than the suffocating, smothering tactics of the Clarets.
Certainly Ibrahim Amadou's intended short pass, intercepted by Jack Cork, that led to the hosts' second goal was entirely avoidable. But it was a by-product of the scrambled thinking induced from a ferocious start to the game.
Turf Moor felt a long way from that stunning Carrow Road exhibition of pass and move witnessed the previous weekend against the champions of England.
For those who count these things that slick compilation showcasing the majesty of Norwich's passing motions around some of the finest footballers on the planet has now been watched 6.2m times, or liked 102,000 times on Twitter if that is your thing.
It encapsulates all that is pure and pleasing about the philosophy Daniel Farke has implemented; a blurring motion of yellow shirts, of football at its most poetic, beautiful best.
That Norwich should encounter harsher terrain and less fertile conditions up at Burnley surprised no-one. Least of all Farke, who essentially mapped out how the Clarets would look to threaten his side on the eve of battle.
Now not even Sean Dyche would contend he has better quality at his disposal than Pep Guardiola. So how was it possible Norwich's successful template against Manchester City foundered in such painful fashion at Burnley?
Well, in simple terms the hosts foraged and hunted with an intensity few in the Premier League chose to muster.
Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes are largely an anomaly in the top tier; two bustling strikers paired in tandem at the sharp end rather than the guile of a lone ranger like Teemu Pukki or Sergio Aguero reliant on mobile midfielders to offer support.
Wood and Barnes sounds like a bespoke gentlemen's outfitters but there was nothing measured or circumspect about such in-your-face, high energy output.
City's full backs and centre backs were pinned inside their own defensive third in a frenetic first 15 minutes. Set piece vulnerability was another facet of Norwich's Premier League defeat, but it was a by-product of the pressure exerted.
The genius of Dyche's work at Burnley, on the evidence of Saturday, is he still has a set of players who retain that underdog spirit, perhaps framed through a desire to prove those wrong who sneer at their industrious approach.
Certainly that appeared to be a huge motivation for the home fans with their mocking 'anti-football' chants.
To retain that cult of the outsider four seasons into an unbroken Premier League stint is a huge credit to the motivational and man management nous of Dyche.
Burnley possess plenty of quality, but their mindset was the most impressive aspect in how they savaged Norwich.
Whether there was also a sense of putting the upstarts firmly in their place only Dyche's inner circle can answer after all that lavish praise direct towards Farke's squad.
Erik Pieters, Burnley's left back, suggested in his post-match media dealings Norwich's approach had certainly played into their hands. You could argue only in an uncomfortable first quarter at Anfield have Farke's boys been pinned back with such concerted force.
It had the desired effect with the distress signals clearly visible from the visitors.
Teams may have tried the same high pressing tactics in the Championship but invariably they did not have the quality or the athleticism to do it as well as Burnley, allied to a self-confidence within Norwich's own ranks to impose their style and methods on the opponent.
That is why Farke's soundbites after the weekend's game should act as a challenge.
Whether it is Burnley or Manchester City he wants his players to stick to the script and execute their plan. They showed they are good enough the previous weekend against the very best.
City's head coach could do worse than make his players look back at that social media montage to remind themselves how good they are.