Paddy Davitt: Actions speak louder than words over Farke's contract
PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:41 27 February 2019
Credit Daniel Farke. It would be easy to get carried away if you were Norwich City's head coach leading a Championship assault on the Premier League.
Seemingly every public utterance, every latest impressive result from a squad he has moulded triggers a fresh wave of adulation.
Farke may reluctantly troop centre stage at the final whistle, to conduct celebrations with home supporters, but even for a man not interested in the limelight that must be an intoxicating feeling.
It was palpable again prior to the Bristol City win when he addressed upwards of 400 gathered at the latest Norwich City Fans’ Social club event.
Farke’s opening gambit had them literally rolling in the aisles, when he said he would be having words with the member of staff who told him it was going to be a relaxed evening with only a smattering of supporters in attendance.
Farke is box office right now. A red hot commodity for the Canaries’ faithful who perhaps still have to keep glancing at the Championship standings to believe this is actually real rather than fantasy football.
It is not simply the alchemist’s touch to turn a mid-table outfit into serious Premier League promotion hopefuls.
It is in the way he carries himself. It is in his memorable soundbites. Even the odd wink in the midst of a derby maelstrom.
One manager kept his emotions firmly in check when City beat Ipswich 3-0 at Carrow Road earlier this month. One was swept up in the drama.
Do not downplay the significance and the distinction in setting the mood music around a club – for those under your command as much as those who follow.
English, as one wag pointed out at that recent fans’ forum, may not be Farke’s mother tongue but he is fluent in the delivery of a cutting riposte or an under-stated barb.
Remember how he told Nelson Oliveira, after his bare-chested protest at Fulham following the German’s first competitive match in charge, that the only name which mattered was on the front of the shirt, not the back.
Or the latest gold-plated snippet when pressed for his reaction to that £25,000 FA fine for City’s part in a series of flashpoints during the East Anglian derby win. Too steep for Farke, more than what they shelled out for Christoph Zimmermann and Temmu Pukki combined.
His novel solution to sugar coat the five-figure penalty was to call it a £2,000 fine and £23,000 for signing the Championship’s top scorer and a former free agent.
Farke is a dream for the media. A bigger contrast from the cliché-ridden, taciturn contemporaries who populate his profession you could not wish to encounter. Even when his debut campaign started to fray around the edges there remained a measured poise and calmness to the public persona.
Norwich City’s image feels in safe hands.
Which is why perhaps when every passing week brings no new contract announcement there might be a rising sense of unease on the terraces.
At no point under questioning has Farke given the impression where he coaches next season is a huge concern; certainly not a topic to prioritise above the sizeable task of securing promotion.
Farke has consistently indicated when the time is right and there is a suitable pause in the pursuit of glory he is confident the matter will be resolved.
That was the message again prior to the Robins’ victory, as 400 or so anxious fans waited for the white smoke to billow just outside the Top of the Terrace where Farke was the headline act.
The City chief speaks often about the importance of honesty in his dealings with players, particularly when he has to disappoint a growing number every weekend who fail to make the cut.
When it comes to his own future, applying the same criteria should provide reassurance for worried Norwich supporters