Paddy Davitt verdict: You pays your money. But what a choice, City fans
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:02 26 August 2019
Strike words like dull, predictable or boring from the Norwich City lexicon. This tilt at the Premier League is going to be a riotous affair.
The applause that rippled around Carrow Road on the final whistle, after defeat to Chelsea had been confirmed, was spontaneous and heartfelt.
It marked an appreciation of the effort and endeavour of those in green and yellow to bridge the divide; not merely to a top flight rival but a club in the super strata of the richest league in the world.
Norwich were culpable in the manner of the goals conceded but Chelsea's rapier counters were devastating and surgically precise.
The finger of suspicion settled on Grant Hanley, for his inability to halt Abraham in the defining moments, but he was not alone in the home ranks.
You could seek to apportion individual blame but Norwich's strength under this regime is in the collective.
Teemu Pukki may earn a disproportionate amount of headlines yet he would not have become the new darling of the national media without the intelligent promptings of Emi Buendia or the industrious graft of Marco Stiepermann last season.
Or the adventure of Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons in wide areas stretching opponents to allow City's technically gifted midfielders to profit.
Individual errors can be eradicated. Farke, as he so delightfully phrased it when referring to Todd Cantwell's promotion to the starting roster, is not in the habit of delivering gifts.
Places must be earned and then retained with a consistency of performance which is devilishly difficult to maintain in such testing terrain.
These are early days but Farke will be processing and refining, sifting the evidence of his own eyes and those of his coaching staff and analysts, to settle on a group who can be residually effective in the Premier League.
Two years ago he changed course and underlined his pragmatic side after a sobering defeat at Millwall. Now it is about re-arranging the furniture rather than building the house.
Moritz Leitner and Tom Trybull ran the show in central midfield against Newcastle.
Facing Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho they were second best. That pressing, suffocating, claustrophobic urgency to Chelsea's work in the centre of the park stunted Leitner's ability to set the tone and control the tempo.
Stiepermann ran himself to a standstill but has so far struggled over the opening few league games to carry the same threat in the attacking third as he produced at a lower level.
Hanley was again too close for comfort to the epicentre of costly concessions with Timm Klose fit and available on the bench and Christoph Zimmermann not that far away.
City have travelled many a mile under Farke's guidance. The progress was dizzyingly fast in the second part of the Championship winning season.
History suggests it will prove more fitful and sporadic for any newly-promoted club in the big league however strong the bond between coach, players and fans.
The best sides in the Premier League will seek to impose their identity and their will on Norwich.
Perspective should be retained, especially when it is tempting to let frustration and disappointment seep in at the manner of Chelsea's goals.
Those who feel Farke is laying it on too thick to suggest his team are 'underdogs' every week need to appreciate the degree of difficulty in attempting to match a club like Chelsea, with a squad constructed around a core of young talent and a recruitment strategy unlike any other in the top flight.
Houdini would have marvelled at how Farke and Stuart Webber got the Canaries out of the Championship.
They are not magicians. There is no great con trick or illusion which is going to seal another season of Premier League football. It is an unflinching belief in the culture and the process.
For 'naivety' from the many detractors read a fearless, fresh ambition.
Since the start of last season no other team in the top four divisions has been involved in games that produced more goals than Norwich City.
Farke reiterated again, after enduring a first Carrow Road home league defeat of the year, he does not have the players to shut up shop.
His philosophy is risk and reward. He seeks to entertain and to thrill.
That is what Norwich City's fans have signed up for.
That is why the applause and a defiant, raucous burst of 'Yellows' accompanied his beaten team down the tunnel at the end.