Paddy Davitt: Farke stays but who must go at City?

Norwich City's attacking midfielder, Emi Buendia, cut a frustrated figure once again after coming off the bench at Wolves Pictures: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Norwich City's attacking midfielder, Emi Buendia, cut a frustrated figure once again after coming off the bench at Wolves Pictures: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

We know Daniel Farke wants to stay at Norwich City. Now the head coach must work out who stays with him.

The caveat City's Premier League relegation fight is still in progress will be removed at some point over these remaining 11 league games.

Then it will either be about the fightback or building on a remarkable revival.

Either way, expect Farke's man management skills to be tested far beyond a desire to channel Emi Buendia's petulance into a force propelling his team forward.

The reaction to Farke's very public dissection of Buendia's craft, ahead of Sunday's dire 3-0 defeat at Wolves, continues to ripple on social media.

Farke feels Buendia is not at the level required to spearhead the push for top-flight survival. That does not mean he does not rate the magical midfielder. Simply put, there are areas of his game at this stage of his development Farke is not willing to indulge.

Buendia clearly does not share the opinion. Why would he? This is a young, prodigiously talented, passionate South American desperate to play.

The exasperated flourishes, the dribbles up cul-de-sacs, even the solemn walk straight down the tunnel at full-time during recent cameos suggest Farke has his work cut out to bring Buendia back onside.

Stuart Webber then enters the equation when the story moves beyond the end of the current season and swings towards the summer transfer shenanigans.

The club's sporting director revealed last week he felt a layer of frustration at the endless speculation during the most recent trading window. But Webber also sounded like a man very keen to reiterate the Canaries will play a strong hand if there is tangible transfer interest.

Buendia will surely be one who attracts admiring glances. That much is inevitable given his richer seams of productivity in a Premier League bow punctuated by costly individual errors and de-selection.

But for Buendia, read perhaps Moritz Leitner or any of the other shadow men who come back into the conversation should Norwich be planning for another tilt at Championship promotion.

Farke dismissed any notion there was a major fallout with Leitner earlier this season, but his absence from the matchday set-up does nothing to dispel the sense the German playmaker is now on the outside looking in.

Even players like Marco Stiepermann or Onel Hernandez, Tom Trybull and Mario Vrancic have had limited regular big-time exposure after key roles in that title-winning triumph.

Farke has enough to occupy his time right now as he tries to focus on plotting a 'little miracle'.

But the head coach made it clear when pressed on his future prior to the Molineux trip this still feels like the perfect fit for him.

"No one has to be concerned about my situation. Life is not all about money and titles and success. It is about human beings and relationships," he said.

"It is even more pleasant to create something in an atmosphere where people want to leave their heart out on or off the pitch.

"I have this feeling I am totally at the right club at the moment and I feel honoured and blessed to be allowed to work for this amazing club.

"There could be some coaches who judge their own career by money, success or titles but to work at a place with so much unity and people who put their heart and soul into it is better than being the 24th coach in the history to win the 147th title."

Farke feels wanted and valued. Should the next phase of his Carrow Road reign require a return to the Football League his task is to renew similar ties with those he needs for the fightback.

Time might already be up for some, others will depart this summer because, much like James Maddison, they have outgrown City's rate of progress.

But there will also be another portion of Norwich's existing squad likely to need convincing by Farke they are part of his plans.

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