Why the power of 10 does not stack up for Cantwell
Daniel Farke does not share the view Todd Cantwell should be exclusively deployed in the number 10 role for Norwich City.
Cantwell missed out at Watford in midweek with a hamstring injury, although Farke was hopeful he could be in contention for West Ham’s weekend visit to Carrow Road.
The 22-year-old notched his seventh goal of a breakthrough season in an eye-catching FA Cup display against Manchester United recently. Cantwell appeared to relish a more central role in the second half against the Reds, but Farke feels he is good enough to inflict damage anywhere in the final third.
“For a modern player you have to be flexible,” he said. “We are pleased with his development. He is a key player for us in the offence.
“Quite often a creative player who can score and assist you speak about the number 10 role is the best one.
“But we have had world class players in the past who you would have said should be brilliant in the number 10. Look at (Cristiano) Ronaldo, coming from the wing, or (Lionel) Messi.
“We had the same topic with Frank Ribery in Germany. When he did play in the 10 role he did not deliver his best performances.
“For Todd, it is not that important how you label his position. The most important thing is he is in a team where he can bring his strengths and influence the team a lot.”
Cantwell has mainly been deployed in a wider role on the Norwich left for the majority of the season.
“It depends on the set up and the team we play,” said Farke. “Sometimes it can be easier to come from the wing and cut inside, as opposed to the 10 where you have a holding midfielder picking you up. There is an element of surprise.
“He can play 10, eight, from the wing, although he is not a natural winger who will dribble to the line and put in a cross. He could even play a false nine or a six. There are many possibilities.
“We are pleased with his progress. He is showing us his commitment and desire.”