Canaries boss unlikely to be a front-runner for Frankfurt vacancy
PUBLISHED: 11:13 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:13 09 May 2018
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Daniel Farke is well respected in Germany but the Norwich City head coach is unlikely to be a front-runner for the vacancy at Eintracht Frankfurt.
That is the view of Bundesliga commentator Dan O’Hagan, who lives in Norfolk but regularly covers games in Germany, after Frankfurt’s sporting director Fredi Bobic mentioned the Canaries’ boss was in his thinking.
While television channel Sport1 also reported Farke had distanced himself from the speculation, Bobic’s mention of the 41-year-old doing ‘a very good job’ has sparked worries of yet more changes at Carrow Road.
“I don’t think Farke would be their first choice but he’s a head coach who would come into their thinking for his record in the German lower leagues and with Norwich,” O’Hagan said.
“If he was to be the first choice I’d be very surprised but stranger things have happened.”
Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl, former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic and outgoing Liverpool assistant Zeljko Buvac are all higher profile targets mentioned as successors to Nico Kovac, who is heading to Bayern Munich.
“German sporting directors are much more forthcoming with names than we are here, they will name their targets,” O’Hagan continued. “I wouldn’t think Farke will be their first choice but if they can’t get Hasenhuttl, I think Farke wouldn’t be a bad alternative route for them.”
City finished 14th in the Championship at the end of the former Borussia Dortmund II coach’s first season, after a huge amount of changes to the club’s playing and coaching staff.
“The Germans take the coaching courses, and where you finish on those courses, very seriously,” the commentator added. “So people like Julian Nagglesman at Hoffenheim and Dominic Tedesco at Schalke (in their early 30s) both finished first and second in their class. I’m not sure where Farke finished in his, but they look at how they performed in those exams and almost on principle level to judge a coach on that.
“Whereas over here we maybe look at a coach’s record as a player and as a manager, they look at more what the coach’s philosophy in the classroom is.
“So I think they see Farke as a deep thinker about the game and already his CV has some fairly impressive achievements on it.”
City’s head coach, who has one year left on his contract, led Dortmund’s under-23 squad to second place in Regionalliga West in the fourth tier of German football during his first full season in charge.
“In Germany they set a huge store by a coach’s record at second team level, Farke’s record at Dortmund II was terrific and that will carry a lot of weight,” O’Hagan explained. “The fact that he was head-hunted to go and work in the Championship at Norwich that will further his reputation for clubs in Germany.
“Frankfurt are a club who take a chance on managers, Nico Kovac had a spell with Croatia at international level but hadn’t really done a great deal at club level. He got the job at Franfurt three season again, first year they survived via the play-offs, last season mid-table and a cup final, this season they can make the top six and they’ve got the cup final again.
“So in Farke they may say a coach who doesn’t necessarily have a great deal of first-team coaching experience but does have the youth and an encouraging CV that does suggest he could be a good long-term choice.”
Should Eintracht opt to pursue Farke then it would pose a fresh set of problems for the Canaries, after a transitional season which has seen so much dictated by necessary cost-cutting as Premier League funds dry up.
“With Norwich he came in after the club had had a couple of dreadful years in the transfer windows, there was no great money there to invest himself and there was obviously a new sporting director (Stuart Webber) there at Norwich,” O’Hagan added.
“He could go to Frankfurt where Fredi Bobic has been sporting director for a long time (since 2014), it’s a strong squad which is going to finish at least seventh in the Bundesliga and will be able to work with better players.
“So I don’t think Norwich fans can really judge Farke fairly on this season. I know on paper it hasn’t been great but Norwich haven’t seen Farke play his way as yet, when the Germans may be prepared to take him on where he’s got players to play his way.”