'I was ignorant to it as well,' Stuart Webber on new Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke's background
Daniel Farke is the real deal for Stuart Webber, after the German's appointment at Norwich City was labelled 'sad' by former England midfielder Ray Wilkins.
The Talksport pundit criticised the Canaries for neglecting British talent, such as Ryan Giggs and Tim Sherwood, in favour of the club’s first overseas’ head coach.
Wilkins labelled Farke ‘Borussia Dortmund’s reserve manager’ after swapping the German fourth tier for the Championship, but City’s sporting director insists the 40-year-old has a sound pedigree.
“If people said our fourth division was rubbish I am sure we would take offence,” said Webber, speaking prior to Wilkins’ radio outburst. “It is a myth and an uneducated way to slam it and hit it down. I’ll be honest, I was ignorant to it as well and thought that maybe two years ago when we went for David (Wagner) at Huddersfield. But then you go and watch games at that level in Germany and you realise that is not the case. I draw a parallel with League Two over here. You can go to Portsmouth and there is 15,000, 18,000 there, and it is the same with Dortmund. Their second team stadium backs onto the main stadium and it can fit 20,000. I have been there at games and there are 12,000 Dortmund fans watching. Certainly if they drop a senior player back into it that might be the case, because they are so passionate about their football and they will turn up in their droves.
“It is a senior league, competitive. He is coming from a real competitive league and more so because they were essentially an Under-23 squad in that league. The same as if Manchester United or Chelsea’s U23s were in League Two. Look at the Football League Trophy last season, none of the academy sides got through. That shows how hard it is. Now imagine that over a full league season.”
Wilkins claimed City’s swoop for Farke was disrespectful to domestic coaches.
“He was Dortmund’s reserve manager, which I find a little bit strange,” he said, speaking last week on the Alan Brazil breakfast show. “It tells us we are not getting a lot of respect from the clubs, to be perfectly honest. When you think of Ryan Giggs sitting out there, Tim Sherwood. Garry Monk, now without a job. This is very sad that we are bringing in a reserve coach. We are bringing in coaches we don’t know about and it is a tough old league.”