Iwan Roberts: Whatever happens, don’t forget the good days at Norwich City

PUBLISHED: 12:58 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:58 16 July 2020

Norwich head coach Daniel Farke urging his team on during the midweek defeat at Chelsea Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich head coach Daniel Farke urging his team on during the midweek defeat at Chelsea Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

I’ve read and heard a lot of criticism since Norwich were relegated after that shocking performance against West Ham last Saturday – and I’m not about to stick the boot in on Daniel Farke or his players.

I said what I had to say after the Everton game and I stick by that.

The lads look a shell of the team that won promotion at a canter last season. Since football returned they haven’t looked fit enough and haven’t had the fight in them to try and avoid a record fifth relegation from the Premier League, the club’s third after only a season back in the top flight.

According to quite a few people’s comments, this team was the best Norwich City team ever last season and is now up there with the worst, and Farke has to go and someone else should be brought in to lead the club next season.

Granted, the recruitment has been disappointing this season. Managers and sporting directors can’t always get it right when they bring new players into a club, but let’s be fair, Stuart Webber’s recruitment has been far positive more than negative since he arrived at the club. Norwich City don’t have millions to spend and can’t compete financially with 99pc of clubs in the league, hence the loan signings that were brought in that haven’t really worked this season.

Lukas Rupp in action at Chelsea Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdLukas Rupp in action at Chelsea Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

I saw comments from fans raving when the likes of Josip Drmic, Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp were brought in and how they were going to rip up the Premier League on the basis of their statistics on Championship Manager.

However, now they’ve under-achieved since their arrival they are being considered some of the worst signings the club has ever made. Some people have very short memories – and can’t remember the first season for a certain Iwan Roberts at the club.

Drmic has 35 caps for Switzerland, scoring 10 goals. He’s played in a World Cup as well as in the European Championships for his country. Duda has 35 caps for Slovakia and has played in the European Championships for his country. These are not bad players – it just hasn’t worked out for them at Norwich. Sadly, that’s how football works.

Two seasons ago the club finished 14th in the Championship – Ipswich finished above us and look where they are now.

Last season was one of the best the club’s ever had, with some stunning football being played, and we can’t forget those good days, as there will be plenty of bad days, a few of which we’ve had this season.

Of course mistakes have been made and questions need to be asked. One thing that we know about Webber is that he isn’t a shirker of his responsibilities and won’t hide after this. He will take it on the chin and come back stronger and better and both he and Daniel will learn from this experience.

I can’t stress enough that this is now a time for everyone to stick together as there is plenty of noise coming from outside Norfolk, with other teams’ supporters calling Norwich one of the worst Premier League teams in history.

I read an article this week from a well-known journalist that Norwich don’t deserve their parachute payments because, unlike Aston Villa, the Canaries didn’t give staying up in the Premier League a proper go as they didn’t spend over £100m, as Villa did.

Villa spent a small fortune and will probably be relegated back to the Championship. Money never guarantees survival.

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