Timing has to be right to blood City youngsters, says former City ace
Daniel Farke deserves credit for picking the right time to blood Norwich City's young talent in the Championship.
That’s the verdict of former Canaries defender Marc Edworthy after Max Aarons became the latest academy graduate to make it into the Norwich first team.
Aarons was thrust into the heat of an East Anglian derby for his full debut and responded with an assured display in the 1-1 draw at Portman Road earlier this month.
Farke performed a similar trick last season when unexpectedly giving Jamal Lewis his debut against Birmingham and the 20-year-old has gone on to make the left-back spot his own.
City fans will be hoping Aarons can reach the same levels of Lewis and Edworthy, a key part of City’s miserly back four from the side that won promotion in 2004, believes it is a skill to pick the right time for a youngster to be handed his chance.
“Max is playing in my old position and there comes a time when if you don’t try them now then when are you going to do it?” he said.
“Managers don’t always get that right but when they do it just gives the young lad confidence and they can really kick on. It’s important to do it at the right time and hopefully Max can now kick on.”
Edworthy, who is now an ambassador for Derby County, admits being a modern day full-back is a lot different to when he patrolled the right side of Nigel Worthington’s back four.
“I watch a lot of football and my first thought was always to defend – stop the cross,” he said. “That’s changed as the years have gone on and a lot of full-backs are basically wingers.
“You’ve got some very fit guys operating at full-back now because they are expected to fully patrol their side of the pitch.
“But you can go a long way as a full-back still if you are a good defender first and foremost.”
Edworthy still keeps a close eye on developments at Norwich, who he left to join the Rams after relegation in 2005 after failing to agree a new contract at Carrow Road.
He doesn’t believe too much can be read into the league table but says anyone with realistic promotion aspirations must be in touch of the leaders at the turn of the year.
“It’s such a tough league and there are about 10 teams that can realistically aim for promotion – I think Norwich are one of those,” he said. “I hope Norwich are up there. With the Championship you’re only two or three wins in a row away from being right back up there.
“You have to keep plugging away and picking up points at this stage. You can then re-assess it around Christmas/New Year and go from there.”