Stuart Webber turned to David Wagner for the inside track on Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke
Stuart Webber’s close relationship with David Wagner helped pave the way for Norwich City to appoint new head coach Daniel Farke.
Webber’s inspired appointment of the Huddersfield chief saw Wagner lead his side to the Premier League on Monday, in a tense Championship play-off final penalty shoot-out win over Reading at Wembley.
Norwich’s sporting director revealed Wagner’s opinion was invaluable, after following the same path from Borussia Dortmund II to England.
“I had a good conversation with him. It would have been wrong not to. David and I are close, we get on very well in terms of a football relationship. He can ring me and ask about football matters and vice versa,” said Webber. “You need football friends. Some of his staff had worked with Daniel and some of his players. He spoke well. There was a sporting director in Germany who I got to know quite well, who tried to get Daniel in December, was also very, very positive. The more people you speak to and the fact just how hard Michael Zorc, who is Dortmund’s sporting director, tried to keep him told you this was a coach who was highly thought of.
“It is like when you are in for a player. If you are competing with five or six clubs you know you have a good player. If you are competing against yourself, you think, ‘Why does nobody else want this guy?’ The feeling with Daniel kept coming back of, we have a chance, and that is not bad for our club.
“What I would say is, of course, the Championship is very different but it is still 11 versus 11, a grass pitch and two goals. All we ask with the supporters that in a period of change they are appreciative of that.”
Part of that evolution involves adding a British element to Farke’s backroom team, with Webber set for further talks with Alan Irvine when the ex-interim boss returns from holiday.
“Daniel and I spoke about this a lot during the process,” said Webber. “That person is there to help him and, to be fair, it is little things. Maybe if, for example, you go away to Burton and knowing the pitch is small, which is we might take for granted but for these guys it might be new. Maybe we go to Leeds away and the dressing room is tiny so the normal preparation we do for a game we can’t do that there. It is standing on the sidelines with 10 minutes to go and a club is bringing on a player with a deep throw. A British coach would have that knowledge of the small details.
“Of course there are cultural differences as well between the two leagues and you might have to bring the British players into that mentality. If we go with that then it is designed to help Daniel and Edmund (Riemer) be the best they can be.”