Farke reveals why he left out Cantwell and Buendia in feisty explanation
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Daniel Farke left Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia out of Norwich City’s squad for today’s 1-0 loss at Bournemouth after being disappointed with their standards and mentality in training this week.
Reports ahead of the defeat on the south coast suggested Leeds had approached City about a deal starting at £15million for Cantwell but Farke said he was not aware of any offers before revealing why the talented duo were left out.
“Because I watched our training week and my attitude is that I just pick a team because I get the feeling that these players are really fully focused, fully switched on and full of desire to wear this yellow shirt,” he said.
“After this last week I just picked these 18 players because I got the feeling that they are really burning, fully focused, disciplined and switched on to wear this yellow shirt and this is the reason they were not involved.”
In a passionate answer about the situation, with the transfer deadline of October 16 approaching, Farke expanded further and said both were fit for selection.
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He continued: “Emi was involved in each and every training session this week, the same with Todd, but I’m standing for several values and these values will always be that I never pick a team because of the name or potential, or value or anyone who has done brilliantly in the past or something like this, I just pick a team that is really greedy to represent this yellow shirt.
“Because I tell you what, in world football there is just one player who I would allow to stay in cotton wool and on the sofa the whole week then to play on the weekend, who can do whatever he wants, is Lionel Messi, but no other player.
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“Especially with these two players, I think it’s also important they have to show me something and when I judge Emi Buendia’s last weeks, because he had an unbelievably undisciplined red card, three competitive games, he missed the start of the season and missed two weeks because of injury.
“He missed the last game also because of a late injury and trouble on the game day, and I expect that he shows in the next week that he is ready and fully switched on, really disciplined and concentrated and ready to go.
“The same with Todd Cantwell, I love this player, I have supported this player perhaps like no other in this club but the truth is also that his last goal in a league game is pretty long ago and his last assist was exactly 40 games ago, against Newcastle in August 2019.
“With all respect, with these statistics, let’s be honest I could have played Grant Hanley or Christoph Zimmermann up front and they wouldn’t assist less situations.
“If you are there with such statistics, you have to show that you are ready to improve and that you are ready to work for this club, that you are fully focused and switched on.
“If you want a coach who just picks a team by potential, or name, or that he has to somehow be grateful that this player plays for Norwich City, I will just pick players who are desperate and willing to work their socks off and know the responsibility to play for this club.
“I don’t think this club owes the player anything, it is the other way round. This club makes sure that they can live such a privileged life.”
Farke did however add that he sympathised with the situation of both players, after they have been linked with numerous clubs throughout 2020.
“I don’t blame them, I’m not angry with them, I know we are all human beings but I hope this bloody transfer window will close soon,” said the fired up City head coach.
“I think some players are capable to deal with it, Max Aarons is a role model in how to deal with it but some players are affected.
“Of course you would wish that they put this to the side and know their responsibility but obviously some players can’t do this, I do not blame them, they are human beings and this is perhaps natural.
“I am not letting my level drop and for this I don’t mind if there are rumours or speculation or whatever.”
Asked if any offers had come in, Farke responded: “We need their quality, I got the feeling that Emi Buendia should be the outstanding offensive player in this league and Todd Cantwell should be the outstanding midfield player in this league.
“I made it clear several times that I would not even sell them for £50million, not even £100million, because we need their quality in order to reach our claims.
“When there is a crazy offer then it is up to the key people in our club to make a decision, without any doubt I am not naive, we are a self-funded club, we have to deal with this.
“But all I know so far is no offer is in, no player and for that I expect as long as nothing happens that they are fully switched on and know their responsibilities to pay back - this is what I expect and not one percent less.”
However, he was reasonably happy with his team’s efforts at Bournemouth, with only a fine strike from Arnaut Danjuma in the first half separating two teams recently relegated from the Premier League.
“We play football games in order to win points and we didn’t win any today, the first feeling is definitely to be disappointed,” he said of the game. “But I have to say, put the result away and for me it was definitely our best performance during the season so far.
“We faced a side who are the top four favourite for promotion in this league, a club who spent several years on a row at Premier League level and in a pretty stylish and brilliant way.
“They had a home game and played a starting line-up that had over 1,000 Premier League appearances.
“The first half was more level, the second half we had a bit more control but they had this one moment of cutting quality, we gave the ball away a bit risky on the sideline after a vertical pass and Danjuma had a brilliant touch away from the goal and it was more or less not really possible to defend this touch and then the strike out of 25 yards with his left foot exactly in the corner, you have to accept the quality of this player.
“We spoke a lot about Danjuma in the preparation for this game because he is on fire at the moment.
“I think it was a bit unlucky to be back at half-time because it was a close game, we changed our base formation, we substituted many offensive players in and with all respect to Bournemouth I felt only one team was playing and the other to survive this game.”