What does Farke fear most from Freddie Ljungberg’s Arsenal?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke plans to keep Arsenal guessing, rather than the other way around, following Unai Emery’s departure on the eve of Norwich City’s Premier League tussle.
The City head coach knows Freddie Ljungberg taking charge of the Gunners as caretaker boss, assisted by another high profile former player in Per Mertesacker, changes the dynamic.
But the Canaries will approach Sunday's Carrow Road duel buoyed by the manner they kept Everton off balance with some astute changes of both personnel and formation, in a Goodison Park win that raised spirits.
"We have to be flexible on this level, because in terms of individual quality and experience we are the underdog in each and every game," said Farke. "Sometimes it's important to surprise the opponent and also show that you are capable to react, either within a game or from game to game. We showed in that important final 15 minutes we could change our base formation to get more control.
"To know we can change within a game is a good feeling.
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"A win is always good for the mood, always good for the self confidence and also for the position in the table. We had a pretty good mood at training this week. There's no replacement for wins, especially when you play with such a young side.
"We have tried all along to say after a bad result you cannot get too down so we won't go too high now. It's not like we are fighting for Europe. We are still the underdog, especially against Arsenal, but it showed again in each and every game we are capable of getting a result.
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"Now at home to Arsenal we are able to create a bit of momentum. We can take some confidence into this game."
Farke is not fretting about the unintended consequences for his Norwich of Emery's exit, but knows the value of a front foot start after recent events in north London.
"You have to be switched on from the first second because especially in the first game you can expect this fresh energy, without any doubt, and then to have an Arsenal legend in Freddie in the caretaker role is a boost for their fans and the whole club," said Farke.
"His career as a player is not that long ago and he knows what it feels like to be on the pitch. They have very experienced players who you wouldn't expect to crack under pressure.
"For me, a great club with a great football philosophy - in terms of what they've done in the last decade or two - and also in terms of the players. They have potential to be top class on this level. We have to start focused and concentrated."
Alex Tettey's absence for family reasons could offer a route into defensive midfield for Ibrahim Amadou.
Christoph Zimmermann's long-awaited return on Merseyside is another part of the same equation that should add up to the summer Sevilla loan signing getting a shot in his preferred position.
"In terms of physicality Ibrahim is probably the closest to Alex but we have other options to bring perhaps a more technical player, to signal we might look to be a bit more offensive rather than defensive," said Farke.
"It is crucial to get Christoph back. He was our key defensive player last; not just his skills but his experience helps a young backline.
"To have a leader who can set the tone in tactical terms only improves the other players.
"We don't expect miracles and a world class performance from day to day right now because he was out for such a long time."