Canaries are no one-man team with Buendia
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited
Daniel Farke rates Emi Buendia as the best in the Championship. But Norwich City are not a one-man team.
Buendia returns from a two-match suspension for Stoke City’s visit to Carrow Road on Saturday with the Canaries in desperate need of his attacking magic.
The Argentine’s absence has been sorely felt in a bleak record that still stands at one win when he is unavailable, since his move to England in 2018.
"You cannot rely on one player. We have won and lost games with Emi,” said Farke. “Yes, he is one of the best in this league in terms of creativity. If not the best. Seven goals, seven assists and he is not a striker. Fantastic.
"He is a player who can make the difference and it is always important to have a player like that available.
“It is normal. If you take Lionel Messi out of the Barcelona team that would be quite crucial. If you take (Robert) Lewandowski out of the Bayern Munich team it is also a different side. I wouldn’t interpret the stats too much.
"It isn’t just Emi is unavailable and we are not scoring or creating. If you want to look for reasons why we didn’t win any of the last three games let’s be honest, one of those was not finishing a match with 11 players and Emi played his part in that topic.
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"We can’t just praise him. What I will say is when I look at this last period you need competition in those attacking positions.”
Teemu Pukki, Jordan Hugill and Adam Idah have all had spells on the sidelines, while Farke feels the likes of fit-again Onel Hernandez and Kieran Dowell are only now getting back up to speed.
“We sacrificed the FA Cup game at Barnsley a little bit to give them important minutes,” said Farke. “In Germany we have a quote that once a player is available he needs exactly the same time he was out to be back in his best rhythm.
"I am not saying those lads need three months but there is some truth to that. They need time, they need games.
"Against Millwall they all came on and it was our worst period in that final 15 minutes. But at Swansea I thought for Onel it was by far his best performance since he was back. The same with Adam.
"Now it is possible to start these players and have this competition to put some pressure on the other offensive players to step up.
“Take Teemu. He played against Boro with two days of training after being out three weeks. Then he has to work even more because we had a man sent off and then take this tiredness into Millwall. Again, no chance to substitute him. He wasn’t that sharp.
"It is not just about Emi. I think a week without a game to prepare as well helps out attacking play. But of course we have to prove it. I am confident we are in a much better frame of mind.”