Farke reveals the key factors behind Gunners' changes

Christos Tzolis made his Premier League debut for Norwich City at Arsenal

Christos Tzolis made his Premier League debut for Norwich City at Arsenal - Credit: PA

Daniel Farke aims to keep his Norwich City squad on their toes in the quest for Premier League survival after overhauling his line up for a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal. 

Farke handed top flight debuts to teenage duo Andrew Omobamidele and Christos Tzolis, as well as benched Todd Cantwell, Ben Gibson and Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scrambled a second half winner for the Gunners, to inflict a fourth straight league defeat on the Canaries, but Farke saw plenty of reasons for optimism. 

“We have to be a bit more pragmatic and flexible, compared to the Championship when we can go 14 games unbeaten and pick up many wins," he said.

"If we are on our top level, and we play a Liverpool or a Manchester City on their top level then we probably lose. Let’s be honest.

"So for that we need pragmatic solutions, to be unpredictable to our opponents and then to deliver a spirited, committed performance and be good tactically. 

“All the players who came in were excellent. But especially many compliments to my younger lads.

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"The back four was Max Aarons, 21, Andrew, 19, Brandon Williams, 21, and I would like to see another Premier League team with such a young back four. That is our way.

"Compliments to Andrew and Christos for their debuts.” 

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A gruelling international period was a key factor in Farke’s bold overhaul, with the likes of Milot Rashica and Gilmour in need of a breather. 

“Milot had a difficult pre-season and a lot of load for Kosovo. He played 90 minutes against Spain on Wednesday, did a lot of work against the ball, and then he travels back to England and spends three and a half hours on the coach. He needed a break,” said Farke.

“Also Billy Gilmour has played more minutes than any other player in my team this season.

"Then he has an unbelievably busy spell for Scotland. He is always in the spotlight with the hype and the praise around him.

"But Billy is coming out of a season where he hardly started a game. We have to look a bit after this guy.  

“There were some tactical aspects. Against their unbelievably quick frontline we need pace in our last row. That was the reason to play with Andrew, one of our quickest players.

"We needed to control (Kieran) Tierney a little, because he is a big part of their offensive play.

"Kieran Dowell was sharp, focused and spot on in training and we felt he could do that job to control Tierney and carry an offensive threat.” 

US international Josh Sargent was ruled out with a hamstring issue after his transatlantic dash. 

“He plays in the early hours of Thursday, then arrives after an 11 hour flight from Honduras back to London, so he has jet lag and not much sleep,” said Farke. “I would have taken him in the squad but we scanned him on Friday and there was a low grade muscle tear in his hamstring.

"Hopefully for the next game he will be available, because he is already a key player for us and important for the group.

"We hope the injury settles in the next few days and then he can train.” 

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