Daniel Farke’s Borussia Dortmund mentor insists Norwich City have unearthed a gem
- Credit: Thorsten Tillmann
Daniel Farke can rely on a glowing character reference from a man he worked closely with at Borussia Dortmund. Stuart Hodge gets the lowdown.
Norwich City’s new head coach, Daniel Farke, is a workaholic who will leave no stone unturned in his quest to lead the Canaries back to the Premier League.
That is the expert opinion of Ingo Preuss, Borussia Dortmund II sporting director and a man who knows the 40-year-old well, after recognising Farke’s burgeoning coaching talent when he brought him in from SV Lippstadt to replace David Wagner back in 2015.
Preuss is confident that Farke’s two year spell with Dortmund’s under-23s will have equipped him with the necessary attributes to be a success in England.
“He used to stay from 9am until 10pm or 11pm at night, every day,” he said.
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“Whenever I wanted to speak face-to-face, all I had to do was drive to our training complex just before or just after dinner time and I would be assured of having time with him.
“I think he created some very good times for Borussia Dortmund under-23s when he was here.
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“It’s a big job in Germany. It might be in the fourth league, but he did very well because he came to our team and ensured we were performing higher up the table.
“Everyone told us we had a good structure and everyone could see the style that we wanted to play and that was down to Daniel.
“He’s a coaching talent.”
And Preuss feels that one of Farke’s key abilities is how he’s able to communicate coaching lessons to younger players.
It’s an aspect of management that can be key in terms of the development of players and that should tie in ideally with the philosophy that City’s sporting director Stuart Webber has spoken about since coming in.
“In our young team, you would quite often see two or three variations during the one match,” said Preuss. “When he is doing training, he offers all of his football knowledge to the players and they learn from him so that they can adapt in matches.
“He is good at teaching players and is very good at giving theoretical lessons and that is very important both for the team and for him.
“He also uses video analysis and the tactics board very well. He shows players things on the blackboard and then they go out to the field and practice what he has been teaching.
“I think this is a very good aspect of his management.”
City’s defensive woes were well-documented in a Championship campaign that saw them miss out on the top six, but Preuss is confident Norwich will be a much tougher proposition next season.
“Another notable thing is that Daniel can create a very good defensive order,” he said. “Last year, we only conceded 25 goals in 34 league games and that is another side of what he can bring, he can balance a team very well.
“Going forward there is a lot of ball possession but the team is also very structured and hard to score against, that is Daniel Farke’s style.”
Preuss knows both Farke and his predecessor Wagner very well and rates both as having unique abilities, but says there is one key variation in the way they approach things.
“The difference in coaching is not so pronounced and they are both friendly with staff, the media and everyone around the club,” he said.
“The main difference between them is in terms of the match plan. The way they approach games is different, the preparation, because Daniel will tend to speak more about the opposition team.
“He will talk about every player as well as their overall team tactics and I think that is the key area where Daniel and David are different.”
Preuss is also a fan of Eddie Riemer, Farke’s assistant, who followed him to England and played under the new Canaries’ boss in their time together at Lippstadt.
“He is a very good assistant coach and he thinks like Daniel does about the game,” said Preuss.
“If the team doesn’t start a match well then he’s very good at spotting what the problem is and of how to fix the situation. He’s a very nice guy and I really get on with him.
“He gives a balance and will be important for Daniel at Norwich.”