Daniel Farke and the story so far as City head coach
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke will pass a Norwich City landmark tomorrow, when he takes charge of his 100th league game.
The man who led City on their glorious Championship title triumph last season has already become the 19th manager - or head coach, in Farke's case - to surpass 100 games in charge in all competitions.
In an era where some clubs can get through two or three managers in a season, it's quite the achievement for an ambitious coach who just three years ago was operating in the fourth tier of football in Germany.
The top-flight battle with Aston Villa will be the 42-year-old's 112th game in all competitions since moving to England from Borussia Dortmund II in May 2017, following the arrival of sporting director Stuart Webber the previous month.
The German passed Alex Neil's total of 108 games earlier this season and has Lol Morgan, who was in charge at City for 127 games between 1966 and 1969, in his sights.
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The club's longest-serving manager is Ken Brown, who was in charge for just over seven years between October 1980 and November 1987, slightly longer than predecessor John Bond, who was just short of seven years between November 1973 and October 1980.
Yet earlier this year Farke became just the fourth man to lead the Canaries to a title success in the second tier, following in the footsteps of Nigel Worthington (2004), Brown (1986) and Ron Saunders (1972).
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It's been quite the journey as well, with his first campaign concluding in 14th place in the Championship, as his attempts to implement a passing style brought teething problems.
It all started at Craven Cottage back in August 2017, when a Russell Martin own goal in just the 25th minute saw defeat closing in. Farke turned to striker Nelson Oliveira - you'll probably remember what happened next.
The temperamental Portugal international was teed up by Wes Hoolahan with 10 minutes remaining and finished with aplomb to salvage a draw, before promptly pulling off his shirt to angrily hold up the name on the back in his new boss's face, for daring to start him as a substitute.
The first Carrow Road win followed a few days later, as League Two side Swindon were beaten 3-2 in the League Cup first round thanks to goals from Hoolahan, Cameron Jerome and a youngster by the name of James Maddison.
The home fans on that night could have had no idea of the happy memories they would be sharing with Farke in the future, of the arm-waving celebrations that would be exchanged with all sides of the stadium, eventually.
The 10th league game of the new era was a fine 1-0 win at Middlesbrough thanks to a superb long-range strike from Maddison, as a brilliant individual campaign moved through the gears, which would conclude in a club record sale to Leicester City, worth up to £25million.
The 25th league game under Farke was much more forgettable, a dreadful 0-0 draw at Burton as City's boss made a host of changes to his starting XI just two days after a 2-0 Boxing Day victory at Birmingham.
By the time his half century was reached, a 2-0 home win over Preston during the early stages of last season which was settled by a thumping late strike from Alex Tettey, Farke's reign had taken on a fresh complexion.
Budget cuts and player sales had seen the Canaries hierarchy take a 'creative' approach to their transfer business - and it proved rather successful.
As league game number 75 rolled round, City were flying high and competing with Leeds for top spot, being held to a 2-2 draw at home by automatic promotion rivals Sheffield United, with Billy Sharp equalising in the 79th minute for the Blades.
All of which brings us to league game 100, against Villa, with Premier League football back at Carrow Road.
Despite a drastic injury crisis causing the Canaries' head coach to work overtime, the campaign is still in its infancy and the prospect of more success under Farke is still very much a realistic possibility.
Farke's league record at City
P99 W44 D28 L27 F151 A133 Pts 160 (of 297)
Win percentage: 44.4pc
Goals scored per game average: 1.5
Goals conceded per game average: 1.3
Biggest win: 4-0 v Sheff Weds (a), 4-0 v Bolton (a), 4-0 v QPR (h) - all Championship
Biggest defeat: 5-1 v Sheff Weds (a) - Championship - Sun, May 6, 2018
Teemu Pukki - 35
James Maddison - 14
Mario Vrancic - 11
Marco Stiepermann - 10
Nelson Oliveira, Emi Buendia, Onel Hernandez - 8
Emi Buendia - 17
Teemu Pukki - 13
Onel Hernandez - 11
Mario Vrancic - 9
James Maddison, Marco Stiepermann - 8
Christoph Zimmermann - 80
Mario Vrancic - 73
Marco Stiepermann - 73
Jamal Lewis - 71
Timm Klose - 68