David Hannant: Farke is spot on with approach to loan rangers
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Sparked by eye-catching performances during the international break and crassly written reports in the national press, there's been a fair bit of talk about Billy Gilmour in the past week or so.
Now normally I'm not necessarily one to want to chime in on the topic everyone appears to be talking about - I like to try and do things a little differently (or so I tell myself).
However, when it comes to City's use of the loan system, I have some choice thoughts and particularly when it comes to the two domestic loans we've seen this season - the aforementioned Scot and Manchester United's Brandon Williams.
I'll be the first to admit I was desperate for one of the two loan slots to be filled by the superlative Olly Skipp, who last season was a colossus and is now unsurprisingly a Tottenham regular.
In fact, I would go so far as saying that Skippy is the best loan signing in Norwich City history, discounting a certain forward who came in, made a huge impact, wore the number six and made his move permanent. But enough about David Nielsen.
Skipp was the perfect use of the loan system, he was a huge part of earning promotion and has gone back to Spurs feeling like a winner and they're reaping the benefits. We got what we needed, they got what they needed too.
And that is what the system is designed for, what it is there for and how it works.
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It is clearly for this reason that Chelsea and United saw Colney as the ideal place for these two young guns to go and cut their teeth in the Premier League.
But it is not, nor should it ever be a one way street - and the criticism Daniel Farke has come in for over how their respective starts to the campaign have gone just seems bizarre to me.
No player, be they exciting loanee, youngster or record deal should arrive with a divine right to play - and the only man who should have autonomy over whether they do is Daniel Farke.
Loan players, if the move is right, should not in any way feel like loan players - they should feel like permanent signings on short term contracts.
Matthias Normann looks every bit a Norwich City player. Ditto Ozan Kabak. Of course they both have clauses, but I don't think I've ever heard Normann referred to as "Rostov-loanee" in the same way Gilmour and Williams are seen as loanees.
And of course I keep coming back to me, but to me Olly Skipp never really felt like a loanee, he felt like he was our player for the season.
Now, do I doubt that Billy Gilmour and Brandon Williams have natural quality and something to give? Not for a second.
Do I doubt that they both have big futures in the game? Again, not for a second.
However, from what I've seen of them both so far I think some tough love could be just the ticket - and I'm sure they'll both be better for it.
Without wanting to sound too harsh, from both of them I feel like their parent clubs have sent them here with the message that this is where they have come to make their mistakes.
The cynic in me pictures these types of conversations: "You're young players, you'll make mistakes and learn from them - go to Norwich, make them there where it doesn't matter and come back better."
That's the way the system works for bigger clubs, but loans need to be mutually beneficial.
One national paper crudely paraphrased Daniel Farke's carefully worded comments to say something along the lines of "we're not here to develop players for other teams" - totally out of context, but what Farke actually said rang true and is spot on.
If a loan works, will we have developed the player? Yes, of course. But only if it works will the player develop and only if they prove they are in the set-up on merit and not because of who their parent club is.
Did Olly Skipp play nigh on every minute last season because he was a Spurs player, or because he was the first and only defensive midfielder in the past decade with enough about him to dislodge Alex Tettey from the team. The latter.
Don't get me wrong, I would like to see Gilmour given a crack in a more advanced role - but only if he proves that he deserves to be there.
A few decent performances for Scotland against weaker nations than the opposition he would inevitably face in the Premier League isn't enough for me.
And likewise, I certainly wouldn't drop Dimitris Giannoulis - a player we spent a seven-figure sum on - on the back of two clean sheets just because Brandon Williams lists Manchester United as his employer.
Daniel Farke's job is to pick the team he thinks is best equipped for the game at hand - not to appease Chelsea.
Likewise, Billy Gilmour's job is to knuckle down and prove he deserves to be in the team and I'm sure when the time is right, he will make the step up.
And if he does earn his way into the team, it'll be on merit and he will be a better player from having had to fight his way in - there are no favours at this level.
Harry Kane has gone on record of saying his Carrow Road struggles motivated him - if Gilmour can take the same from it, it will prove the exact thing every loan needs to be - mutually beneficial.
All the best, Dan Barden
It isn't often that something comes along to remind you that there are some things in life bigger than football - although I'll say it quietly.
When something like that does arrive, it can hit you like a ton of bricks.
Clearly, City fans far and wide were rocked by the news of Daniel Barden's testicular cancer diagnosis this week, at the age of just 20.
While there is no solace in news like this, at the very least we can be thankful it seems to have been caught early.
All we can do as supporters is just this - support - and the outpouring of love for the stopper since the news broke sums that up perfectly.
I can't begin to imagine what is going through that young man's head, but knowing he's in all of our thoughts I'm sure will help.
There's no way of knowing what the future holds but I would love to think it involves football in the future. Get well soon, Dan!
It can be done
Eight games into the season and in the eyes of many Norwich are as good as relegated.
Now I'm under no illusions, things don't look all that rosy right now, although we do appear to be harder to beat.
But are we faced with an impossible task? Of course not.
So to give myself and hopefully you, dear readers, some optimism, I've slightly regrettably consulted the history books.
And yes, I'll admit, for the team bottom after eight games, it doesn't look great. In fact in the last 10 seasons, that team has only beaten the drop three times.
However, that's enough for me - it proves it absolutely can be done.
The last team to do it was Crystal Palace, bottom after eight with three points on the board and further adrift of safety than we currently are. They finished 11th that season.
The other two were both Sunderland in 2013 and 2015 respectively. I forget which teams went down at their expense both of those campaigns.