PODCAST: Horror show at Chelsea piles pressure on City chiefs

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London
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Head coach Daniel Farke is under pressure as Norwich City continue to struggle in the Premier League - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The pressure is on for the Norwich City hierarchy after a horrible 7-0 loss at Chelsea proved the final straw for some fans as Premier League struggles continued under Daniel Farke.

The future of the head coach, the pressure on sporting director Stuart Webber and the continuing focus on the Canaries' admirable self-funded model were all discussed at length in the latest edition of the Pink Un Podcast.

David Freezer, Paddy Davitt and Connor Southwell were all at Stamford Bridge for the mauling at the hands of the European champions and reviewed the game in full, as they do after every City match.

After a shift to a more defensive 3-5-2 formation had brought goalless draws against Burnley and Brighton to end a six-game losing streak, the heavy loss to the leaders left Farke's team bottom and without a win after nine games.

They sit bottom and already five points adrift of Leeds in the last position of safety, the team that come to Carrow Road on Sunday.

Lose that and the Canaries will have gone 20 games without a win in the Premier League, either side of bouncing back successfully as Championship title winners.

With constant negativity in the national media, five games without a goal and a defeat which equals the club's record defeat since joining the Football league in 1920, it is very much crunch time at Carrow Road.

- An extract from the discussion about Farke's future can be read below. You can listen to the episode in full above

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David Freezer: “All of this was made worse while we’re travelling home and we can hear the Watford goals going in - made even worse by the Chelsea fans having quite a rowdy party on the same tube carriage as us as we went away from Stamford Bridge. 

“You watch the Watford highlights (winning 5-2 at Everton) and Claudio Ranieri obviously had a very painful first game, losing 5-0 at home to Liverpool, but you could see that they were fighting for every second ball, they were pressing, fighting, in Everton’s faces and then score some very good goals. 

“I guess where this whole discussion has come round to is to Farke and what happens next?

“I’ve even seen some people jokingly suggest to bring Paul Lambert back! I don’t think anyone is seriously saying that but that’s where things have settled, that a lot of people are calling for Farke to go - there is no avoiding that - but the bigger question is who do you replace him with? 

“With everything we’ve just said - the club’s model, the self-funded restrictions - Stuart Webber has got to be able to go to the board and propose that he has a better option than Farke who can take this team on. 

“Who is that? Steve Bruce?! He’s come out of Newcastle looking like he very much needs a holiday, I don’t think he’s going to be jumping straight back into football, it seems unlikely. He might fit the right profile, he’s got the Norwich links. 

“Roy Hodgson, how old is he now, 72 or something like that (74). Someone even mentioned Martin O’Neill but I think he is kind of yesterday’s man, it didn’t go very well for him at Forest. 

“And talk of Eddie Howe, Frank Lampard, that’s not going to happen, they’re not going to come to Norwich with the financial restrictions and the situation they are in. 

“So it’s not just a straightforward decision. It’s not just ‘Farke isn’t doing well, we’ve got to move on from him’, is it?” 

Paddy Davitt: “Absolutely not. Straight off the bat, I just do not see a firefighting type of appointment, which is Hodgson et al, that just flies in the face of the deep foundations that they have tried to put in place. 

“With the philosophy and the culture of not being buffeted by what happens game to game and for that reason alone I just don’t see Webber going out and getting in somebody who isn’t essentially a Farke clone, who isn’t willing to buy into the model and willing to work as a head coach with a sporting director, the continental style. 

“They’re still developing young players, albeit in the Premier League and as we saw on Saturday, brutally illustrated, the most demanding environment you could have to hothouse young players particularly, any player really. 

“But that’s still one of the pillars of what Webber and Farke have erected, having a say in transfers but ultimately it is Webber and his recruitment team who are making the calls on that. 

“For those reasons alone, unless it’s a model that three or four years down the line has delivered two Championship titles and – not at the moment but for the most part – a very attractive brand of football, that is stabilised financially from a club that was heading for the abyss. 

“The infrastructure developments that we saw again at Colney recently and the continuing ongoing developments that are planned in the future. All of that, are we saying that’s the end of that and now we’re going to go back to the boom-and-bust cycle and it’s all about what happens on the pitch? 

“No, is the answer. That’s not going to happen as long as Webber’s at the helm. 

“So ultimately you are looking for another Farke-type appointment. If this is heading back to the Championship and you need someone to get you back out of the Championship, then there is no better man than Farke! 

“It’s that inherent contradiction between do you actually accept that it is a yo-yo football culture, oscillating between the top two divisions? 

“You’re not hearing the top-26 mantra anymore because they hoped that was behind them and that they could establish themselves as a top-20, or if all things went to plan, a top-17 club with regular membership of the Premier League. 

“Although we’re not hearing the top-26 mantra from those at the club, if that is still the overarching ambition then you are accepting you are going to be up and down, up and down. 

“If that’s the case then I don’t think a short-term, knee-jerk appointment that doesn’t fit the philosophy is how Norwich will go. 

“The self-sustainable model could work if they can stay up and maybe a Hodgson type could allow them to, with his vast knowledge and his track record of keeping teams in the Premier League, could he get them over that hump? 

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“Then you can say ‘thanks Roy’ for your short-term firefighting mission against the odds, now we’re going to go back to a Farke-style appointment. Possibly. 

“You’d still retain the values that they have tried to instil in the football club on and off the pitch but I still just don’t see that, I don’t see Daniel getting 'the bullet’ - and just to reiterate, that’s not going to happen any time this side of Leeds. 

“There are no moves inside the club, there’s no feeling that is how they want to go with the head coach. 

“Whether that changes the other side of Leeds, if we’re talking about a 10th game without a win and another abject performance, then who knows? 

Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber and Neil Adams watch from the stands during the Premier

Sporting director Stuart Webber at Carrow Road last month during Norwich City's damaging 3-1 loss to Watford - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“Ultimately it is in Farke’s hands. If he’s not already in it then he’s entering the Last Chance Saloon and probably has a clump of games, depending on how the Leeds game goes, to turn this around. 

“And if he doesn’t, whether Webber wants to do it or not, then the trigger will get pulled and ultimately with what I’ve said about how difficult it is to find another coach who fits the criteria, he will have to try and do that. 

“And what we do know about Webber, I don’t think he will be sitting on his hands and suddenly it will be Daniel’s gone and he turns over a blank sheet of paper. He will have succession planning in some shape or form and will have targets in place. 

“But I don’t think there’s any desire on his part to actively go down that route.” 

- You can listen to the full in-depth discussion about all the pressing NCFC issues in the latest episode of the Pink Un Podcast in the audio player above, where you can also subscribe via your chosen podcast provider 

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