Ian Clarke: It feels like a new start for Norwich City - so let’s get going
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
There’s a sense that this Saturday feels like the season is starting again for Norwich City.
Yes, I know the Canaries have already played four Championship games and are already out of the league cup.
It’s certainly been a mixed start for Daniel Farke’s men.
After the hugely encouraging Adam Idah-inspired win at Huddersfield on the opening day, there were a good number of positives in the blazing sun as City twice fought back to earn a decent point against Preston.
Since then we’ve endured two pretty uninspiring 1-0 losses to Bournemouth and Derby.
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Four points from those four games isn’t a crisis - but it’s not great either.
We can’t turn the clock back and we’re at where we’re at.
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So why do I think the trip to the New York Stadium is like a restart for Norwich?
Don’t worry, even I’m not going to stoop to the depths of using song lyrics around the name of Rotherham’s ground (although believe me I was tempted to start spreading the news....)
By the time the teams run out in South Yorkshire, the transfer window will have well and truly shut and been bolted.
Those still in the yellow and green fold will be here to stay (well, at least until January).
In the mad world of the last few hours of trading, anything can happen.
As I type, Max Aarons, Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell are still with us,
If that stays the case, then we’ve all got to be massively happy.
To lose Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey was disappointing - but surely none of us could have expected to have kept all of the crown jewels.
I said in my column last time that I have been incredibly proud of the way Aarons has been while there has been so much speculation around a possible move to some of the world’s biggest clubs.
He continued to impress for the England Under 21s on Tuesday and surely it can’t be long until he’s knocking on the door of Gareth Southgate’s senior squad.
So much has been said and written about Emi and Todd and I’m not going to rake over all of that.
I’ve been very encouraged by the Dereham Deco’s Instagram posts over the past few days and I so hope they’re a confirmation of his commitment to the cause and a sign that he’ll be part of the promotion push.
I still don’t know exactly what went on behind the scenes - and I don’t particularly want to know.
What I am convinced of is the amazing talent that Todd has.
If he stays with us and has his focus fully back, he has a huge part to play - as does, of course, Emi.
In Farke’s early days at Carrow Road, there were a good number of supporters who doubted him.
Success wins over the doubters.
Now the head coach’s tactics and approach are increasingly under the spotlight again.
It’s been such a tough period with the nightmare of the slump leading to relegation following Project Restart, all the uncertainties around finance and the relentless speculation around his prized assets - as well as the off the field distractions.
The delay to the Championship season and international break so soon into the campaign has certainly not helped,
The fact that his squad contains so many players who are called up by their countries is a sign of the quality he has at his disposal.
But it must also make preparing for a run of matches straight after the break and just hours after the transfer window closes so disruptive.
I still have faith in Farke’s ability to inspire the team to kickstart the climb up the table and I’m sticking with my pre-seaon prediction that we’ll be in the top two.
My main concern about our boss is the apparent unwillingness to revert to a plan B (or even C) earlier in games if things aren’t going well.
He has real depth and variety available to him and we know that many teams, especially when they visit NR1, will come with a game plan to frustrate us.
It looks as if the Carra Roar which can often give the boys the key push at the end of games won’t happen this term. So it puts exra onus on changes to manpower and tactics.
After a two week period of no domestic football, the relentlessness of second tier football will really kick in from this weekend,
In a 21-day period, Birmingham, Wycombe, Millwall and Swansea all visit Carrow Road along with trips to Brentford and Bristol City as well as Rotherham.
Get the momentum going and the points ticking and the gloom will lift.
Top man Timm
Ever since news was confirmed that Timm Klose was heading back to Switerland, the kind words of farewell have poured in for him.
While the big man has gone on loan, it seems as if the deal is paving the way for it to become permanent.
There are so many fond times to remember from his time at City - and of course THAT goal against the Tractor Boys will live long in the memory.
One of my favourite recollections of Klose came a couple of years ago at a pre-season game at Lincoln,
I went with my younger daughter Hannah and there were a decent number of City fans there.
Timm was subbed during the second half and after going off for a shower, he came back out and on the final whistle made his way to the away end.
He chatted to every supporter who waited to see him, had pictures with us all and was genuinely interested in everyone.
He’s a top man and we’ll miss him.
Great evening in store
It’s tough being away from seeing our fellow fans at NR1 and I know those who organise supporters’ events on non-match days are finding it particularly hard.
I always like to highlight the great work of the Norwich City Fans’ Social Club.
It’s tough for them during this period as so much of what they do is about gatherings and giving the Canary faithful the opportunity to come together.
While they can’t hold an event in the flesh, NCFSC are organising an online players’ forum via Zoom on Thursday October 29, 7.30pm.
At the moment City keeper Tim Krul and midfielder Keiran Dowell are lined up to appear (subject to change) at the event, which is being hosted by BBC Radio Norfolk’s Rob Butler (not subject to change!).
The cost is £5 per household, which includes one free online raffle entry.
The event is raising money for the Community Sports Foundation. More details from the NCFSC website or their social media.