Michael Bailey: Norwich City’s Daniel Farke is a shoo-in for the manager of the month award isn’t he? Maybe not...
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What a month it’s been for Norwich City – but they’re not the only ones. MICHAEL BAILEY looks at who else is in the running for September manager of the month
It really was a superb 30 days for Norwich City – to the point where some fans see Daniel Farke’s EFL Championship manager of the month unveiling as nothing less than a formality.
However, the reality is the Canaries were far from alone in enjoying a spectacular month – and some of them did it without a terrible August beforehand.
They also did it with some of their own Norwich connections. More on those in a bit.
But let’s start with the baseline. As we all know by now, Farke’s City clocked 14 points from six league games. There were four wins, three coming away from home – City becoming the first side to win at Middlesbrough and Sheffield United.
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A pair of home goalless draws completed the unbeaten month, alongside reaching the last 16 of the Carabao Cup at Brentford.
That record is good, but it wasn’t the best in the league last month. That honour goes to Aston Villa on goal-difference, with former City captain Steve Bruce steering the big spenders to the same points haul, with only one goal conceded – but scoring 10.
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Admittedly that included games at Burton, Barnsley and at home to Bolton, while the Villans’ own cup run ended at home to Boro.
City’s record wasn’t even second best. Korey’s Smith’s Bristol City could claim that, after a 14-point month that included a draw and clean sheet at Carrow Road plus a win down Suffolk way. They also scored almost three-times City’s league goals tally, drew at Wolves and knocked Premier League Stoke out of the League Cup – all making Lee Johnson’s my favourite for the award.
The EFL judges will look below City for nominations too, where Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves – with John Ruddy and now Ryan Bennett featuring – had another excellent month (13 points).
The 12-point hauls from Alex Neil’s Preston and the lovable Chris Wilder at Sheffield United will put them in the reckoning too.
The Championship player of the month award will also pop up. While there is no City presence in places like the whoscored.com team of the month, from Angus Gunn’s clean sheets to Tom Trybull’s robust second-tier arrival and James Maddison’s stunning goals, it would be nice to see some recognition heading City’s way there too.
And yet, we’re already in October – I’m sure most fans would rather City picked up nominations for next month, than awards for the one already done.