Iwan Roberts: Norwich City boss Farke is the one with a right to moan about being late
- Credit: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images Ltd
Chris Wilder’s post-match interview after the Bramall Lane game was one of the worst cases of sour grapes I have ever witnessed. He blamed everyone and everything – apart from himself and his players for their loss against a rejuvenated Norwich City.
I have to be honest, I had a good old laugh at his expense as he tapped on the table and came out with one excuse after another as to why Norwich had won.
First it was the coach driver’s fault and lack of preparation to get the team to Bramall Lane on time because of heavy traffic in Sheffield – ‘surely he should have known this. Did he not check his crystal ball before leaving the team hotel?’
Then it was poor Daniel Farke’s turn to feel the wrath of Wilder’s venomous tongue as he slammed the Norwich head coach for showing him a lack of respect as he wasn’t there when he should have been to hand the team sheets in!
How distressing it must have been for him having to hang around until they finally arrived.
Then, with his final rant, he slaughtered the Norwich players for their gamesmanship during the game. He was having a go because the lads maybe wasted a bit of time in the second half when they were winning 1-0 – that’s called game management and killing a game off which any team would do away from home winning 1-0. Apart from Chris Wilder’s teams, of course!
First and foremost the Norwich team coach turning up late would not have had any impact on his players as the game kicked off at the normal time of 3pm so they weren’t left hanging around in the changing rooms twiddling their thumbs.
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If being late was going to have a negative effect on anyone it would have been the Norwich lads having to sit around in traffic helpless and having their pre-match preparation hampered with – and I should know, it’s happened to me more than once.
I remember turning up at Fratton Park 30 minutes before kick-off while I was playing for Leicester and it had a shocking effect on our performance. It was literally off the coach, get changed, a five-minute warm-up and then kick-off. No wonder we lost the game - we’d lost it before we went out. But what it did give us was an excuse as to why we’d performed so poorly – something the manager couldn’t really argue with.
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As for Wilder’s complaint about the team sheet being late – I really don’t see what his problem was? He’d picked his team and that wasn’t going to change after he saw who was in Daniel Farke’s starting XI. Chris was just a very angry man after losing to Norwich as, deep down, after the Blades’ very good start to the season I bet he and his players thought all they had to do was turn up and that would be enough.
How wrong they were – and boy were they made to pay the price.
Whatever Daniel Farke and his staff did work-wise with the players during the international break it’s certainly done the trick. The team kept their third clean sheet in as many league games and now look solid defensively and let’s all hope that carries on tomorrow when Bristol City come to Carrow Road. The inclusion of Timm Klose has certainly helped as he looks back to his best – the player the club paid around £8m to Wolfsburg for back in January 2013.
I think Klose struggled last year as he underestimated the Championship and what a physical league it was and it somewhat caught him by surprise. But now he’s back to full fitness and he’ll know what to expect this season – he really looks ready for the challenge ahead, as do the rest of the lads to be fair.