PODCAST: Can City avoid an 'incredibly uncomfortable' international break?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City are set for an 'incredibly uncomfortable' international break unless they can bring an end to their Premier League losing streak when they go to Burnley on Saturday.
That was part of the discussion on the latest Pink Un Podcast as our correspondents reviewed the 2-0 defeat at Everton which kept the Canaries bottom and without a point from six matches.
With patience already running out for plenty of supporters, the pressure for points is undeniable, even with the context of a disrupted pre-season, financial constraints and a really difficult opening four fixtures for a club promoted from the Championship as champions.
The future of head coach Daniel Farke, recruitment decisions and style of play are all very much under the microscope at present, leaving much to be discussed after the defeat at Goodison Park.
- You can read part of those discussions below and listen to the episode in full via the audio player above
David Freezer: “Let me put my yellow and green-tinted glasses on and try to look at this in a positive light.
“This feels like a long, dark tunnel at the moment. This has been hard and difficult for people to cope with, social media is an angry place at the moment.
- 1 Webber on Farke future and his own contract
- 2 Ferguson knew ex-City captain would excel in management
- 3 Paddy Davitt: Should Farke pick up the phone to Neil?
- 4 Buendia sale crucial to £21.5m profit that helped fund City's summer revamp
- 5 'Scandalous, a disgrace' - City chief hits backs at haters
- 6 'Don't give up on us now' - Webber plea to City fans
- 7 City chiefs 'very proud' of financial results amid Covid-19 challenges
- 8 ANALYSIS: City's complex financial story still has a reassuring theme
- 9 From a magician to a clown. Farke on his critics
- 10 Giannoulis committed to City survival scrap
“If - a big if, massive if – they can fulfil the words of Normann, of Krul, of Farke and turn this around and get that win at Burnley or against Brighton, they are only three points off 17th and it is still early.
“As much as it feels difficult at the moment, if they manage to turn this around and click - like the phrase ‘the sweet is never as sweet without the sour’ - to have a decent season from here on, it’s going to be incredibly satisfying, isn’t it?”
Paddy Davitt: “I’m sure if that scenario panned out and safety is secured, you can bet your bottom dollar that Farke would say this spell was his toughest in the job.
“Because questions are now being asked very loudly about his ability to manage at Premier League level and to put a team on the pitch which reflects his ideology and football philosophy, but also to have the pragmatism and the attributes we’re not seeing enough of.
“The aggression, the intensity, the athleticism – which certainly on that last point, Stuart Webber highlighted when they came out of the Premier League two years ago as something that they missed badly and needed to address in any subsequent recruitment if they were to get back to the Premier League.
“Well, they are back in the Premier League and I’m not seeing enough of those attributes. Without that intensity, energy and drive to their play - allied to wanting to control possession, move teams around and create openings that way – then they’re just too lightweight.
“Burnley is the worst type of opponent you’d want to go to if there was any soft underbelly because, guaranteed, we'll get Sean Dyche talking up in public the Norwich model and how much he admires it and the faith they’ve shown to Daniel Farke because that echoes the longevity he has had at Turf Moor.
“But, in private, what’s he going to be saying to his players? Get into these, intimidate them, be aggressive and in their face. Because on the evidence of this season that’s the route to get the better of this Norwich side.
“Benitez post-match said that Norwich are a good football side but if they showed the right levels of aggression and intensity, in the middle of the park particularly, he felt that would counteract what Norwich could offer. A 2-0 win would indicate that he was right.
“But if we are sat here in nine months’ time and Norwich are preparing for another season in the Premier League, then Daniel Farke will have underlined his status as one of, if not the, best managers that they have had.
“But right now, that seems a long way away and if they don’t get a result this Saturday and, heaven forbid, the pressure mounts in the international break and Brighton come to Carrow Road and win, then you do fear that the social media discourse will play out on a much wider scale in a real Carrow Road atmosphere.
“If it’s 25,000 voicing their displeasure then it gets to the situation where it’s in the interests of all parties to make a change.
“Then, sadly, Daniel Farke’s spell at Norwich will always be tainted with being a brilliant manager at Championship level, could quite easily put a team on the pitch to play attractive football that was also winning football at that level, but sadly Premier League proved beyond him.
“That would be a sad epitaph for that man, given what he has constructed with Stuart Webber in a very challenging environment, in terms of the financial situation they inherited.
“So you do hope that on a personal, human level that the man can turn it around.
“To go back to your previous point, I can see why fans don’t want to hear it at the moment. You can kind of see where Normann, Farke and Krul are coming from because it doesn’t feel they are that far away.
“But how many times do we have to hear ‘we feel we’re not far away’? The tipping point is on the cusp of happening because, ultimately, every game that passes by the goal difference takes a bigger hit.
“The points gap to that clump of clubs at the bottom is more than manageable at the minute but with each passing game that they don’t pick up a point, and the teams around them do get some forward momentum, then you can be rapidly in a situation approaching Christmas where the game is already up.
“Then it’s sadly rebuilding again for another season in the Championship and that would be a very sour outcome as, if that was the case, I don’t think Farke would be here and there may be questions around Stuart Webber.
“There are still questions surrounding him about the contractual status that isn’t resolved yet, in terms of where he is beyond the summer of 2022, which he himself has pushed to the background.
“So, it’s hard to keep the faith.”
David Freezer: “There is no doubt that if they were to lose again and make it seven on the spin, then that international break is going to be incredibly uncomfortable.
“As I said following on from the Watford game, I still think the vast majority of Norwich supporters really hope that isn’t the case, that Farke goes and certainly Webber the same, because there’s such a great deal of affection for them – and still for a great deal of the squad.
“There are new bonds that need to be forged with some of the new players and it is almost a transitional time at the moment.
“But that international break then Brighton at home, they’ve had a very good start to the season, if Norwich go into the break with seven successive defeats and knowing that they’ve got a tinder box waiting for them at Carrow Road when things could turn ugly, then at the very least there are going to be some high-level crisis talks.
“There’s going to be board meetings, there’s going to have to be a decision on what comes next because it would be pretty grim at that point.”
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