Pre-season statistics: Christoph Zimmermann leads the way for Norwich City as search for clues concludes
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As pre-season concludes and attention turns to the real business of the Championship, David Freezer assesses what we have learned about life under new head coach Daniel Farke at Norwich City so far.
Pre-season is done and dusted for another year for Norwich City but what have we learned from the eight friendly games of Daniel Farke’s reign?
Results should always be taken with a pinch of salt ahead of league action beginning but clearly it’s better for confidence on and off the pitch to enjoy some friendly success.
It’s certainly to better to beat League One side Charlton 2-0 than to lose 6-1 as a Championship side – cough, Ipswich, cough.
That is exactly what City have managed, remaining unbeaten during their eight warm-up games, winning six of them, scoring 22 and conceding just five along the way.
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Yet with so many changes on and off the pitch for Canaries fans to absorb since the end of the disappointing last campaign, pre-season has been closely watched for clues about the new regime.
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Seven new senior players have arrived and one in particular has been at the forefront during the public fitness workouts: towering German centre-back Christoph Zimmermann. The 24-year-old was a mainstay of Farke’s Borussia Dortmund Under-23 team last season and has missed just 45 minutes of the pre-season games, playing 705 of a possible 750 minutes.
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Many have speculated that this shows Zimmermann is used to the physical demands of Farke and new head of science Chris Domogalla in training, clocking up 171 minutes more than the next busiest player, 19-year-old Ben Godfrey.
Up front it has been Nelson Oliveira leading the way, scoring five goals in his 356 minutes, averaging out to a goal every 71 minutes – including a superb individual effort against Bielefeld.
Cameron Jerome played 48 minutes more and chipped in with two goals, hinting that it is Oliveira who is likely to be first choice but his hard-working performance emphasising that both are likely to have big roles to play this season.
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Angus Gunn played almost double the amount of minutes of Michael McGovern in goal and, having now been officially handed the number one shirt, is set to play a pivotal role during his season-long loan from Manchester City. Another new signing, midfielder Mario Vrancic, was also in the thick of the action and Yanic Wildschut also played a prevalent role and may get further chances to impress following the exit of Jacob Murphy.
Now all eyes fix on Craven Cottage to see if Farke’s developing team can hit the ground running against a tough opponent in Fulham.