Time and patience - key to Norwich City success
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Every year the cold winter ends with the first few buds of Spring, and with it comes new hope for the months ahead.
The same happens each August, or September in this disjointed 2020, when the new football season approaches.
Memories fade of all the dashed dreams and disappointments recently inflicted. We look to new signings and challenges, with fresh optimism. Every recruit has the potential to be a new star. Every match is winnable.
Yet at the start of this football season, there is also stability at the core of our club. It will be the fourth campaign of the Webberlution and Farkeball for the Canaries. A pairing that has changed the culture both on and off the pitch, and transformed our playing squad. Relegation from the Premier League was the first stuttering of the partnership, which had seemed to be on a continuous upward trajectory.
Farke’s first experience in the top flight was his chance to prove his talents on the biggest stage. His card had been marked as a young and upcoming talent by the miraculous journey of the previous season. His failure to keep us up is a rare backward step in his burgeoning managerial career. Stuart Webber believes that Farke will go on to manage at bigger clubs, and those expectations dictate that this is a key season. Now is the time to prove that the promotion success two seasons ago wasn’t a fluke, and that last year was in fact the aberration.
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In football, managers are rarely given time to make an impression, and at some clubs Herr Farke may have had only a couple of months to prove he is the right person for their particular job. But Norwich City are a different proposition. There will be no rash decisions, faith has been earned and will be rewarded by the board and director of football. The most pressure Daniel will experience will no doubt be by his own high standards.
But how patient will we, the fans be if the fixtures do not kick off with a series of promising results? Contrary to some reports, we were fairly patient when the 2018/19 season started with an underwhelming points tally. We could see that the performances deserved more, and that it was just the final ball that was missing. When that fell into place we had an unstoppable momentum.
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Watching clips and streams of the pre-season games this summer, the vim and vigour of that glorious season seems to have returned to our football. If that continues into the competitive fixtures then I think we will again give the head coach and his squad time to shine.
But if by Christmas we are mired in mid-table mediocrity, with unlucky defeats and a raft of injuries and suspensions, how patient will we be then? Teams have come from worse positions to get promoted, but will Farke have banked enough goodwill to keep his job still? If his fourth season ends much like his first, how long will he remain in the hot seat?
All these questions are so difficult to answer, because we have to imagine all the circumstances that get us there, and all the emotions we will have experienced. With a compacted schedule ahead, the rollercoaster could have even more ups and downs than usual. If Daniel survives to complete four years at the helm, will this be the season to determine if his tenure has been a success?
Personally, I like stability, particularly if it’s matched with entertaining football to watch.
Much of last season wasn’t that enjoyable, so a swift return to the Premier League isn’t a deal breaker for me. But a professional coach is judged by results. Therefore anything less than promotion will mean questions will linger about Farke’s ability to manage higher than the second tier.
Personally I hope he proves all the doubters wrong with Norwich, and we have another glorious adventure ahead.