The signing of Jordan Rhodes on a season long loan has been met with various noises from the Sheffield Wednesday end.
Some of the fan base were more than happy to get shot of him, with the usual “I’ll drive him there myself” type tweets on Twitter but I noticed that there were also more than a few much more considered responses too. Many of those suggested that Wednesday had paid £10m for a player and then never played a system to suit him and his style of play and that got me wondering about whether or not Norwich City will change to suit Jordan Rhodes?
Daniel Farke was a man with a plan last season. Unfortunately, the plan was so rigid that it rarely allowed for a change in format or type and with only one striker, it often resulted in large swathes of possession for his team, but without seeing them score goals. In Jordan Rhodes, we have signed the Championship’s most prolific striker, albeit he’s only with us because he’s been misfiring for the last eighteen months.
I can only go on recent pre-season games but so far, it’s looking like Teemu Pukki could play a big part in whether Rhodes is a success at Norwich or not.
Dennis Srbeny has even started scoring goals in the presence of the Finn and much was made of his movement against Paderborn on Sunday afternoon. To be fair to Srbeny, a Championship move to England in January was a tough gig and I’m not surprised he struggled. I am, however, prepared to give him a bit of time to get used to things and settle, which he needs to do both on and off the pitch. With a full pre-season and with Pukki or Rhodes alongside him, I’d like to think that he will be a more effective player for us.
The big question though, is will Daniel Farke go for two up front or not?
The City Head Coach is unlikely to play 4-4-2 but could go with some sort of 3-5-2 formation or his more often used 4-1-4-1, in which a player like Pukki could play as a withdrawn forward. That’s definitely going to be part of the tactics book for Herr Farke and it was how he lined up at Paderborn.
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) July 15, 2018
As you can see from the goals reel above, Pukki’s movement was key to him creating the space to score both his goals, he did well, didn’t he?
On another note, Remi Matthews eh?! That second goal…
Anyway, as I was saying, a player who can create space and bring in other players as well, is worth their weight in gold. We had one of those par excellence in James Maddison last season and the GOAT himself, Wes Hoolahan for the last decade and we might just have one in Pukki. I know it’s very early but he’s already shown what Farke and Webber see in him.
Getting back to Rhodes, he is a goal scorer and at 28, he’s at his physical peak. I would imagine that the plan is for him to be the main striker, with Pukki up there with him, either alongside or as the number 10 behind him. We used to have a lot of number 10’s but now? We’re not quite so flush.
From what I’ve seen so far, I think it looks as though there is going to be a change of tactics and I think we’d all agree that this would be a good thing. Anything that brings more goals will be welcome.
In Jordan Rhodes we have a goal scorer of the highest order. He is being very well paid, so we need to play to his strengths and make the best of him.
I’m sure that Farke knows this but whether he can get the right message across to his squad is the question we all want answered.