To say I was surprised when I saw the team news at 2pm on Saturday is an understatement.
Six changes to the side that played so well and beat Birmingham on Boxing Day was the catalyst for a showing of outrage and quotes of “he doesn`t know what he`s doing” in the hour before kick off on social media.
Daniel Farke was either going to win applause or catch flak at the final whistle and typically for us, it was the latter.
Farke`s quotes at the end were entirely predictable when talking about the heavy workload and the strain on his squad and that, to be fair is why a squad is assembled. To help out with injuries, losses in form and the likes of the Christmas period.
Against Burton though, the six changes weighed heavy on the Canaries and gave the home side a chance to impose their hustle and bustling style on the men in purple(!).
Burton hadn`t kept a clean sheet at home in nine months and had lost their last eight at the Pirelli Stadium, so were ripe for an “along come Norwich” moment.
It almost turned out that way as the home side started with the better momentum and could easily have been 2-0 up had it not been for Angus Gunn.
At the other end, the best/worst moment in the first half for Norwich came when the inconsistent James Husband was booked for diving, when it seemed easier to shoot and most likely score.
Wes Hoolahan motioned to Farke that Husband had dived and then gave the former Middlesbrough man a mouthful – if he did really dive, then it was very, very poor from a player who has failed to nail down the left full back spot and has battled with a central midfielder who has a left foot, for the opening four months of the season in that position.
Yes, he`s had some injury problems but he has rarely convinced during games and with the spectre of Jamal Lewis on his shoulder, I can`t seem him playing regularly in the future.
I can understand what Daniel Farke was thinking when he made the decision to make those six changes. The home game with Millwall on Monday is a match that everyone at Carrow Road will want to win and probably think, we must win.
Aside from the desire to seek revenge on Millwall, who so easily turned over the Canaries 4-0 in August, there is the worry that the home crowd are getting restless. The recent booing and chants of “Sack the board” and “We want Delia out” will be of major concern to the powers that be and the only thing that will stop it is winning football matches.
I`m aware from mates that there is already arguing among fans in some sections of the ground, but as you might expect, I`ve yet to see it in the River End.
Stoke were thumped 5-0 by Chelsea on Saturday and Marks Hughes explained afterwards that he`d rested lots of players due to playing Newcastle on Monday and targeting that game for a win.
His decision to drop Shaqiri et al will of course only show value if Stoke beat the Magpies and that`s similar for Daniel Farke but it`s worth pointing out that we were playing Burton, not the reigning Premier League Champions (that`s next weekend).
It`s come to something when Norwich City are not able to deal with a hard working but short on technical players, Burton Albion. Yes, we didn`t lose but this was a terrible game of football to watch.
We all know that Alex Tettey struggles with games in quick succession and having just returned from injury, I get why he was rested for this game. Playing so soon with the knees he`s got could easily result in an injury setback, although he`s probably going to have to play against Millwall now anyway.
I`ve already mentioned the ineffective James Husband and I`d be staggered if Jamal Lewis doesn`t replace him on Monday. Then we have the equally ineffective Marley Watkins, who was a goal scoring, buccaneering type of winger for Barnsley last season.
He looked a good signing on a free but the recent speculation surrounding Norwich City and new wide players incoming in January, tells you all you need to know about how he`s played this season.
To be fair to him, Mario Vrancic did okay against Burton and if Tettey is unable to make the Millwall game, he looks likely to partner Tom Trybull in the middle, assuming Harrison Reed is injured
Hanley, Zimmermann and Hoolahan all did well enough but it wasn`t until the arrival of Pritchard and Maddison from the bench that City looked a real threat.
As much as I can see Farke`s argument about resting players, there were three points available at Burton and his decision to not keep a consistent team and go for them was rather baffling.
We were playing Burton NOT Chelsea.
By all means rest Tettey but other than that, are the other lads really in need of a rest?
I don`t take training and I don`t see the scientific data (of which I am told there is much) in regard to the players but playing regularly well together and winning games is the basis of a good side.
To put in such a weak performance was bitterly disappointing and if you travelled then you have my sympathy for the dross you paid to watch.
Having drawn such a winnable game and having won only twice in the previous 12 games, I`m struggling to see what Farke is doing with the side. The build up and passing is still woefully slow and Nelson Oliveira is starved of any real service, which is why he continues to operate a “shoot on sight” policy. As we know, he rarely wins a header, so he needs the ball into feet.
Win against Millwall and cracks will be papered over but unless he gets the side winning consistently, there will continue to be unrest at Carrow Road and now it`s started, it will only get worse.
If I was a betting man, I`d say that January is going to be a lot busier for Norwich City than Stuart Webber would have us believe.