Moritz Leitner will miss the rest of the season due to a hernia problem that needs operating on, Daniel Farke told the media at his pre-match video press conference on Friday lunchtime.
Before Wednesday’s drubbing at the hands of Arsenal in North London, Farke had alluded to the fact that Leitner had a hernia issue and he confirmed that Mo will have the operation in the near future in Munich but that he would miss the rest of the season. With only around three weeks left to play and even with key hole surgery being a likely possibility, there is no need to rush him back.
Leitner has barely played since featuring heavily in the first ten games of the season after a rumoured fall-out with Farke but the signs were of a thawing of the ice after the re-start of football. Whether or not the player will feature in his Coach’s first team plans for next season remains to be seen, although with the new season slated to start in early September, I guess we won’t have to wait too long to find out.
In other team news, Timm Klose is no longer suspended and seems certain to return to the centre of defence, meaning Alex Tettey can move back into midfield. Long-term absentees, Christoph Zimmermann and Sam Byram are progressing well with Zimmermann possibly even returning to training before the season’s end. There are no other fresh injury concerns.
The rest of the presser went along the lines of Farke wanting to get his team back to the level of performance that they have previously shown, although not so much of late. With there seeming to be virtually no hope of survival from relegation left now, performances, he said, were what he was focussing on.
Part of that he suggested, could see him bring in two or three refreshed players against Brighton on Saturday lunchtime. Unusually for Farke, he then spoke about his own situation a little bit, mentioning that he always knew that the club had only a five per cent chance to stay in the league, as well as needing some luck and that he did not Cry for more quality or to spend more like Sheffield United or Aston Villa.
“I have other values, not just thinking about my career, winning titles or money. I turned several offers down before this season. I could have made my life easier with more money, but I felt it was the right decision to help this club because of how much love I have for it. We need to stick to our plan. I can handle the pressure for the Head Coach.”
Farke also revealed that he had received several offers to work elsewhere with perhaps more money available to spend but that he turned them down, adding that he is convinced he is in the right place.
“I’m convinced I’m at the right place. I knew this way could happen, for us to get stick for not investing more. The key people in the club are right for the mid and long-term success at Norwich. It’s important they have the trust.“
There has been quite a lot of knee-jerk reaction type stuff on social media from some Norwich fans but I am still behind Farke, Webber et al, trusting in the project. Spending more money would, of course, have been great but “doing a Fulham” and still getting relegated wouldn’t have been smart considering our self-funding model. Whether you agree with that or not, it’s how the board are choosing to run things rather than just throwing money at it.
“Money, spend anybody’s money, who cares?!” seems to be the thoughts of some fans on Twitter.
The first thing City need to do is to try to bring some semblance of respect back to these final season matches and take it from there. Staying up is almost certainly impossible now so let’s try to get back to a performance level that will put us in a better frame of mind for next season’s now almost inevitable Championship toil.
Fingers crossed that it can start at home to Brighton on Saturday.