Date: 12th September 2018 at 6:06am
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The first international break of the season is always a good time to take stock of what’s going on and how Norwich City are doing in general because let’s be honest, other than the two international games, it’s a fairly dull fortnight, football wise.

To start off with, I think most of us would agree that the squad looks more settled and not in too bad a place. There have been plenty of comings and goings during the summer and the loss of James Maddison has been heavily felt. Madders looks like a genuine superstar in the making to me but he was sold out of necessity due to the club’s financial situation. We also all knew that he was too good to stay with us for another season.

Josh Murphy was the other big summer sale, although with the money we got for him, I think it was possibly a bit of a surprise for the board. I wouldn’t say that Stuart Webber snatched Cardiff’s hand off exactly but I doubt he had to think too long about it either.

The start to the season that Onel Hernandez has had has certainly softened the blow of losing Murphy, although no single player has stepped into Maddison’s shoes yet, which is hardly surprising. Hope of a new hero emerging is not completely lost yet though because in Kenny McLean and Emi Buendia, we have two new midfield players that have not yet had a huge amount of game time but both have shown tantalising glimpses of what we might get from them.

When asked on the Pink ‘Un Show last week about who I thought would be the “player to watch” in the coming weeks, I picked McLean. He’s a tough tackling, forward thinking midfielder with an eye for goal too. I’m hoping he’s going to be a big player for us.

This time last year though, despite that awful first set of games before the international break, City were 2 points better off after their first six games than they are now. They had though only played five games before the international break, culminating in that 4-0 drubbing at The Den.

The international break a year ago saw City sign Grant Hanley, banish Russell Martin and by the time hostilities resumed against Birmingham City, they had also seen the return to fitness of Timm Klose and Alex Tettey and the emergence of Super Tom Trybull.

The transfer window is, of course, now closed and only Nelson Oliveira and Matt Jarvis remain of the big earners. Apparently, Jarvis is nearing a return to fitness but don’t get too excited, the speculation seems to be that the club may look to loan him out in January before letting him go next summer.

Oliveira is another story though and I wrote about his situation, a couple of days ago. You can read my thoughts on Nelson here.

So in terms of points alone, Norwich are two points worse off now but the 1-0 win against Birmingham in the game after the break a year ago started a feel good mini run. The Canaries’ next opponents are front runners, Middlesbrough and they are less than likely to be so accommodating to our hopes for three points.

Norwich have conceded 12 goals this season, exactly the same number as they conceded in the first six games last season and that’s with Grant Hanley. To be fair, he didn’t have a lot of pre-season and he did have some very young lads alongside him at Ipswich, not that I see that as a big problem if, as I hope, Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis nail down the full back positions going forward.

What follows in the rest of the month after ‘Boro though, is a crucial set of games.

Norwich will play two games a week as they face Reading (A), QPR (A), Wycombe (A) and then finish the month at home to Wigan.

I look at those fixtures and think that we ought to be winning those games. On paper, I think that Norwich City should be beating every single one of them. Putting the cup game against Wycombe aside, I reckon that anything less than 7 points is not going to be acceptable.

Not to me, anyway.

Will we get that 7 point minimum? Probably not.

Reading and QPR have been struggling up until now, although there are signs of life at Loftus Road and both of these fixtures are ripe for “along come Norwich” moments.

This brings me on neatly on to our Head Coach and his tactics thus far and I don’t mean just this season. So far, the story of Daniel Farke’s tenure has been lose a couple, win one, draw a couple and we’ve limped along in that vein ever since.

Quite which way our season will go, I couldn’t tell you. We’ve played some good football at times, like the first half against West Brom, the first 25 minutes against Leeds, before we were blown away and in long parts of the games at Bramall Lane and St. Andrews as wel.

However, the game against Preston was a very poor performance, despite the win, and we’ve still only got five points.

Last time out against Ipswich and we got a draw to keep the unbeaten derby run going but there was little in our performance to excite me. Maybe I’m being a little harsh there because it was a derby game with all that comes with it.

They say that you can judge a team’s season after ten games, or at least get a very good idea about what sort of season they will have and by the end of the month we will have played nine games, with the tenth coming the following Wednesday 3rd October against “Frank Lampard’s” Derby County.

This next period is going to be crucial, playing Saturday and then mid-week for the next month and ending with a home game against Stoke before the second international break. If anything is going to come of this season then this is the time to put down a marker and start winning some games.

Is Farke up to it? I’m not so sure he is. I think that we have a decent squad now with some pretty good players. If Farke’s tactical nous is not up to it then Mr Webber is going to have a very difficult decision to make as the autumn turns to winter.

Admission of failure is never easy. I just hope that we don’t limp along as I described earlier and nobody makes a decision, one way or the other.


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4 Replies to “The Current State Of The Canary Nation”

  • I hate to break it to you but we don’t have decent players. Hanley played with kids as you mention, yet we only conceded one so its a strange point. Farke will go back to his senior players that have so badly let us down and he will be clung on to way beyond the time he should be with us. History repeats itself and no one seems to point the finger where the blame is due.

    While we are buying cheap and selling youth players, every other successful club is doing the opposite. I can imagine a pro-EU lovie like Delia probably wanted to show the continental link is still alive with this ludicrous setup because that’s how pathetic she is.

    I wonder how bad it has to get before Norwich fans stop going so that something changes and we can enjoy the football once more with an owner that brings some entertainment (instead of pretending they love the club – if she did she would go – she cares for nothing but her very own celebrity status). I gave my ST up because I’m not a sad fool, I have better things to do than watch failure. Get a grip you people and stop encouraging this dross, there is more to life.

    Never mind #FarkeLife norwich fans. More like #GetaLife

    I used to respect Norwich fans for their loyalty and consistency, especially away fans…now I just think you are an embarrassment. You continue to fund failure and while you turn up in your droves you confirm to Delia what she has done to our club is acceptable.

    You will all have failure on your conscience and dress it up with ‘loyalty’. Believe me, others don’t see that. They see a joke of a club with nice fans that watch their club sink.

  • Good article Tuckster.
    There are always fans saying give it 10 games and it sort of makes sense , however
    bearing in mind after 6 games we are 6 points off the play offs and if that pattern continues after 10 games we would be 10 points off that position, it may already be too late.
    He is clearly not going to be fired in September and probably not in October either but if we limp along
    at 1 point a game conceding an average of 2 goals per game it will become just as tedious as last season
    and by November yet another season will be written off.
    I am totally confused by Farke who failed miserably last season with a squad much stronger than many clubs who finished above us and although weakened again this season is still not performing as well as it should do. He must realise the last 14 months have not been good enough and yet totally refuses to change his dull style which did not work with standard of players we had last season so is certainly not going to prosper with an every weakening squad year on year as the disastrous self funded policy will eventually leave us with no decent players at all.
    When a plan fails for over a year and maybe even Norwich’s most optimistic supporters begin to turn, why does he not make changes to his failing ideas ? Stubborn deluded or stupid ?

    As far as I am concerned we need to get a draw at home to Boro, 4 points from Reading and QPR and beat Wigan at home as well as progressing in the cup.
    Am I confident this will happen. NO.

  • Nice Article The Tuckster,,
    So difficult to judge what is going on at Carrow Road and Colney. The fans are divided in their opinion and so apparently are the players. Some like Oliviera don’t like the style, others like Maddison obviously really rated him. My view is that he is difficult to judge. At times he seems out of his depth while at others [such as switching against Preston to a back three] he gets it right. However, I do find his team selections bemusing. He consistently picks people for the system rather than for their strengths. Stieperman on the right??? Weird. He also constantly chops and changes in midfield whereas there of all places players need to know their jobs. It often looks like the preparation for games is very poor too. Set pieces and corners don’t seem too well grooved at all.
    I am fearful of the inconsistency that you refer to with every new dawn soon fading. The squad seems better than last year though the number of midfield players is confusing for everyone, including Farke, who seems to want to fit people in rather than get the best balance.
    Another series of games and a decision should be made about Farke and his team’s coaching quality. I fear it might be that the experiment has failed. Nice bloke but out of his depth. If this is so we should move on quickly to a new coach if as I suspect failure is round the corner. On the other hand we might just see a real upturn in the next month…………………………it’s never straight forward being a footy fan.

  • I think Farke had to change to a back 3 v preston as Pinto was injured,that game was one of the worst at carrow road for many years by the way.The thing with Farke is that he likes the full backs to bomb forward but when possession is lost then we are light at the back.So why doesn’t he change to 3 CB ‘s?The answer is he wouldn’t be able to fit all his favourite imports into the team.Farke still has not learnt that playing too many lightweight players in the championship does not work,let’s see McLean,Thompson and Godfrey as regulars then things will change,oh and no continental sideways and slow build up play.If Farke doesn’t want to change then he has to go.

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