Huddersfield (H) – The ACN Review


Jedi like skill levels from Norwich in a fiercesome display to see off the Terriers. Here's Nick Hayhoe somehow trying to remember all the good stuff that happened......

Biggest Positive

Having taken in a few other Championship (and Premier League) matches as a neutral over the past few weeks, it is noticeable that everyone in English football is now trying to attempt Farke’s “Deutsche-style” (possession dominance, playing out from the back, short passing, attacking full backs) as a result of this tactical style becoming analogous to the phrase “wanting to watch decent football”. The trouble with this tactic is that getting it wrong, having the wrong players or simply committing to it half-assed makes for horrendously dull matches of poor quality where the structured approach of build up possession just ends up going around in circles.

This is where Norwich are proving themselves to be lightyears ahead of the rest of the division and this is no accident. It appears critical now that an entire football club’s philosophy needs to be built on this tactical ideal. It’s no use in just simply adapting the tactical style, hoping it works from the get go and then sacking your manager and running to Alladyce when it doesn’t. Managers need to be given time to embed the tactics, recruitment needs to be pitch perfect (and as far removed from the “getting the big names in” philosophy as possible), the youth set up needs to run seamlessly, the players need to be entirely on board with it (else they are out of the door), and, most importantly, everyone needs to work with absolute perfect precision.

So here we are. Just as a successful rocket launch. The moment that the scientists all gather around their screens to witness the launch of the multi-million dollar piece of highly sophisticated machinery that they have dedicated their lives to working on, landing on a world they will never see, knowing even the smallest of crack or bent screw can cause it to crash back down to earth.

The knuckles are white. The hairs stand up. Mission countdown. Radio silence. Static. Ignition…

We have lift off.

The EFL iFollow Award for Midweek Whinge


Moment of the Match

When was your “literally rubbing your eyes in disbelief” moment? Mine was Emi pinging a ball forward with such precise pace to Teemu, knowing exactly how much it would hold up on the Carrow Road turf to play him in on goal to the point it looked like he was controlling it by remote control, it causing me to sink to the floor on my knees in pure worship at the sight of seeing such outrageous talent in a Norwich City shirt, and then seeing Teemu try and put a hole in the net with a thunderbastard that temporarily altered the space time continuum by its pace.

Farke Watch

What is there left to say that hasn’t already been said?

Pure class from start to finish with everything he did, said or acted.

The Grant Hanley Award for Random Star Performer

Norwich City won an association football match seven goals to nil. There was no random star performer. A pack-like band of misfits and rejects and youth players. Every single one of them absolute kings.


I considered writing a fanciful long piece. Like my brief visit to Carrow Road for the Wednesday game earlier in the season. A wistful journey to the ends of the earth and back via my ego and psyche.  But to not speak about the game properly would have given Norwich’s performance a disservice. Besides, I am absolutely exhausted. The rush from the game meant that I didn’t get to sleep until at least 2am and, after the great morning high, I am crashing.

This was the best I have ever seen Norwich play.

I have been going to games since 1996 and, while that’s not a long time to many of you, just think how many great performances we have had in that time. Every single one of the seven goals (even the penalty which was…the perfect penalty) an achievement of such artistry that watercolour representations of each should be hung in the Castle Museum. While the individual majesty of Buendia, Pukki and Cantwell is a joy to behold; the team as a cohesive unit was at an exospheric level. Every single pass is inch perfect, every run and holding up the ball. Defensive positioning and overlap. Emi playing Dowell in, unselfish in his action to not shoot at goal himself. It was like watching a choreographed performance. Someone directing scenes in a football film. Close to perfection? No sir, this was perfection.

So I leave you with the words that have been rolling around in my head throughout the last few weeks from within this dreadful time in world history. Knowing that one day, I will be back at Carrow Road with all of you, celebrating another title win. Pie and pint in hand. After a season of pure Farkeball perfection.

Just what is it that you want to do?

Well, we wanna be free, we wanna be free to do what we wanna do

And we wanna get loaded and we wanna have a good time

And that’s what we’re gonna do…

We’re gonna have a good time,

we’re gonna have a party.


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