Matt Barton is a perfectly reasonable man. He understands that City are trying something new and that it will take time. Just not that much time. In fact, if we don't obliterate Birmingham it's time to blow everything up and start again please.
The message from the Carrow Road establishment over the summer was clear. Times are changing and there’s a Webberlution in town; there's a new philosophy, a new structure, new staff, new manager, new players. We've even got a purple kit, so you know things are serious.
Have some patience, Norwich fans, things won't settle down straight away, and at times, it might not be pretty. The message couldn't have been clearer: Have some patience. And you'll find no-one who buys into that as strongly as me. I am on board. I am fully on board.
But as infinite as my patience for the Farke Project is, it does come with a couple of conditions. Primarily that the team approach matches in exactly the manner that I’ve already decided is best. I’m afraid on that, I’m completely inflexible and also correct.
The new defence must be given time to adjust to each other, the system they’re being told to play, the goalkeeper behind them, and the midfield in front of them. But what’s also crucially important is that I absolutely boo the living shit out of them if we go one-nil down at home to Birmingham. How else are they to know how I feel. Besides, I’m a paying customer, and I’m entitled.
Possession-based football is fantastic, and it’s a philosophy that I’ve longed to see instilled at Carrow Road. But possession doesn’t win games on its own, and also it’s fucking boring after a while so if the team don’t go long-ball and full-throttle when I decide it’s necessary, I’m afraid that’s just incompetence from Herr Farke.
Russell Martin absolutely mustn’t play, obviously.
Away from the match-day considerations, and looking at the recruitment strategy it is important to be mindful that football finances generally are in a bubble, and there's no guarantee it will continue expanding. Look at the price inflation at the top end of the market, and how that's trickled down to the shallow end where City have to try to trade. £15m for a player like Assombalonga is now seen as routine, but even a few years ago would have been unimaginable. It’s crazy really.
However keeping that in mind, I'm absolutely clear that City have to chase that bubble as hard and fast as possible, competing with moneybags clubs with deep-pocketed egotist owners, because otherwise we're tinpot and incompetent. If City's owners can't throw in tens of millions of pounds a year to keep us on a level playing field they have no moral choice but to sell up to some beneficent, probably foreign gazillionaire who definitely exists. There is literally no other option.
So I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of 2017/18 plays out. Farke’s here for the long term, and rebuilding isn’t easy, but if we don’t make the playoffs, I don’t think running him out of the county is completely unreasonable.
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