Collapsing at Chelsea brought Norwich City to a crossroads this week, with Stuart Webber the man at the metaphorical wheel.

The Canaries’ sporting director decided to continue straight ahead and stay true to his initial sense of direction despite hitting a huge pothole on an increasingly deteriorating surface.

He could easily have changed direction and dropped a few passengers off at the roadside with some money to help them on their way, in the hope of a smoother road ahead, but Webber was in no mood to slow down.

You would need a cold heart to not see that Daniel Farke is one of the good guys in English football, being lauded for his warm humour, passionate monologues and keeping his cool in good times and bad.

The swashbuckling successes and exciting style of play that created so many happy memories in the Championship have already made sure of a special chapter in Canaries history.

Being a nice person usually counts for little amid the battle for Premier League stability though. Just ask Chris Hughton.

Few would have been remotely surprised if Webber had decided the German’s time was up at City, after just two points and three goals from the last 19 matches at this level had drawn ridicule.

Instead, he insisted he was not for turning and stood shoulder to shoulder with the colleague he has predicted will one day coach in the Champions League, knowing that calls for patience and unity are already too late for some angry supporters.

Reemphasising that the Canaries are “fully committed” to the man that was given a four-year contract in July and asking fans to “not give up on us now” has taken some fans by surprise.

It is Webber’s job to communicate with supporters about the club’s big issues, so keeping his head down and trying to ride out the storm was never really an option.

He could have taken a very different tone if he’d wanted though. The bullish Welshman could easily have laid it on the line and made clear that the “diabolical” display at Chelsea and “unacceptable” form so far this season, as he described it, mean results must improve immediately.

Creating that personal distance from the first team could have laid the groundwork for change, if it was needed. It may still be needed.

But instead, he decided to share the load and show Farke and the backroom staff that he is not ready to throw in the towel, sending a message to those outside the club as well as inside, including any in the dressing room who may doubt it.

Asking for all the blame to not be placed on one man is perfectly rational but at the club that shares the record for five Premier League relegations, calls to remain reasonable are fighting against the strong emotions attached to past pain and frustration.

Webber’s calculated decision comes with him knowing full well that sporting directors have to make tough calls and sometimes admit that things are not working out with a head coach.

Part of the idea for City to move to a structure with a sporting director in 2017 was so that if things don’t work out with the man in charge of the team, a change of leadership in the dressing room wouldn't necessarily prompt a destabilising upheaval of staff and change of ideology across the club.

Just like Farke, Webber hopes to work at the top level of the game, as he should. Ambition is an integral part of success.

Even if things were to fizzle out for him at Norwich from here, he will still have plenty of admirers for the work achieved amid strict financial conditions in recent years.

If he has made the correct call this time though, that chance to climb up the Premier League ladder could arrive sooner than later.

If results went their way this weekend, victory over Leeds could bump City up to 18th and to within just two points of the Whites in the final position of safety – with just one defeat in four games.

It feels almost surreal that Farke and his team could be in that position on Monday morning, after such strong and deserved criticism for their capitulation at Chelsea.

Somehow securing survival after this sour opening nine games would taste incredibly sweet.

Webber showed he still believes as he tried to clear the air with his public comments. Get the response that all connected to the Canaries crave and his comments will look inspired.

Yet if they are followed by a failure to find that desperately needed win during the next five games, that faith will be deemed misplaced – and plenty of people will be all too eager to tell him as the calls for change become deafening.

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