David Hannant: It looks like it’s going to be a funny old season...again
PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 August 2018
I don’t really get football.
While I appreciate this is a pretty odd way to ease you into a column about just that, but - in a way - it’s true.
Obviously I get football in the sense of understanding it - a load of blokes kick a ball around for 90 minutes. And more obviously, I get it in the sense that I love it.
However, other than that, it’s a bit of a mystery to me, and I don’t doubt a lot of other people.
Football doesn’t seem to have any rhyme, any reason, any logic - not if you are a Norwich City fan anyway.
The season is only a few weeks old and already we have a pretty good idea of the type of season we have in store - an unpredictable, illogical and frankly, bizarre one.
So far we have seen an abysmal display earn three points, four goals conceded at home in a game we mainly dominated and - most recently - the kind of capitulation Chris Hughton made a habit of in his time in charge.
And that’s just on the field. Off of it we’ve seen much debate over paint, portraits of Wes Hoolahan in television adverts and Captain Canary replaced by a genetically modified super bird - a live canary with two heads and the wingspan of a Supermarine Spitfire.
I may have made that third example up, but the way the season has already gone, who is to say that won’t have happened by the end of the month?
Going into this season, I feel it is fair to say there was a degree of excitement about the place.
Sure, a few big hitters went through the exit door, but the transfer window looked productive, a number of signings looked useful and overall the squad felt more balanced.
However, it was still massively important that City made a good start to the campaign. A statement of intent - to prove last season really was a year of transition.
A month and three league defeats on and it’s looking abundantly clear that if the club was in transition, it still is.
And this is not the only thing that has become abundantly clear to me thus far. The other is that a large clutch of my fellow City fans do not have the patience for this.
While my views may be slightly blinkered by social media, there seems to be a bitter atmosphere among fans at the moment. Be it through moaning online or booing at games, Carrow Road doesn’t feel a happy place at the moment.
If patience is a virtue, it doesn’t appear to be in great supply in these parts - not right now.
While I wasn’t at the Leeds game, Preston worried me - as it showed just what a disconnect there is between the club and certain fans at the moment.
I’ll be the first to admit, City’s one league win of the campaign was far from their best display - but it was also one of the worst performances from the crowd too.
If a pass wasn’t a Xabi Alonso style champagne ball it was booed, if build-up was patient it was jeered and so on.
I have no problem with a few groans of disappointment at full time after a no-show, but at 0-0 against a team clearly set out to achieve just that? Not for me, ta.
But this just goes to show how important a decent start to the season was, which, frankly, hasn’t arrived. Four points out of 15 wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered a month ago.
Fortunately, next up is the one game that can bring unity to the club’s fanbase - it’s just whether it brings the right sort.
Go to rock bottom Ipswich, come away with a comprehensive win and it would at the very least paper over some of the cracks.
Conversely though, ending the decade-long run and it may bring City fans together in the wrong kind of sense.
From Daniel Farke’s point of view, losing on Sunday might be the last straw for those who haven’t already reached this point.
Particularly with Town sitting at the very foot of the table, losing just isn’t an option.
To me, the atmosphere is starting to feel the same kind of toxic as just before Alex Neil was dismissed - and just before Chris Hughton was dismissed.
However, while I was ready to say farewell in these two occasions - especially to Hughton - I desperately want to see Daniel Farke succeed. Not purely out of being a Norwich City fan who naturally wants to club to do well, but also for Farke himself.
From his body language, you can tell he’s a frustrated man. He clearly has a plan - but the men he is sending into battle just aren’t taking it to the letter.
It’s omelettes and eggs.
Nonetheless. Sunday presents the perfect chance to right some of the wrongs and prove he is the man to take us forward.
A first Derby Day defeat since I had hair and there were no ones in the year, though, and I fear a fair few more will be crying out for it to be Auf Wiedersehn to our first foreign boss. OTBC
I’m ready for Emi
Norwich City and Argentines very rarely mix.
Jonas Guttierrez arrived, did nothing, bad-mouthed the club and left without a whimper.
Luciano Becchio was never given the chance to shine- for whatever reason - and warmed the bench for two years.
Sergio Aguero couldn’t stop scoring against us - also bad.
Emi Buendia though, could be the man to mend City’s relationship with the nation that produced the world’s greatest ever player.
His cameo against Preston may have been brief, but he showed a few real glimpses of what he can do.
However, I fear if we don’t start properly using him, he could end up going to same way as the only other two Argentinians to pull on the yellow and green.
For me, he needs to start against that lot down the road.
With the flying Onel Hernadez on one flank and Emi on the other, some real headaches could be created.
I can see why Daniel Farke would want to ease him in, but I think now is the time to let him off the leash from the go.
Set piece stupidity
As I’ve made clear, I do like Daniel Farke.
I like the idea of letting the ball do the work and playing the beautiful game beautifully.
There is one tactic of his I definitely don’t like though - his approach to set pieces.
I can literally not think of one reason why 11 men are needed to defend every set piece and every corner.
I’ve probably banged this drum before, but I feel it needs to be said one more time.
When you have somebody with the lightning pace of Onel Hernandez in the team, what use is it having him sat on the edge of the box or - worse still - in his own area for an opposition corner?
Stick him on the halfway line and the opposition just has to give him company.
Add to this the fact that no team ever commits their full back line to attack a set play- so why commit your whole front line to defend them?
It invites pressure to start with and leaves City men falling over each other trying to defend. How many more soft goals do we have to concede to change this?