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Ian Clarke: Actually Moose, Norwich City would be brilliant for the Premier League

PUBLISHED: 11:10 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:10 12 December 2018

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke celebrates victory with the home fans the end of the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
08/12/2018

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke celebrates victory with the home fans the end of the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 08/12/2018

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

The next time you moan about the Canaries not getting enough national media attention, allow me to introduce you to the Moose.

Daniel Farke is not worried about any manager-of-the-month curse  Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdDaniel Farke is not worried about any manager-of-the-month curse Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Unless you’ve been hiding in a bunker somewhere under Carrow Road for the past few days, you will have heard the bizarre words of Talk Sport’s Ian Abrahams about Norwich City.

The self-appointed friend of the stars blurted out that it would be bad for the English football if City (and Leeds) were promoted to the Premier League.

Let me start by saying that the Moose is famed for craving a reaction.

As well as shouting about all the footballing celebrities he’s good pals with, Abrahams lives on provoking fans and stirring them up.

Daniel Farke is the Championship manager-of-the-month Picture: Robbie StephensonDaniel Farke is the Championship manager-of-the-month Picture: Robbie Stephenson

His contention that if the Canaries won promotion with a German coach it would prevent an English manager being in the top flight is frankly absurd, ill thought out and actually deeply insulting to Daniel Farke and our club.

There are some fans who have ignored the Moose’s rant with the thought that they don’t want to give the loudmouth any more oxygen.

Well, I want to challenge the pundit who has 237,000 Twitter followers and works for a radio station with three million listeners and stand up for my beloved Canaries.

Abrahams has refused to respond to those asking about the lack of “Englishness” of his own club West Ham, which is led by a foreign manager and at the weekend had nine of its starting 11 and four of its seven subs from overseas.

Todd Cantwell of Norwich, Richie Towell of Rotherham United and Zak Vyner of Rotherham United in action during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
01/12/2018Todd Cantwell of Norwich, Richie Towell of Rotherham United and Zak Vyner of Rotherham United in action during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 01/12/2018

I see absolutely no foundation to his argument whatsoever.

He said if a Farke team went up it would deprive the top flight of the likes of Tony Pulis at Middlesborough (isn’t he Welsh?), Chris Wilder (Sheffield United), Frank Lampard (Derby, of course) and Dean Smith (Aston Villa).

So what about relegating Man City or Liverpool or Chelsea or Spurs or Man United or Arsenal (I could go on) because they are stopping the progression of home grown managers?

Norwich City are among a dwindling number of clubs which are owned and controlled by English people.

Teemu Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Max Aarons all got their names on the score sheet as Norwich City's impressive season rolled on against Rotherham at Carrow Road. Pictures: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesTeemu Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Max Aarons all got their names on the score sheet as Norwich City's impressive season rolled on against Rotherham at Carrow Road. Pictures: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Those on the board are accessible and transparent. They extol a family feel and the club is in a very stable financial position. You didn’t mention that Moose.

And what about the chance the young lads are being given under Farke?
Maybe Abrahams has never heard of Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis, Todd Cantwell and Ben Godfrey.

City are playing some of the best football we have seen for years this season.

I don’t care if our manager is from England, Germany or the North Pole.

Max Aarons of Norwich applauds the fans at the end of the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
08/12/2018Max Aarons of Norwich applauds the fans at the end of the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 08/12/2018

What Farke and those around him are creating is a togetherness, a fabulous work ethic, expansive football, excitement and a career plan for up and coming talent.

They have all got to be great features for the good of English football.

Supporters are engaged, they get off their seats, they want to watch matches and they feel proud of their club.

City are top of tree heading towards Christmas on merit.

Norwich City players visited James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston to deliver Christmas presents - from left, Jordan Rhodes, Louis Thompson, Marco Stiepermann and Teemu Pukki Picture: Norwich City FCNorwich City players visited James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston to deliver Christmas presents - from left, Jordan Rhodes, Louis Thompson, Marco Stiepermann and Teemu Pukki Picture: Norwich City FC

If come May we are still there, we totally deserve it - and it will be brilliant for the Premier League.

I can’t imagine Farke changing a thing if he does get his chance among English football’s elite.

He is a hugely likeable guy with boundless energy, massive positivity, a great sense of humour and a desire to overcome challenges to reach the treasure (sorry, I had promised myself I wasn’t going to go all Johnny Depp in this column).

After a tough few months at NR1 where he faced a lot of doubters and the loss of several stars, he has galvanised his squad and the fans.

The relief was evident as Teemu Pukki earned Norwich City another victory - this time over Bolton, with another injury-time winner. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesThe relief was evident as Teemu Pukki earned Norwich City another victory - this time over Bolton, with another injury-time winner. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

To have secured 43 points from 21 games (and 38 from 15 games after a stuttering start) is quite remarkable.

The never-say-die attitude which has seen such thrilling finales says so much about what is being created here.

That needs to be celebrated and not put down because Farke is from Steinhausen and not Stevenage, Stiffkey or St Albans,

English football - particularly the Premier League - has never had more foreign influence.

Norwich City's Joint Majority Shareholder Delia Smith before the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
01/12/2018Norwich City's Joint Majority Shareholder Delia Smith before the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 01/12/2018

Is that a bad thing?

I think the rich tapestry of cultures and ideas enhance what we have here.

We all know we have a long road ahead before May.

All of Farke’s management and leadership skills will be put to the test as the promotion battle hots up.

Marco Stiepermann remains one of the surprise packages of a surprising Norwich City season. Our latest online debate is ready to tackle that and more. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMarco Stiepermann remains one of the surprise packages of a surprising Norwich City season. Our latest online debate is ready to tackle that and more. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

I really hope the Moose’s words will inject even more fuel in the Canary tank and let’s stick it to him. OTBC.City get better as time goes on

Fashionably late

Before the Moose’s rant, the main part of my column this week was going to analyse the amazing stats around how late City are scoring this season.

The Norwich City players pile in on another dramatic late winning goal at Carrow Road, in front of the Barclay Stand. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesThe Norwich City players pile in on another dramatic late winning goal at Carrow Road, in front of the Barclay Stand. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Teemu Pukki’s super strike to overcome Bolton was the fourth injury time goal the Canaries have bagged - which have been worth five extra points,

You can add to that nine goals in the period from 75-90 minutes and nine more in the 60-75 minute slot.

Yes, 22 of the 38 goals have come in the final half an hour.

The fitness of the players is obvious.

Those double training sessions early on in Farke’s reign were unpopular in some quarters, but boy are they working.

City have conceded seven goals in the final 15 minutes - crucially only two were significant in the final results.

There’s one downside to the late dramas for me and my fellow River Enders - all the finale heroics tend to happen down the Barclay End. Well, it’s a price worth paying!

Let’s do it for Denver

There’s going to be a really special football match at Dereham Town’s Aldiss Park ground on Sunday.

A growing number of former City players - including Grant Holt, Darren Eadie, Dean Ashton, Robert Fleck, Mike Milligan and Keith O’Neill - are being lined up to be involved as part of an event called Denver’s Day - Full of stars and smiles.

Boxers Herbie Hide and Anthony Ogogo plus members of the Knight wrestling family are also featuring.

Four-year-old Denver Clinton has won the hearts of people in Dereham and the surrounding area.

He is battling cancer and family and friends are organising a series of events to make Christmas amazing for him.

Having arrived in a police van, Denver switched on the town’s festive lights in front of a crowd of about 5000 people a couple of weeks ago.

The delightful little lad will be at Sunday’s game and organisers are hoping for a big turnout.

Kick off is at 4.30pm. Tickets cost £5 adults and £2 for children.

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