Will the story of Norwich City and Nelson Oliveira have a happy ending?
PUBLISHED: 07:30 08 March 2018
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After the Canaries’ enigmatic striker Nelson Oliveira was left out against Forest for disciplinary reasons, Chris Lakey asks where do the two parties go from here?
Of the many strands of philosophy, future policy and blue sky thinking that have come from the Webber-Farke era to date, that of unity is right up there near the top of the list.
Having a disjointed unit that doesn’t function to its maximum effect as a team is no use.
Many great managers over the years have discarded brilliant but dysfunctional individuals and benefited from it. Sometimes the end product may lack a bit of flair, a bit of individual brilliance, a bit of off-the-cuff play that gets a crowd on its feet. But what it is designed to introduce is a better collective effort and better results from, maybe, a happier team.
The downside is, it may not work.
Take the current situation between Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira and his head coach, Daniel Farke.
Oliveira was dropped for Tuesday’s game against Nottingham Forest because Farke wasn’t impressed with his attitude in training... this a few days after he used amusing anecdotes to chide the Portuguese striker for failing to make it to Colney because of the snow. The two are not linked, says Farke. But they are.
They are linked because a player’s attitude in training affects his team-mates: if it looks (and that has to be stressed) like he isn’t putting in the hard yards, his colleagues won’t be impressed with him. And if there are those of a like mind, the malaise spreads.
And that’s why Farke had to take action. Seems like Oliveira understood, so it is not as if we are talking of a major falling out between the two, that has to be stressed. But City drew another blank against Forest, they can’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo - and arguably their best striker is missing because of disciplinary reasons.
Oliveira has scored eight goals this season and only recently ended a barren 11-game run. But don’t forget last season when he bagged 10 in 11 games. You don’t discard players like that without some intense consideration.
So what do City do? Do they let Oliveira go in the summer when there will inevitably be interest in his services? Or do they persist and hope Farke works his man out of this issue.
When money is tight and the Carrow Road cupboard is alarmingly devoid of striking talent, it is clearly a delicate situation. The fans’ poll can’t decide... but they don’t have to. Farke and Webber do.
Question: What to do with Nelson Oliveira?
Get him back in the side - too good to leave out: 18pc
Let him stew on the sidelines for a while yet: 17pc
Play him and then sell him in the summer: 43pc
Freeze him out for rest of the season and cash in: 22pc