Chris Goreham: Why it’s time to press Ctrl, Alt, Delete on Norwich City’s season
PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:24 11 November 2019
If I was Daniel Farke it would be around now that I would be pressing Ctrl, Alt and Delete and rebooting the whole Norwich City project.
That may not be the most helpful piece of advice he'll receive during the international break but it's the best he's going to get from someone whose experience in the dugout goes no deeper than a misspent youth playing Championship Manager and computer games like that.
You're not really supposed to turn the computer off every time you lose a match and have another go at it and passionate keyboard Klopps would never admit to doing so but most players will have committed the cardinal computerised sin at some point when the frustration of a losing run became too much.
Daniel Farke's predicament would certainly have got the better of me. A list of injuries rivalled only in length by the amount of column inches written about VAR in the Premier League has meant that early season promise has been obliterated by a team selection that has included at least one square peg in a round hole most weeks and several of his key players sat in the stands watching the confidence drain from the team mates who wrote themselves into the yellow and green history books when they beat Manchester City to clinch one of the most famous Canary victories.
Everybody realised that it would be a giant leap from Championship to Premier League and defeats were bound to be plentiful. The most galling aspect of City's last three matches against Manchester United, Brighton and Watford has been that Farke's team hasn't performed to anywhere near its potential.
It's not simply that they have lost all three, the 3-2 defeat by Chelsea back in August proved that it's possible to emerge from a match with both zero points and plenty of credit at the same time.
MORE: Don't abandon this team in its hour of need
That swashbuckling City side has been nowhere to be seen recently. They've been like that bloke in the office who has obviously just split up with his girlfriend. Last year they were the life and soul of the Christmas Party but now they sit in the corner, a pale shadow of their former self, snapping at colleagues and sending passive aggressive all staff e-mails about somebody stealing their yogurt from the fridge.
We want the old Norwich back. It's not about new signings or a new approach or ripping it up and starting again. Farke needs a Rocky style montage to remind his players of some of their efforts from last season and the start of this. Teemu Pukki's hat-trick against Newcastle was built on the foundations of an in-your-face performance from a Norwich team desperate to show the Premier League establishment that they belonged.
The saving grace is that the Canaries are only trying to finish 16th or 17th this season.
They don't need to crack the top four, top six or even the top ten. They simply need to survive. That means that the target remains well within reach despite an energy sapping run of losses and just two goals in seven games. It's still perfectly possible for them to get what they want even with the defeats and goals against columns swelling alarmingly quickly.
In the circumstances it won't be easy for that City swagger to return but that's what Farke needs to find.
As soon as it gets to the point that they need a really good run just to catch-up with the teams hovering above the relegation zone the equation will begin to get too difficult.
If the old Norwich hasn't returned by the time they've played Everton, Arsenal, Southampton and Sheffield United in their next four games the temptation to quit the season without saving the game may prove too much.
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