Farke will take control of City's penalty problems - and demand a 'proper strike'
Daniel Farke has decided to take control of Norwich City's penalty troubles, by taking responsibility for who will take the next spot-kick and how it will be taken.
The Canaries’ head coach has taken matters into his own hands, after a fifth penalty of the campaign was missed on Wednesday night, when Marco Stiepermann was denied during a 3-1 loss at Preston.
Mario Vrancic is the only player to score a spot-kick for City this season, in a 1-0 home win over Wigan, but Stiepermann had been looking like the man for the job in training – only to see his effort saved by Declan Rudd.
“That’s a difficult question because, if we are honest, we trained so much in the recent weeks on penalties, nearly in and after each and every session,” Farke explained when quizzed about penalties ahead of Saturday’s game at Bolton.
“Like I have said, Marco Stiepermann was there with 25 goals in a row or whatever but it is no guarantee that he will score. So I decided not to train any more because you cannot train for this pressure situation during a game.
“So it is also a bit superstitious. If we don’t mention it at all and at Bolton if there is a penalty there is not too much pressure on the taker.
“We have to find one who is there with the goal. It is a big topic.”
Only Stoke have missed as many penalties as Norwich in the Championship this season, so Farke will take charge of how the next penalty is dealt with, when another opportunity arrives.
Jordan Rhodes was guilty of two misses during the first half of the season, while Vrancic, Teemu Pukki and now Stiepermann have also wasted spot-kick chances.
“Because we missed so many penalties my feeling is whoever is missing is punished by the public or our supporters whatever, not team-mates and also I’m not, because I know you can miss penalties for sure,” the German continued, speaking from the north-west hotel the club have based themselves at in recent days.
“I criticise a bit the way we use the penalties but it is a bit like I could lean back in this situation and say it’s not my topic, it’s up to them to find a solution.
“But for me it’s more like now I need to take the responsibility and say I lead this group, I have a decision on who takes it and how to take it.
“It’s not like using this height that is good for a goalkeeper, now I want a proper strike and in this moment I have to take responsibility and tell the taker they have my trust and if they miss then they should punish me, but I trust you, you take this and right now it is up to me to decide this.”
With 22 goals to his name in all competitions this season, top scorer Pukki would seem to be the top candidate for the next penalty, despite missing one already, particularly with Vrancic currently out injured.
“Teemu is always unbelievably unselfish on the pitch, so for example when Jordan (Rhodes) is there with him on the pitch he always tries to be there with a pass to Jordan because you get the feeling that they are both more happy when their team-mate is scoring than themselves,” Farke continued.
“It’s a sign of our togetherness and our commitment. In this game I also totally trust Teemu that he is able to score with penalties because he is so good with his finishes and so calm.
“But the last 25 penalties Marco Stiepermann took (in training) he was able to score and Teemu knows that his last penalty he missed, so he said that ‘Stiepi it is up to you to take this one’.
“But like I said it’s probably up to me to make the decision about who will take it and if you had one guy who was taking six, he wouldn’t miss five of them! So it’s more like right now I will speak about there is one guy and he will go further on with penalties.
“To be honest Mario Vrancic would be my first choice, although he missed one, he is always cool and able to take these.
“If he is not available, I will name a guy and from now on, we will score out of this situation, that’s for sure.”