Robin Sainty: Norwich City’s ‘mojo’ may be key to Timm Klose’s future
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It's a sign of how much positivity currently surrounds the club that last week's AGM was more celebration than interrogation.
Although the financial situation is challenging it was good to have confirmation that the suggestion that players would have to be sold in January has no basis in reality.
As Stuart Webber rightly said, offers of 'silly money' can never be discounted, but that's a world away from the 'fire sale' rumours that did the rounds in the summer and have popped up again.
However, careful thought will have to go into Timm Klose's situation as his contract is up in the summer, meaning that January would be the last chance to sell him for a fee, but he's so integral to City's success, and appears so happy here, that maybe something can be negotiated.
I'm sure that Klose and his agent will have already had plenty of discussions with Webber, perhaps along the similar lines to the ones that resulted in Alex Tettey's new contract, but I suspect that both sides will want to have a clearer idea of where City will be playing next season before committing.
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However, with the Premier League looking rather more than a pipe dream I really hope that the popular Swiss will still be at Carrow Road next season.
What may help in his decision is the tightness of the squad and coaching staff, which was further emphasised on the Tampa trip, and was once again there for all to see at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
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The trip to Swansea appeared to have all the hallmarks of a potentially difficult afternoon and yet City, without ever really hitting top gear, made it seem like a walk in the park.
The new motto 'Together we are stronger' is not just a soundbite, but a mantra that now runs through a club that has rediscovered its mojo, and instead of trying to compete in a market where money rules when its own resources are so limited, is now confidently plotting its own course, based on shrewd transfer dealings, a more dynamic and focused youth development policy and a fearless style of football that is garnering widespread admiration.
Emi Buendia cost a reported £1.5m yet on Saturday he totally outshone Leroy Fer on whom City spent £8m in the days of plenty, while Onel Hernandez, signed for roughly the price of one of the Murphy twins' legs, continued to show the sort of directness and commitment that we all too rarely saw from either.
Tuesday night was tougher and served to prove just how central Mo Leitner is to City's style of play. Without him their build-up play was rather ponderous, although the conditions were hardly conducive to flowing football, but nevertheless they never looked even vaguely uncomfortable against a spirited home team, and, crucially, avoided a fifth yellow card for Max Aarons before the amnesty.
While some might see a point at Hull as a disappointment, that is what Championship football is all about, grinding out a result in filthy conditions away from home when the side are struggling to get anywhere near their best.
Seven consecutive wins would have been nice, but four points from two away games in four days is not to be sniffed at. City have had their time under the radar and now are there to be shot at, so more massed defences will be in evidence in the coming games, and while they now seem to have the guile and firepower to unpick them, there's plenty of hard grind ahead.
Tuesday night's performance suggested that one or two players were a little jaded and Daniel Farke will need to manage his squad carefully over the coming weeks, but there's nothing like winning to restore a spring to your step. However, Saturday will be a real test with Rotherham unbeaten in their last seven games.