Spud Thornhill: Canaries have done my job for me and put smiles on our faces!
PUBLISHED: 10:25 28 September 2018
I'm sure regular readers of my articles will know I always try and put a positive spin on my words - some weeks are harder than other weeks.
However, today I don’t think I need to lift the spirits of my fellow Canaries – I’m sure since my last article two weeks ago even the most pessimistic supporter must be feeling good about things.
As I walked towards Carrow Road before the Middlesbrough game, I didn’t have a good feeling about the game, mainly because of the visitors’ unbeaten record and their manager Tony Pulis’ style of football. I saw that Jordan Rhodes was dropped to the bench, leaving Teemu Pukki up front on his own with Marco Stiepermann introduced to central midfield. I’m sure there were plenty of Norwich fans who were questioning Daniel Farke’s tactics, but it appears he has played the perfect games against Boro and the three games since – from getting into Middlesbrough’s faces, playing a high pressing passing game at Reading and QPR, ending with a lot of the fringe players playing well at Wycombe, even if we did make hard work of it.
Before anyone shouts out and says ‘let’s not get carried away’, don’t worry, I’m not. It’s just that I’ve been telling many people for a long time how we need to be a patient, allow Farke to build his team and we will see progress – which we can see by how many players impressed us, especially the youngsters.
Many, many years ago the club would ask for money after money for the next generation of City players. Year by year, I would make contributions in many different ways, such as the academy donation. It was not missing out on winning something like the price of my season ticket which frustrated me. No – it was the lack of youth team players coming through to the first team.
After seeing players like Darren Eadie, Andy Johnson, Craig Bellamy and many more coming through the system in the 90s, I can honestly say I found it disappointing what we have actually produced on the academy front since 2000. Yes, I did question the actual purpose of our academy, especially after losing some of our FA Youth Cup winning side of 2013. Especially seeing players like the captain of our winning side of 2013, Cameron McGeehan being moved on. But since the academy has been totally revamped and more serious focus put into it in the last couple of years, we are definitely seeing the fruits of the labour.
I understand we are not always going to see players we have high hopes for, but we are definitely getting more success.
Obviously Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell are really showing the importance of our academy. What really is showing in abundance is the maturity. Both Aarons and Lewis show no fear facing opposing wingers and in general are not overawed.
Cantwell has also been excellent, even if at times he appears to be trying too hard.
A prime example was when he tried to showboat in his own box in the dying moments at Loftus Road. Keeper Tim Krul told him in no uncertain terms what he thought about that I am sure Cantwell will know what to do next time.
In the last few games, watching Christoph Zimmerman, Timm Klose and other senior players with the youngsters during play and after the final whistle, you can see the respect, support and, most importantly, the togetherness we now have at our club.
The senior players are doing a lot more than just playing football – I’m sure they are going to play their part in securing a bright yellow, youthful future.
And as there are a few players waiting in the wings, I’m sure it won’t be long until we see the next one coming off the conveyor belt.