Have the wheels come off?

I now have serious concerns. Not that we just don't look anything like a team capable of attacking the play-offs next season, worse than that, Norwich City have every chance of finishing lower than our neighbours down the road. An outcome which simply is not acceptable.

We started this season knowing that the essential clear out of 'hangers on' was two years too late. We also realised that we have had to accept a significant change in personnel and also tactics by employing a German manager.

Whist many fans have shown little patience in coping with one up front, three centre halves and rolling the ball out from the back to an endless throng of crab football, I told others including myself that patience was required to cope with the change for the forthcoming season.

Those not understanding or preparing to accept the new method of drawing out the opposition from their half with the goalkeeper and/or back line having the ball to then utilise the gaps created to then move the ball forward have instantly displayed their annoyance with cries of 'get it wide' or 'launch it'.

Interestingly enough, England's national team are playing exactly the same style. The three Lions performed better having produced a number of 1-0 wins and having not conceded in five games until Italy's dubious penalty on Tuesday. England also produced little chances and Jamie Vardy hardly touched the ball. Our goal came from another breakaway and a quick thinking free kick.

I firmly believe that Nelson Oliveria and Dennis Srbeny are not to blame. They are forced to work the channels, make pointless runs and stand on their heals waiting for an age for a penetrating move forward, with the exception of James Maddison.

Daniel Farke however has a major issue. Namely the small group of players he is willing to use, approximately 16, are simply not good enough to successfully carry out these tactics. They are too slow with their feet and too slow in their heads to convert possession in weak areas into dangerous areas of the pitch, initially to firstly create chances and ultimately to produce successful finishing. 

If you haven't got the skills, you can then resort to work rate and aggression. In the last few games, no City players seem to be busting a gut to outdo opposition and the only steel being displayed is through Grant Handley and Christoph Zimmermann. 

As usual, against QPR we managed more possession with 57% but also as usual, we produced less shots and less than half on target compared to the home side. The goal which got us into a lead was an own goal created without even getting a shot off. The goal itself was produced from a break away. 

Also on the City of Yellows Blog:

  • The peculiar pleasures of mid-table mediocrity
    13th...... 11th...... 9th...... 13th. No, this is not an article about our friends down the A140. These are the finishing places of Norwich City in Division Two (aka The Championship) during the second half of the 1960s: the final season of Ron Ashman’s management.
  • Can Madders’ past predict his future?
    An English attacker who uses his brain to help him bring unselfish and consistent quality on the pitch, and to keep his confidence in-check. A young footballer who is visibly grateful for any opportunity he is given, sharing mutual respect with coaches and fans alike.
  • A pragmatic approach to being a Norwich City fan
    I first started taking note of Norwich City as an eight year old living in Lowestoft, strangely lots of people living in the most easterly town in England seem to prefer to support Norwich than the county town of Suffolk.

I would suggest that breakouts from defence and turning the opposition back line are the best chance for us to score however most of our attacks start from facing two lines of opposition whilst moving the ball around at a snails pace. Our visors on Friday, Fulham also moved the ball about with lots of possession passing. The major difference was the Cottagers did it with purpose and far quicker than we were ever capable of.

To put it simply, the current crop of players are not good enough to produce results from these tactics. To add salt to the wounds, fans are switching off to the style. One regular remarked to me this week, with the exception of the Klose equaliser against Town, he could not remember the last time he was either on the edge of his seat of forced to his feet as as a result of any excitement produced on the hallowed Carrow Road turf this season.

I have now run out of patience.

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