A devastating two-month run of eight defeats from eleven matches has marred the first half of the 2017/18 season for everyone connected to Norwich City.
In these situations, fans inevitably seek to assign blame as naturally, frustration is easier to vent if you have a source to direct it at. It seems every figurehead has got it in the neck at some point: players, manager, board, chairman, sporting and managing directors, Captain Canary, you name it. So, why is blame so hard to assign?
Many blame the players, most of whom have been increasingly careless on the ball and clueless without it. On the ball, they’ve looked like complacent schoolboys playing keep-ball in dangerous areas in order to show off their skill, and mask their inability to spark an attack that threatens in any way. But no Norwich fan is buying it, and even the most average of opposition have easily exploited it.
When the ball is inevitably lost in said dangerous areas, they either theatrically hurl themselves to the ground or back off completely, almost to allow the opposition’s attackers to drift past them. Every mistake from a Norwich player is quickly followed by a punch of the ground, a head dropping or an audible groan. It’s clear, therefore, that attitude is a problem here. Does this lie with the manager, or should the players as professionals take responsibility for themselves?
Some Norwich fans have criticised manager Farke, both for being ‘responsible’ for all of the above and for his playing style. His slow, steady approach, which relies upon playing out from the back, has been ever-present throughout this alarming slip down the table. Fans cite this as evidence for tactical ineptitude in addressing the goalscoring problems that have plagued us all season. Many view his persistence in playing a lone striker with central players on the wing to be inexplicable. But other fans feel it can be explained - and they do so by blaming the board.
Sections of home supporters against Brentford hurled abuse at Delia Smith, Ed Balls and the connected board of directors for their lack of ambition, while others question Stuart Webber’s regime. Webber’s highly anticipated scouting expeditions to Germany returned many new manns, but none that could spearhead our attack or threaten down the wing. Without the money that have seen Wolves rocket up the Championship table, many fans view our club to be doomed to the ‘stable little family club’ status that Delia Smith and family seem to encourage.
So it’s difficult to know where to place the blame (or how to solve the problems) because the problems spread throughout the players, manager, board, chairman, sporting and managing directors (though perhaps not Captain Canary). It’s concerning that this has emerged in the final season where parachute payments could have helped us to the Premier League, where the club ultimately hopes to establish itself.
It may get worse before it gets better.
By Charles Charlie Charles