Jump to content
Note to existing users - password reset is required Read more... ×


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 16/04/19 in all areas

  1. 12 points
  2. 7 points
    Cancel that medium meltdown, it’s about to go ‘absolutely ****ing mentally massive meltdown’.
  3. 7 points
  4. 6 points
    *adopts best Brian Blessed voice* Right, looks like we're getting no help from Leeds or the Blunts today. It's a beautiful day out there. The sun's shining, it's lovely and warm, the scene is set perfectly. Get out the house, get down the pub or out into the city, savour the day. Be positive, be friendly, be excellent to each other. Drop a few quid in the charity buckets outside the ground (raising money for Mind today, a most worthwhile cause). Cheer the team, no matter who's in it. Don't get on the players' backs the first time they make a mistake, or if we concede an early goal. Let's show the Sky TV cameras once again that we're the best fans in the league - sing louder, prouder and longer than you've sung all season. Trust Farke to get us over the line, don't doubt him. This is our time. OTBC.
  5. 6 points
    FFS City just do a win tonight so I can sleep a bit easier. These last couple of games have had me through the mangle.
  6. 6 points
    You're an absolute master at deliberately missing the point. It isn't about whether you're on twitter. It is about the fact you've gone after numerous people on this thread for potentially damaging Cantwell, calling them 'hateful', 'a disgrace' and accusing them of 'facilitating a witch hunt' against them. Yet the poster who might actually warrant those descriptions gets a pass because...I don't really know? Only one person on this thread said he 'never wants to see Cantwell starting for us again.' Only one has tagged Cantwell in a message calling him 'god-awful' so the player actually gets to see it. Yet he doesn't get called a disgrace or hateful or anything other than 'clued up' apparently.
  7. 5 points
    Puts our Wigan game into perspective a bit. There's no such thing as an easy game at this stage of the season
  8. 5 points
    I like the bit about taking down imagery of achievements of yesteryear, unlike other Clubs that live solely in the past with nothing to look forward to.
  9. 5 points
    With respect, I cannot agree with any of this, we are the best team in the league. Let Aston Villa worry about playing the Champions elect - if they are absolutely desperate for points, then Norwich City are the last side they will be wanting to play on the last day of the season, coming at us in desperation sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, and a field day for our sublime forward players, Pukki, Buendia, Hernandez, Stiepermann etc etc - of that I am sure. It could be like Fulham all over again (for them)
  10. 4 points
  11. 4 points
    Stapleford Park Hotel, Melton Mowbray, May 2018. Stuart Webber, the Norwich City sporting director, Daniel Farke, the head coach, his backroom staff and 11 department heads decamped to Leicestershire for two days of what Webber describes as “brutal honesty”. Farke’s first season at Carrow Road had ended with a 14th-place finish, two behind their rivals Ipswich Town and 15 points short of the play-offs. Only three wins since early February and a 5-1 thrashing by Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on the final day yielded “sleepless nights”, deep introspection and rumblings of discontent among supporters. Aarons, 19, an academy graduate, has been impressive at right back this season and has been linked with a number of Premier League sidesDAVID DAVIES/PA WIRE Webber, 35, who left Huddersfield Town for Norfolk in April 2017, “had been sowing seeds for 12 months”, he says, “but wasn’t seeing many green shoots, just a muddy field”. So he gathered his key staff to analyse their work in great detail. After the first day, their wives joined them for dinner. After the second, the Norwich board arrived. The conclusion? “Keep doing what we were doing, we knew it could work,” Webber says. “And we shut out the noise.” Tonight the Sky Bet Championship leaders could clinch promotion to the Premier League against Sheffield Wednesday, Farke’s 100th game in charge. Patience and courage has been vindicated. They would also return a very different club from the one that left the top flight three years ago. In a division of soaring spending and precarious debt Norwich have proved that intelligent leadership, savvy recruitment, progressive coaching and faith in youth can formulate a winning — and reaffirming — recipe for success. When Webber arrived, however, he found a club lumbered with an ageing, underperforming squad, a dysfunctional dressing room, a £55 million wage bill — then the second-highest in Championship history — and a growing disconnect between club and fans. “I’m going to call your baby ugly,” he told Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones, the majority shareholders, before embarking on a staff overhaul that meant all but three department heads left the club within six months. “Best in Class” adorned club correspondence, Webber recalls, of a club that had spent four of the previous six seasons in the Premier League but had a sub-standard training ground with a gym inside a conservatory extension. A bond scheme raised £5 million to redevelop their training base and academy at Colney, on the outskirts of the city, which will be completed this summer. There is now a commitment to nourishing and giving opportunity to homegrown talent. With Premier League parachute payments ending last season, though, Norwich’s self-sustaining vision was also born from necessity. The sale of James Maddison to Leicester City and Josh Murphy to Cardiff City in the summer took the amount received in transfer fees since 2017 to more than £70 million but the fear was that the squad would report for pre-season demoralised, with a feeling that the club was regressing. They arrived to find newly refurbished changing rooms, a new restaurant where the players could eat and socialise in comfort (and mobile phones are banned), upgraded training pitches and vivid imagery on the walls and corridors to reflect the latest squad rather than achievements of yesteryear. A private plane was chartered to travel to the club’s pre-season training camp in Paderborn, Germany, rather than Ryanair flights to the same location the previous year. In isolation, small gestures; but a broader statement to the players that the club was “investing in you”, Webber says. <img class="Media-img" src="//www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fd8c1e532-61e2-11e9-99ae-5ebf638762d3.jpg?crop=4478%2C2985%2C277%2C414" alt="Webber, the Norwich sporting director, gathered key figures at the club for “brutal honesty” talks following a 14th place finish in 2017-18"> Webber, the Norwich sporting director, gathered key figures at the club for “brutal honesty” talks following a 14th place finish in 2017-18JASONPIX/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK A culture of self-improvement has been married with Norwich’s traditional family values. Every debutant has his framed shirt presented by a former player or coach. Tim Krul, the goalkeeper signed from Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer, had his presented by Bryan Gunn, the legendary Norwich No 1 of the Eighties and Nineties. In March, Nigel Worthington, the former manager, presented Alex Tettey with a framed shirt to mark his 200th appearance, then delivered a talk about the Championship title-winning campaign that he oversaw in 2003-04. Ant Middleton, the former soldier, adventurer and TV presenter, Gareth Roberts, the former Wales rugby union player, and Martín Gramática, the former NFL placekicker and Super Bowl champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have delivered talks to the players — the latter, during the club’s mid-season training camp in Tampa, Florida, on performing under pressure. Smith and Wynn-Jones, meanwhile, often have lunch with the players and every new signing’s family is invited to dine with them. A more open and inclusive environment was in evidence at the club’s annual meeting last year when Smith, Wynn-Jones, Ed Balls, the chairman at the time, and Webber mingled with shareholders before and after the meeting. On New Year’s Day they accepted an invitation to meet supporters for drinks in a London pub before the Brentford game. Webber’s leadership qualities, understandably, have not gone unnoticed; the 35-year-old, who began his career in football as a coach in Wrexham’s academy and holds a Uefa pro-licence, received covetous glances from Southampton in November. He worked in recruitment for Liverpool and QPR before taking director’s roles at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Huddersfield Town. In November 2015 he brought David Wagner, the former head coach of Borussia Dortmund’s reserves, to England after discussing their football philosophies with a bowl of chocolate raisins laid out on a table in the German-American’s home. Farke, whom Webber returned to Dortmund reserves for, has cultivated much goodwill with his articulate post-match musings and likeable demeanour since arriving in Norfolk. But after only one win from the opening five league games this season the pressure on the former German lower-league striker spiked further. Last season’s build-up play was often laboured and slow but some key summer signings and Farke’s labours on the training ground have finally brought his vision of high-pressing, expansive, dynamic football to life. <img class="Media-img" src="//www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fbb60e5ce-61e2-11e9-99ae-5ebf638762d3.jpg?crop=3000%2C2000%2C0%2C0" alt="Farke, the head coach, joined from Borussia Dortmund II in May 2017 and has implemented an expansive, high-pressing style of football at Carrow Road"> Farke, the head coach, joined from Borussia Dortmund II in May 2017 and has implemented an expansive, high-pressing style of football at Carrow RoadROSS KINNAIRD/GETTY IMAGES “We dominated many, many statistics last season but the biggest difference compared to last season is that we have added some end product,” Farke, 42, says. Some sweeping team moves and goals, the most goals scored in the division and 29 goals in the last 15 minutes of games have left Canaries fans purring. All of which is even more remarkable given that Norwich’s starting XI in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic contained four academy graduates, four free transfers and three players who cost a total of about £4 million. Kieran Scott, the head of recruitment with whom Webber worked at Wolves, leads a team of four full-time scouts and two analysts who have mined a growing list of diamonds. The shimmering talent of the 22-year-old Emiliano Buendía, a diminutive Argentine winger signed from Getafe for £1.5 million, has lit up Carrow Road with eight goals and 11 assists and he looks ready-made for the Premier League. Teemu Pukki, 29, a free transfer from Brondby who underwhelmed during a season with Celtic in 2013-14, has 27 goals and ten assists and was named Championship player of the year. Kenny McLean, a £200,000 signing from Aberdeen, came into midfield in January and encapsulates the strength in depth of this squad. Farke’s knowledge of his native country has also meant that nine players have arrived from German leagues in the past two seasons, on free transfers or for nominal fees. There is pride, too, in seeing three academy players aged 21 or younger populating Norwich’s back four. Max Aarons, the right back who has started every game since his league debut against Ipswich Town at Portman Road in September, has played with remarkable poise and consistency. “[Farke] just gives you massive confidence when you go out on the pitch to go and play your game,” says Aarons who, along with Jamal Lewis, the left back, has transformed the dynamic of the team. Ben Godfrey, a central defender, has grown in stature with every game alongside Christoph Zimmermann, 26, a bargain free transfer from Dortmund. <img class="Media-img" src="//www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F3cedc344-61e5-11e9-9842-63958b78574e.jpg?crop=1834%2C2750%2C119%2C57" alt="Free transfer Pukki is the leading scorer in the Championship this season"> Free transfer Pukki is the leading scorer in the Championship this seasonMICHAEL ZEMANEK/BPI/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK Farke’s meritocratic approach means that experienced players such as Timm Klose, a £10 million signing from Wolfsburg in 2016, Grant Hanley, who cost £3.5 million from Newcastle United in 2017, and Jordan Rhodes, on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, have had to wait on the sidelines. “When quality players are not in the starting line-up but are unbelievably supportive in the dressing room before and after the game, happy to celebrate with the team, pretty often this season I got the feeling this is a really special group of players,” Farke says. A leadership group of those senior players takes responsibility for marshalling the youthful squad too. When Buendía reacted badly to being substituted, for example, he was reprimanded by his team-mates. For much of this season eyes in the Championship have been fixed elsewhere, on Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United or Frank Lampard’s Derby County. It is Norwich, however, who have scaled the greatest heights, with a manager who speaks of the “fun” that his players are having and a board whose vision and patience has been richly rewarded. Key players in promotion bid Three bargains Teemu Pukki, 29, striker (free transfer from Brondby) The Finland forward has scored 27 goals and set up nine for his team-mates. He was named Championship player of the year Emi Buendia, 22, winger (£1.5 million from Getafe) The skilful, speedy former Real Madrid youth team player has missed seven games this season, none of which Norwich have won Moritz Leitner, 26, midfield (£1.5 million from Augsburg) The German has been rejuvenated under Daniel Farke, with whom he worked at Borussia Dortmund, after frustrating spells with Stuttgart, Lazio and Augsburg Academy stars Todd Cantwell, 21, attacking midfield Joined Norwich aged 10. Loaned to Fortuna Sittard, who play in the Eredivisie, last season after failing to find a League Two club Ben Godfrey, 21 central midfield/ defence Excelled during a loan spell with Shrewsbury Town last season. Has piqued the interest of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur Max Aarons, 19, right back Named EFL young player of the year in his debut season. Tipped to be a future England right back and Premier League star Jamal Lewis, 21, left back The Northern Ireland defender joined from Luton Town with Aarons in 2016. Has made 63 appearances in the past two seasons TV Norwich City v Sheffield Wednesday. Tonight, 7.45pm. Live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event
  12. 4 points
    Special report: The secrets behind the Norwich success story 18 APRIL 2019 • 3:05PM Norwich City are potentially 90 minutes away from clinching promotion to the Premier League and Daniel Farke is sitting in his office, pleading valiantly for calm. He has guided Norwich to the top of the Championship against all the odds and pre-season predictions, and is on the verge of securing a dream finish to this most memorable of seasons. Nearly 12 months after finishing 14th, Norwich will be virtually assured of a place back in the big time on Friday night if they beat Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United fail to take three points against Nottingham Forest earlier in the day. “We are in a brilliant position and everyone is allowed to dream, especially the supporters,” says Farke, on a glorious spring afternoon at Colney. “This is the toughest league in the world. So many games, so many big clubs. It’s important that you are not stupid and realise that getting promoted will be life-changing. But we have four more games left to play, we must remain calm and not lose the focus.” It has been a remarkable turnaround, and Norwich’s progress should act as a timely warning to trigger-happy chairmen that sacking the manager is not always the best solution. Introducing new players, fresh ideas and a radical philosophy requires time and patience and, fortunately for Farke, he has found the right environment to flourish since arriving from Borussia Dortmund II. Teemu Pukki is having a brilliant season up front CREDIT: PA Last season the club finished below midtable, losing 16 games, and Stuart Webber, Norwich’s sporting director, admits it was often difficult to remain positive. “At times last year it was really horrible. Everyone was down on what we were doing, and I fully understood that. We weren’t getting anywhere near the results we wanted,” he says. “There were signs of progress but we finished behind our local rivals [Ipswich] for the first time in years. We asked a lot of the fans, and their trust got tested. The board stuck with me and Daniel and we will always be grateful because other clubs would have changed it. “That’s the mistake other clubs make, they are constantly chasing it and patience is a dirty word. But Daniel never wavered in his beliefs and we knew that we needed another transfer window to bring in the type of players we wanted. It’s taken two years of hard work for us to become an overnight success.” Farke-Ball, as it is known, is a fluid 4-3-3 and could not be further away from the high-octane, pressing styles of other German managers such as Jurgen Klopp and David Wagner. It is an approach arguably more reminiscent of Pep Guardiola, with the belief that players will only develop under a certain style. It is perhaps no surprise Farke was a prolific striker in his early years at Lippstadt. Norwich have won 11 of their last 15 games, with only one defeat in the Championship this year. “In order to be successful, everything has to come together,” says Farke, 42. “Last season when I signed the club was in a very difficult situation. We sold some of our best players because of the financial pressure and it is not easy. “A solid finish in mid-table was not too bad. We weren’t involved in a relegation battle and even last season we dominated games but were 24th in shot accuracy. We knew we were close.” Now Norwich could not be closer, and Webber has undoubtedly been one of the other key men in the transformation. A 35-year-old Welshman who counts Liverpool, Wolves and Huddersfield among his former clubs, his impact in Norfolk has been crucial. When he was appointed in April 2017 Norwich’s wage bill was £63m a year, the second highest ever in the Championship behind Newcastle. But the sales of stars including James Maddison (£21m), Alex Pritchard (£11m), Josh Murphy (£10m), Jacob Murphy (£10m) and Jonny Howson (£6m) has now slashed that wage bill to £25m, which still includes five big earners out on loan. Recruitment has been shrewd, with Emi Buendia, a gifted Argentinian attacking midfielder, arguably the stand-out signing at just £1.5m from Getafe. “Buendia is a success story for the whole scouting department, starting with the guys in data who first flagged him up for high statistics in a really underperforming team,” says Webber. “Kieran Scott [head of recruitment] then went to watch him, came back and said he was unbelievable. I then got involved, watched him and then by using my contacts got into Getafe to make the deal happen at a time when they were struggling for money. “It was the perfect jigsaw and everything slotted into place, and that very rarely happens. We literally found him from nowhere. The most interesting part of it is that Buendia was on loan at Cultural Leonesa, who are owned by Leeds. Luckily we got in there under Leeds’ noses.” £1.5m Emi Buendia has proven a particularly successful signing CREDIT: PA There have been many other astute signings: Teemu Pukki has 27 league goals after signing on a free transfer from Brondby, while Marco Stiepermann (£1.2m from Bochum) and goalkeeper Tim Krul (free transfer) have been admirably consistent. Farke and Webber also take special satisfaction with the signing of Tom Trybull, a defensive midfielder from Germany who turned up on trial without a club on Farke’s recommendation. “When I first arrived two years ago I could not have expected Norwich to be in this position, one game away from the Premier League,” says Trybull, 26. “This is amazing and it’s a dream to be part of it. I’ve never known a dressing room like this one. Now all my friends in Germany are big Norwich fans and they are desperate for us to get the points. “We have shown other clubs to trust the boss and the philosophy. We have proved it’s not all about spending loads of money. Maybe other clubs will now change their minds. Norwich has been good for football.” The mood at Norwich’s training ground this week was vibrant, and there is a clear sense of togetherness. Dotted around the offices are inspirational messages on the walls, such as this one from American author Kenneth H. Blanchard: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Work is well underway on a £5m revamp of their base, with the funds raised by the Canaries Bond, with dressing rooms being built for junior levels down to the under-9s. The academy is also flourishing, underlined by the impressive impact of full-backs Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis in the first-team this season. Midfielder Tom Trybull says his friends back in Germany are now Norwich fans CREDIT: JASON BYE Norwich’s majority shareholders, Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones, are fully in tune with the vision and make regular visits to Colney. Season ticket sales are capped at 22,000. The big question is whether Norwich can finally end their unwanted reputation as a yo-yo club, after dropping out of the Premier League in 2016. Webber has a plan. “If we do go up, we won’t be making knee-jerk decisions. We won’t be signing players for £15m. That has to be the aim, eventually, but we will be looking at Swansea, Burnley and Bournemouth when they first got promoted. “You have to believe that if you create a good environment and culture, with young players and smart recruitment, that you can be successful.” Farke, meanwhile, is only concerned about Friday night and the subject turns to horses as he prepares to leave. The chant of “Farke’s on a horse” has reverberated around Carrow Road in recent weeks and Norwich’s head coach takes up the story. “When I was leaving Lippstadt [in 2015] the chairman decided I had to ride a horse to say goodbye,” he says, laughing. “The stadium was full and I had to keep my nerve. Now the fans here in Norwich have picked up on it and want me to do it again. “The big problem is I was always a bit scared of horses: I would never win the Cheltenham Gold Cup! ” He should not worry - for his legion of admirers, promotion out of the Championship will be more than enough.
  13. 4 points
    It's not just about results or the quality on display . Their fans appreciate that their players are all great lads who give everything for that football club and have been brilliant for Lambert who couldn't ask any more of them and then there's the man himself who isn't Mick McCarthy or Paul Hurst and always takes the time to reassure the fans that they are special. They have much to be appreciative of. Let's not also forget that with all those tens of pounds they'll have to spend and the clutch of youngsters coming up from the third tier regional section of youth football to supplement their highly motivated, dogged and determined squad of senior players! They'll be romping L1 next season on their way to back to back promotion to the Premier League for the 2021-22 season. I totally get their optimism, their jubilant celebrations may even eclipse Leeds promotion party and so it should with the bright future they have ahead of them.
  14. 4 points
    Not played well ? Myth 75 % possession against Reading 67% at Wigan in a gale, a pitch churned up with rugby and made as small as possible to suit their game. I pray that some of this negativity will not spread to FCR tomorrow night as this is the one thing that will stop our charge into the PL. Our current form unbeaten in 10 won 8 drawn 2 Under immense pressure would have seen Leeds or Sheffield Utd already promoted as we hauled them both back in.
  15. 4 points
    Also, on what could be a good Good Friday, if the results go our way it could be a great Good Friday so lets have a tenner on a Sheff Utd v NOTTS FOREST - AWAY WIN NORWICH v Sheff Wed - HOME WIN £10 double to see us promoted and get another £100 for the CSF I've sent it via Paypal mate
  16. 4 points
    Cantwell steps up and scores!!!! Glad to be able to put your mind at rest!
  17. 4 points
  18. 3 points
    only few posts from Waccoe! I still believe they can over run Sheffield but if we win today we dont care at all what will happen next 10 days! Just put my son to bed. When I was sure he was asleep, I actually had tears in my eyes. Frustration more than sadness I think but I swear one day this club will finish me off or break me mentally. Suicide seems like a viable solution to me right now. Wigan ruined us but we were appalling. As bad as Hernandez has played in a Leeds shirt, played like a 55yr old. Alioski, Harrison, Klich and Bamford shocking After the game I took the dog for a walk in the countryside, found a nice quiet spot with no one around and let out the loudest **** **** ****.
  19. 3 points
    Got the result correct and that there'd be a red card (thought it would have to be to Leeds for Wigan to win), but quite happy with my prediction overall lol.
  20. 3 points
  21. 3 points
    19% battery left! You should plug in
  22. 3 points
  23. 3 points
  24. 3 points
    WE NEED TO MIX IT UP OR WE'RE GOING TO LOOOOOSE BUH McGovern Pinto Hanley Klose Heise Passlack Tettey Vrancic Cantwell Rhodes Srbeny
  25. 3 points
    It makes for frightening reading, no one likes to see people out of work, they have families to feed after all. The other side of this is that it has been heading this way for a number of seasons, the debt has been rising for 10 years, while any assets have been sold or hived off to other areas of Evans' business. Lambert's take on it is totally irresponsible, to tell the fans that there's so much to look forward to, that they'll have to fight to get a ticket is just delusional. Evans himself, has gone on record, to say that there will not be any major purchases or money for loans to help the kids who will be thrown in, ready or not because they're cheap. As for the fanbase, such as it is, years of denial, made worse by the constant referral to glories of yesteryear, have seen them clinging to every word spewed by Lambert in the vain hope that things will get better. It hasn't and it will not, but it's there, in black and white, for them to digest , as the fixtures show them at their lowest ebb in 60 years.