Rod Liddle December 24 2017, 12:01am, The Sunday TimesUngrateful Norwich fans should be thankful for woman who cares about clubRod Liddle ShareSaveTinned mince and frozen mashed potato. As a metaphor for the football being played at Carrow Road this season, that just about does it for a growing proportion of Norwich City fans. Towards the end of their team’s guileless and inept capitulation to a rapidly improving Brentford on Friday, the chants began: “We want Delia out, we want Delia out.” Delia Smith is 76 years old and, with her husband Michael Wynn-Jones, the largest shareholder in Norwich City. A few years back Britain’s best loved chef slightly tarnished her reputation with a cookery book that recommended using those very comestibles I mentioned in my opening sentence. One woman who read the book wrote online: “When I read about the tinned mince and the frozen mash, I began to cry. I’m no cook but even I can mash a potato.” It was an eccentric take on shepherd’s pie, for sure — but then all of Delia’s recipes tend to be more notable for their pragmatism than their haute cuisine elegance. It is one of the reasons I like her books so much. Too many cooks: some Norwich fans want Delia Smith outMATTHEW USHERShe is famous as well for standing on the pitch, urging the Norwich faithful to support their side during a crucial game against Manchester City: “Where are you, where are you — let’s be ’avin you!” She denied, on that occasion, that she was several sheets to the wind. Norwich lost the game. It has been a fairly steady, if unspectacular spiral downward pretty much ever since. They now sit well below mid-table in the Championship, having won once in 11 games. They are, by some margin, the worst team to have visited The Den this season, easily brushed aside, seemingly anxious to be bullied out of possession, hilariously lax at the back, threatless up front and, as the game wore on, possessed of all the animation and fortitude of a rabbit with myxomatosis. Score: 4-0 to Millwall. Hell, we almost never score four! Where do the problems lie? All over the place. Last summer the club announced the appointment as head coach of the completely unknown German, Daniel Farke. At the time, the Norwich sporting director, Stuart Webber, said: “We are not appointing a novice, you know.” With respect, Mr Webber, yes you were. Herr Farke’s managerial credentials are confined to a lengthy spell with the might of S V Lippstadt, who play in a German regional league, and whom he shepherded to a promotion followed, swiftly, by a relegation. Oh, and managing Borussia Dortmund’s second team — largely the under 23s — who play in the fourth tier. His stats for both clubs are moderate. This season Farke has emerged from defeats sounding bemused and wearied: “I did not see that result coming,” he said, after the hammering at Millwall in August. Nor indeed the rest of them: they are an apparent mystery to him. There is a case for saying that what Farke and Webber are trying to do is laudable — gradually build a team, based on youth and promise and attractive football. But it is also precisely the recipe for exiting the Championship in the wrong direction. It is a hard and nasty league and to get out of it the right way you need a tough, resolute defence and a centre-forward who will get you 20 goals a season. Norwich City have neither of those. They are lightweight and ephemeral, engagingly neat in the middle of the park, but dilatory at both ends. That truly is a recipe for relegation, and when you look at the table, there are plenty of clubs below them with the wherewithal to get out of the messes they are in right now. I hope I’m wrong about this, for Millwall’s sake, but I do not see Sunderland, Hull City, Queens Park Rangers (even with the awful Ian Holloway) or Birmingham City going down this season. Farke’s job is supposedly safe, despite the protests from Norwich’s valiant attempt at a boisterous and threatening section of the ground, the Snakepit. And so instead the odium is being poured upon Delia. And what odium. One poster on a fans’ forum wrote: “She’s an incredibly selfish woman who cannot conceive a weekend without the regularity of wining and dining at Carrow Road. That is her life, and we’re all having to pay for it with our own emotions.” Ooh, my. It is indeed dispiriting to find yourself in mid-table — or even in League One — when you think you should be in the top four of the Premier League, as some in Norfolk would contend. But it is also a little one-eyed. Smith spent her own money rescuing the club she fervently supports at a time when nobody else really gave a monkey’s. In this she is similar to Steve Gibson at Middlesbrough, who play in a similar manner to Norwich (more noblesse oblige) and some of whose fans want him kicked out too because they are not in the top six. The general rule is: be careful what you wish for. Both clubs have owners wholly committed to both the area and the team. That is a rare thing in football these days.