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We have been top of the championship ladder since February 16th, that's 12 games. We will get promoted due to Leeds doing worse than us in the last couple of weeks. But there is a chance we will meekly roll over and hand the title to Sheffield.

Many on here may disagree but the reason for the lackluster performances in the last couple of weeks is down to DF and the defensive strategies that he's employed in our run in. We've got to where we are in the division through our attacking brand (full credit to DF and the players), defending is not a strong suit for us. Yet DL has changed his approach, similar to how Alex Neil reacted after the Newcastle game in our last Prem campaign. The defensive thinking has resulted in us playing without a midfield pivot or playmaker after injuries to firstly Leitner and then Vrancic. Attack is the best form of defence for us. Buendia has filled that role coming in from the wing but since his red card, we have been powder puff with any team being able to dominate us in midfield and put us under. McLean was brought in to replace Vrancic when injured but should have gone back onto the bench the minute Vrancic was available. I believe DL has kept McLean in the team for his extra height and bulk to defend setpieces. I appreciate McLean has put in some sterling performances for the team but he just does not process the same skillset as Vrancic. Not McLean's fault he's been asked to play in that position. but you see the difference when Vrancic is on the pitch, the entire team passes quicker and with accuracy. I was 99% sure that his freekick would go in against Sheffield Wednesday before he took it. Vrancic is like a Maddison or a Beckham for us so why hold him until we are behind !

With 2 games to go, we are ahead and can still win the title. With the correct personnel, we would not have a problem beating both Blackburn and Villa. But if DF continues to be defensive or stay loyal to certain players, then just cross your fingers & your toes and wish for luck.

 

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Posted (edited)

As much as I agree we’re better with Leitner  or Vrancic next to Trybull/Tettey, you can’t argue with winning 8 games in a row which McLean has done with city.

Dont see how we’ve been more defensive lately at all. With McLean as a wandering quarterback we’ve been more attacking if anything.

Scored more, conceded more.

Edited by Fiery Zac
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To say he's choked is nonsense.

There is a valid criticism to be made of his squad management as the season has gone on but this is mostly nonsense.

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There have been some bizarre posts going on lately, on here and on the Facebook groups. How Farke isn't good enough, isn't playing the right players etc.

I actually think he's pretty much been proven correct in every decision he's made this season. People wanted Leitner to start ahead of Cantwell but it was clear Cantwell played because he was more up to speed and the pace of play etc than Leitner was. That was clear when Leitner made his start at home against Wednesday and struggled (despite the fact he's a wonderfully talented player).

As with McLean, he's actually a 'more offensive' option than Vrancic. McLean travels with the ball and is involved in the final 3rd alot more than Vrancic typically is when he's starting a match from the deeper position alongside Trybull. I prefer Vrancic as a player but McLean has scored and assisted consistently during his run in.

I remember when some on here, good posters too, felt Farke wasn't mixing up the squad enough, giving enough players chances etc - however in the last 15 games or so we've outperformed Utd and Leeds, so even doubting that is dubious.

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3 minutes ago, hogesar said:

I remember when some on here, good posters too, felt Farke wasn't mixing up the squad enough, giving enough players chances etc - however in the last 15 games or so we've outperformed Utd and Leeds, so even doubting that is dubious.

I don't think it is that dubious- we saw how rusty Leitner was due to such sporadic use for example.

I think with a bit more rotation and better use of subs we'd have been promoted a game or two ago- can't prove it though. 

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4 minutes ago, hogesar said:

. That was clear when Leitner made his start at home against Wednesday and struggled (despite the fact he's a wonderfully talented player).

It looked far more like it was down to being played completely out of position than match fitness. 

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Don't disagree with your opinions on Vrancic but to say Farke is choking is a bit silly. 

Our 8 game winning run put us in a fantastic position. It would have been brilliant if that had gone on securing promotion last week or whatever but the championship was never going to be that way. Instead of criticising Farke we could look at how competitive this division is and compliment if for being so. Back In September pundits were in awe of Bielsa and already predicting Leeds walking over this division - if anyone's choking it isn't us!

Instead that winning run left us in such a strong position that even with a drop in form we would have gone into the end of the season with the strongest shout of promotion. like drawing a game when you were winning it's a disappointing end but thats the nature of this sport. As it happens Leeds being Leeds have pretty much removed any cause for panic we could have been feeling right now. 

Personally i'm going to enjoy the fight for the title. This side is more than capable of 6 points.

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2 minutes ago, king canary said:

I don't think it is that dubious- we saw how rusty Leitner was due to such sporadic use for example.

I think with a bit more rotation and better use of subs we'd have been promoted a game or two ago- can't prove it though. 

That's easy to say though, isnt it? The only proof we actually have though, is Farkes decisions have meant we're still top of the league. Even point swing is irrelevant because we were 7 points clear at one point, and again that was with Farkes selections, not anyone elses.

I personally would have seen Vrancic played more but that's a personal preference on him being one of my favourite players. Additionally, Farke seems to have kept together the fantastic team spirit which must be a massive aspect of his team selections. McLean has kept his place because of goals / assists moreso than performances but it's also been difficult for players outside the starting eleven to complain for starts when he's doing that.

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Norwich haven’t gone defensive in the last few games at all. I think the opposite criticism could be laid at their feet that they have tried to attack too much and been unbalanced. 

Mostly what has happened is a little bit of nerves in front of goal and chances that would have been buried 10 game ago are now being missed or passes that would have found their man are now going to defenders.

I agree that the squad management hasn’t been as I would have liked. Even just giving players longer from the bench would have helped. Not making a sub until the 80th minute versus QPR is just weird (in my eyes). 

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Would that be a Jerusalem Farke Choke?

Sorry for the cynicism but he hasn't choked. At worst it is misplaced loyalty in the ones who have performed so well even if they are out of position or slight loss of form i.e. Stiepermann. 

But DF cannot legislate for a handball goal or Hernandez continually slipping over.

Both DF and Wilder have stuck to their ethos and line ups. Good on then. If anyone has choked it is Bielsa who has not tried to repair a broken method.

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2 minutes ago, keelansgrandad said:

Would that be a Jerusalem Farke Choke?

Is that an Artichoke joke about farke’s alleged choke?

an Artijoke if you will.

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Congrats op I garuntee this post will result in a McClean bashing post. He is playing out of position for the benefit of the team and still topping the stats in several games. Should be praised not bashed.

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7 minutes ago, hogesar said:

That's easy to say though, isnt it? The only proof we actually have though, is Farkes decisions have meant we're still top of the league. Even point swing is irrelevant because we were 7 points clear at one point, and again that was with Farkes selections, not anyone elses.

Yes, it is just as easy to say that as it is to say what you've said. No real difficulty involved in either.

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7 minutes ago, Bethnal Yellow and Green said:

Norwich haven’t gone defensive in the last few games at all. I think the opposite criticism could be laid at their feet that they have tried to attack too much and been unbalanced. 

Mostly what has happened is a little bit of nerves in front of goal and chances that would have been buried 10 game ago are now being missed or passes that would have found their man are now going to defenders.

I agree that the squad management hasn’t been as I would have liked. Even just giving players longer from the bench would have helped. Not making a sub until the 80th minute versus QPR is just weird (in my eyes). 

Agree with the first 2 paragraphs certainly. We've looked a little too open when trying to 'force' the issue, alongside nerves which have resulted in us losing the ball in advance positions which is where we've then looked vulnerable.

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1 minute ago, king canary said:

Yes, it is just as easy to say that as it is to say what you've said. No real difficulty involved in either.

Yeah, apart from at least what i'm saying is based on what's actually happened as opposed to what's not.

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5 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Yeah, apart from at least what i'm saying is based on what's actually happened as opposed to what's not.

Well yes, I did say what I was saying was hypothetical.

You're a good poster but I do wonder what you get out of being on forum sometimes...

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24 minutes ago, king canary said:

I don't think it is that dubious- we saw how rusty Leitner was due to such sporadic use for example.

I think with a bit more rotation and better use of subs we'd have been promoted a game or two ago- can't prove it though. 

Strongly agree that squad rotation can only ever be a good thing when you have the depth of squad that we have. 

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I think the OP is just nonsense.  Like many others I think he could have managed his squad selection better and could bring on substitutions earlier, it was particularly frustrating against Wigan to see the substitutes getting ready but not actually come on until 75 minutes.  There is a debate about whether it was best to bring in Cantwell rather than Vrancic and there's no way to be sure.  Overall it's a bit of an overhang of the attitude we saw from him in his first year when he'd not really change the lineup for cup games - in Germany they just don't have the same number of fixtures we do, so that took time for him to adjust.

 

But we've certainly not gone for a defensive approach at all.

 

But in the end we're almost home & dry with 2 games to go.  So we can't really complain about that !!

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For what DF has done for us this season I feel I'd let him off if I found him in bed with my Mrs.

 

 

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Then so have the other 2 as in the last 6 games Norwich have gained 10 points, Sheffield United 11 points and Leeds 9 points. We are the only unbeaten team of those 5 and are in the longest unbeaten run in the league. Looks like it’s falling apart Farke out, Webber must go and we definitely should not have blooded those youngsters.

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Posted (edited)

Overall, saying Farke has 'choked' is ludicrous. Saying the squad may be choking a bit with the pressure 'might' have some merit to it. 

Regardless, the pressure has been building since Buendia's red card, but Leeds' collapse yesterday has taken all of the pressure away with the prospect of failing to be promoted now being negligible. 

I think we'll see City really having fun for their last home game of the season next weekend. Bolton has been getting good results, but we're a big step up from their recent games. Looking forward to it. 🙂

Edited by littleyellowbirdie

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Yeah it's not an appropriate comment, we all know the reading game we almost stole a win, Wigan a terrible penalty decision and Sheff Wed with a goal forced in by the hand.

I will admit that I do believe we have not played our best players as they have sat on the bench and I think McLean is, as noted by another poster, not in position. With new additions in the summer I think Farke will need to rotate more next year against opponents. We all know how few games are in the prem and how critical it is to be set up for each one correctly.

I will admit performances have dropped without Buendia, but I consider him our best player for a fair few years. Now we have the home game where we expect a performance and will be loud. Roll on the weekend

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All teams go through peaks and troughs of form throughout the season , after our long winning run it was always likely we were going to drop points towards the end of the season especially with the pressure of the finish line approaching. Sometimes we can analyse and point fingers when it’s simply a slight dip in form. It always amuses me how team selection doesn’t get mentioned when we win yet as soon as points are dropped it’s because this player or that player wasn’t picked. That’s not to say Farke hasn’t made mistakes but he had got an awful lot more right than wrong. 

As had been said some of the comments immediately post match in social media were embarrassing. Rather than the club not deserving promotion these ‘supporters’ don't deserve it. 

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49 minutes ago, king canary said:

Well yes, I did say what I was saying was hypothetical.

You're a good poster but I do wonder what you get out of being on forum sometimes...

Don't worry, so do I!

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'Choking' is a run of defeats in my book.

 

How many games since we last lost?

Teams have raised their games (and their shooting ..Foresteiri,) refs had made mistakes (Fletcher) and perhaps Farke was mistaken in his choice of young Cantwell for a couple of games, which, by promoting youth and sicking to a system is probably the opposite of choking in any case.

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I think the last few results have been solely done to the loss  of Buendia, our whole team formation is based around him.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, CANARYKING said:

I think the last few results have been solely done to the loss  of Buendia, our whole team formation is based around him.

Exactly this.

I do think the bench players could have been afforded more game time to avoid any rust setting in, but you can’t argue too much against no loss in twelve games.

Edited by unique

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One of our issues is, Hernandez aside we dont have any natural wide players.

Even Emi who starts wide often drifts in, likewise Cantwell - who is most like for like replacement.

Replacing Emi was always going to be hard.

Trying to bring Vrancic or Leitner into replace Emi is putting a square peg in a round hole.

Theres no doubt McClean has done really well and deserved his place in the team whilst we were performing, but the series of draws gave us the chance to revert to our 'best team' and bring Vrancic and Leitner back.

As DF chocked? No not at all.

However you could stay he has been a touch stubborn and overly rigid.

 

 

 

 

 

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This accusation that managers are ‘stubborn’ amuses me too, Sarri has been accused of it quite a bit. Managers are paid to pick the team which they think will win the match, not pick who supporters demand. 

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Yesterday we had posts accusing the players of bottling it. Today we get this rubbish. 

Farke is the bravest manager we've had in my time. These young players are the bravest we've had in my time. The older players are the most supportive we've had in my time. 

Yes there have been games we've won comfortably during the season. QPR the latest. But most of the season has been like the last four games. And that's regardless of whose personal favourites have started.

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