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Fuzzar

Good opinion piece in The Times today

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Daniel Farke’s courage and conviction will reap reward for Norwich City

Oliver Kay, Chief Football Correspondent

There were some good signs for low-spending promoted club despite the one-sided first half.

in a frantic marketplace, it cannot be easy to keep your head while all around are threatening to lose theirs. The call is to spend, spend, spend and, in the consumerist age, armed with all the riches that the world’s broadcasters offer, it must be hard — indeed often dangerous — to resist the clamour.

If that is true of Jürgen Klopp, who made clear all summer that he saw no need to make any eye-catching additions to the Liverpool team that had just won the Champions League, it applies even more to Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke, the masterminds behind Norwich City’s promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

Norwich have bought two players over the course of the summer and loaned another three, but they have done so on a fraction of Sheffield United’s budget, never mind Aston Villa’s. Farke’s starting line-up at Anfield last night was made up entirely of the young players who led them to promotion — players who, in most cases, were unheralded even at Championship level until around the halfway stage of last season. “We actually don’t think we need a major rebuild,” Webber, the sporting director, said this week. “We cannot talk about the harmony of the group being a major strength and then panic.”

By the time they returned to the away dressing room at Anfield at half-time, Norwich were 4-0 down. Talk about a rude awakening. Men against boys. European champions against Football League champions. The team whose victory parade around Liverpool in June looked like the most glorious process against the team whose open-top bus, emblazoned with the slogan “We are Premier League”, had conked out on their journey around Norwich a fortnight earlier.

Yes Norwich are going to have to defend an awful lot better, but matches like this are not the norm. Liverpool’s record against the promoted teams in the Premier League last season was six wins out of six (14 goals scored, two goals conceded). Their record against the 18 teams who finished below them was 30 wins, six draws and no defeats (88 goals scored, 20 conceded). Nobody could live with them — except, of course, for Manchester City.

This is what Liverpool do to visiting teams much more often than not. They have not lost a Premier League game at Anfield in the past two seasons. Norwich’s hopes were never going to hinge on whether they could keep Mohamed Salah quiet or whether they could stop Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right. It is probably just as well.

There were a few troubling signs for Norwich — not so much Grant Hanley’s own goal inside seven minutes, which was freakish, as the non-existent marking for Virgil van Dijk’s header for the third — but Farke will have liked much of what he saw. Playing out from the back against a Liverpool team who press like this? It was not so much naive as uncompromising. And, under Farke, that will not change.

Some of Norwich’s football was excellent. They look to use the speed and inventiveness of Max Aarons, 19, and Emi Buendía, 22, on the right and Jamal Lewis and Todd Cantwell, both 21, on the left. What is not to like?

Yes they will need to tighten up — they conceded 57 goals en route to the Championship title, which is 18 more than Wolverhampton Wanderers the previous year and 17 more than Newcastle United 12 months before that — but they are not going to hoof it into Row Z. Playing out from the back is the basis of their system and the way they performed for long periods here should give them more confidence.

There is a danger in becoming the type of team that receives plaudits without picking up points, but Norwich are rather more than that. They lost three of their first five Championship matches last season and only three more all season. They looked like a soft touch for a period in the first half last night, but this was against Liverpool. How many other teams are going to pen them in like that?

To stick to your principles takes courage and conviction — and Farke, like Klopp, has plenty of both. Their respective ambitions are different, as are the budgets, but if they feel that reinforcing their team is easier said than done, it is a commendable viewpoint. And for Norwich, it will get easier after this.

 

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Fuzzar it’s the first piece fair to the game, there’s a lot of real City bashing reports especially the BBC, who don’t really write anything positive about our game last night, just go on about how we were out played and got a dose of reality!

I don’t doubt Liverpool had an extra gear that’s why they are European champions, but our play was good, the philosophy mustn’t change, keep playing like last night and we’ll give a few sides a football lesson.

I thought Klopp had a very good assessment of the game and was complimentary about us.

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That is a very balanced view from Kay there, possibly biased in our favour. But I agree with his overall drift. Let's see how other teams fare at Anfield, let alone the first match of a new season having won the European Championship only a few months ago in front of a celebratory crowd.

Edited by sonyc

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"Playing out from the back is the basis of their system"   But they must learn to play it out and not take on a man when open to counter attacks ! 

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Playing out from the back is the basis of their system"   But they must learn to play it out and not take on a man when open to counter attacks !

We did lose the ball too many times in our own half last night and I remember Carragher, who I thought was fair to us, screaming that we couldn't keep doing it. But Liverpool's midfield is pretty unheralded but they are as good as anyone's and they press you into mistakes. It is part of our ethos and we will keep doing it against weaker teams and be successful.

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He’s right it will IF we can sort out our defending. Defenders will make errors from time to time but the poor marking from crosses and set plays is something that must be addressed quickly before it undermines all our excellent play. Farke has not managed to do this in 2 years though so it’s a worry. 

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