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PurpleCanary

A balanced view

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Posted (edited)

A balanced view? I hope any Librans out there would say so…

1. The project. Yes, there is one, like it or not. And the project exists because it is the only financially sensible way of running the club if you have pauper owners who are not prepared or indeed able to break whatever FFP rules are called now. By its nature the project is likely (as we have painfully seen) to involve sliding down the odd snake as well as climbing up a few ladders.

Arguments against the project in reality are arguments against having pauper owners, and there are valid arguments to be made there. But given the apparent handover of power to Tom Smith, with the status quo implied (on the basis of very limited information, and I would need to know more) by that succession, then arguments are futile. Fans who do not want the status quo need to start acting now to try to force change.


2. Could we have avoided relegation, the snakes and ladders aspect of the project notwithstanding?

Subsection a)

Were the summer and winter transfer windows c*cked up? Not least because we spent zilch? Yes and no. The signing of several promising youngsters (and those this summer) was in tune with the longer aim of the project.  But the headline deals? That we didn’t spend much of permanent deals is less important than whether we signed the right players. If we had bought Fahrmann, Amadou and Roberts it would have cost us a satisfyingly macho amount of money. But not one lasted the course.

I don’t know about Roberts. But Amadou was plainly meant to replace Tettey (I believe Tettey said – and expected - as much) and I remember Bethnal, who is no-one’s fool on football, saying what I also thought, which was that Krul would start the season as first choice but Fahrmann would end it as such.

Krul ( I know it is heresy but even factoring in playing behind an awful defence I still have doubts about him, as presumably did Webber and Farke) made no obvious mistakes, and Fahrmann was left twiddling his thumbs.

And Amadou, in a crucial position, where Webber and Farke obviously knew we needed at least cover and probably an upgrade, left in the winter as well. Was it a risk to place such hopes on someone who’d never played in English football before, given the tactically important and physically demanding nature of the position? 

As it happens it was good we didn’t spend the money on permanent deals, but that hardly makes up for the fact, for a variety of reasons, and Webber and Farke might well have explanations that put this in a more rounded context, that the summer window didn’t achieve one of its two main objectives, which was to improve the first-team squad.

Subsection b)

Did Farke's game management and coaching let us down. I don't know, not least since I never had a minute's football coaching in my life. I have read a great deal about the supposed failings of zonal marking, particularly at set pieces.
Is that it, or is it simply that we have missed our two most physically imposing central defenders?

I defer to posters who actually know a bit about the game, but I get the sense Farke could have done better sometimes, even allowing for him coming up against some of the best coaches in world football. The CV of Ancelotti at Everton, for example, is just absurd, taking in a good percentage of the greatest clubs in world football.

I don’t think relegation is a self-inflicted wound, but I don’t believe we made as good a fist of trying to stay up as we could have done. I also believe Webber and Farke will have learned from this season.

 

Edited by PurpleCanary
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I agree with all of the above. There were - in my opinion - definitely mistakes that have been made and are deserving of criticism. Crucially, there is a difference between criticism and over the top reactions of "sack everyone" or words to the effect.

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8 hours ago, PurpleCanary said:

A balanced view? I hope any Librans out there would say so…

1. The project. Yes, there is one, like it or not. And the project exists because it is the only financially sensible way of running the club if you have pauper owners who are not prepared or indeed able to break whatever FFP rules are called now. By its nature the project is likely (as we have painfully seen) to involve sliding down the odd snake as well as climbing up a few ladders.

Arguments against the project in reality are arguments against having pauper owners, and there are valid arguments to be made there. But given the apparent handover of power to Tom Smith, with the status quo implied (on the basis of very limited information, and I would need to know more) by that succession, then arguments are futile. Fans who do not want the status quo need to start acting now to try to force change.


2. Could we have avoided relegation, the snakes and ladders aspect of the project notwithstanding?

Subsection a)

Were the summer and winter transfer windows c*cked up? Not least because we spent zilch? Yes and no. The signing of several promising youngsters (and those this summer) was in tune with the longer aim of the project.  But the headline deals? That we didn’t spend much of permanent deals is less important than whether we signed the right players. If we had bought Fahrmann, Amadou and Roberts it would have cost us a satisfyingly macho amount of money. But not one lasted the course.

I don’t know about Roberts. But Amadou was plainly meant to replace Tettey (I believe Tettey said – and expected - as much) and I remember Bethnal, who is no-one’s fool on football, saying what I also thought, which was that Krul would start the season as first choice but Fahrmann would end it as such.

Krul ( I know it is heresy but even factoring in playing behind an awful defence I still have doubts about him, as presumably did Webber and Farke) made no obvious mistakes, and Fahrmann was left twiddling his thumbs.

And Amadou, in a crucial position, where Webber and Farke obviously knew we needed at least cover and probably an upgrade, left in the winter as well. Was it a risk to place such hopes on someone who’d never played in English football before, given the tactically important and physically demanding nature of the position? 

As it happens it was good we didn’t spend the money on permanent deals, but that hardly makes up for the fact, for a variety of reasons, and Webber and Farke might well have explanations that put this in a more rounded context, that the summer window didn’t achieve one of its two main objectives, which was to improve the first-team squad.

Subsection b)

Did Farke's game management and coaching let us down. I don't know, not least since I never had a minute's football coaching in my life. I have read a great deal about the supposed failings of zonal marking, particularly at set pieces.
Is that it, or is it simply that we have missed our two most physically imposing central defenders?

I defer to posters who actually know a bit about the game, but I get the sense Farke could have done better sometimes, even allowing for him coming up against some of the best coaches in world football. The CV of Ancelotti at Everton, for example, is just absurd, taking in a good percentage of the greatest clubs in world football.

I don’t think relegation is a self-inflicted wound, but I don’t believe we made as good a fist of trying to stay up as we could have done. I also believe Webber and Farke will have learned from this season.

 

One of the biggest problems this season has been conceding goals at such an alarming rate, which coincidentally was one of our biggest problems last season. 

Farke didn't learn from that and up to this point in the season, there's no clear evidence to suggest that any time has been spent on the training ground coaching the defence to work as a unit stopping the flow of goals against. 

 

Webber too, must have been partially responsible for the tranche of players bought and loaned in last couple of seasons, who didn't get to play more than cameo roles yet must have cost us thousands. 

This as you mentioned has been repeated this season, even as recently as January, with Rupp and Duda. 

Will they learn those lessons? I personally see no evidence of any acknowledgement of their failings, rather, Farke has reverted back again to 'our players aren't good enough' type comments. 

I suspect from the way the players have been past few months, they have come to realise that the coaching and tactics aren't good enough. 

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👏👏👏

Very well put Purple. 
 

There is no foolproof plan to survive relegation from the Prem and the fact Norwich and Villa, who both took such contrasting routes to spending are both going down shows that. 
 

The transfer dealings were poor - Webber has admitted that. Amadou and Drmic were dice rolls (like many of Norwich’s previous signings) but they both came up as 1s. 
 

Things could have been done better of course and everyone needs to reflect on this season and work out where they can improve - like they did after Farke’s first season. 
 

Norwich were always up against it this season - the promotion was unexpected and based on many players suddenly having the season of their lives. While it was a painful experience (although shouldn’t have been a huge surprise) taking the money and running was the wisest strategy. Norwich could have sunk all their money on transfer fees, it would have still only totalled around £30m/£40m and relegation would still have been the most likely outcome. 
 

The key part of the strategy will be how next season goes - has a punishing season killed the heart that the club built in the promotion season. It is worth remembering though how down hearted everyone went into that season - and how slow it started. 
 

I expect to see a much changes squad over the summer. The results of which will tell us if Webber really is the transfer master many thought him to be. 

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A balanced view?? It'll never catch on.😀

Thanks lads. Calmer this morning and it's preferable to read this sort of thing tahn anything else.👏

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Hmmmm, interesting. Bottom line to me is failings on many levels.

1. Not enough investment

2. What money was spent was not, apart from Byram, spent well

3. Tactical naivety

4. Coaching at set pieces and defence generally.

5. Strange in game management and subs.

6. Lack of steel and mental strength, no points from going behind.

 

It is not great. Positives are few and rather than use the first team as a nursery for those that show promise we must also get the "actual" and not just the "potential" before they are sold.

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I think we still shouldn't underestimate the impact that the ridiculous injuries, particularly defensively, have had on our season.

Most promoted teams rely on the earlier parts of the season where the momentum from the season before tends to get some results. But not having a single fit CB for those games completely ruined that possibility. Then, if you do get results from those games, the increased confidence certainly gives you a better chance moving forwards.

It's not an excuse for poor recruitment or, for example, our performance yesterday. But even taking yesterday as an example - I don't see Antonio bullying Hanley the way he did Klose.

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1 hour ago, hogesar said:

I think we still shouldn't underestimate the impact that the ridiculous injuries, particularly defensively, have had on our season.

Most promoted teams rely on the earlier parts of the season where the momentum from the season before tends to get some results. But not having a single fit CB for those games completely ruined that possibility. Then, if you do get results from those games, the increased confidence certainly gives you a better chance moving forwards.

It's not an excuse for poor recruitment or, for example, our performance yesterday. But even taking yesterday as an example - I don't see Antonio bullying Hanley the way he did Klose.

That's true but I was amazed last May 2019 that Webber handed a new three year contract to Klose who (very shortly afterwards) was revealed to be 'managing a knee problem'. Yet Webber had the audacity to spout on about .............'his predecessors pissing the money up a wall'!!!

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard: "They were better than us physically, in the mind and with the ball. So you lose the game.
 

Frank Lampard was honest enough to admit his own failings and that of his team in yesterdays defeat. His comments relate to us as well.


I’m trying to remember when Farke was as brutality honest about his own performance as he is with his players.

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1 hour ago, hogesar said:

I think we still shouldn't underestimate the impact that the ridiculous injuries, particularly defensively, have had on our season.

Most promoted teams rely on the earlier parts of the season where the momentum from the season before tends to get some results. But not having a single fit CB for those games completely ruined that possibility. Then, if you do get results from those games, the increased confidence certainly gives you a better chance moving forwards.

It's not an excuse for poor recruitment or, for example, our performance yesterday. But even taking yesterday as an example - I don't see Antonio bullying Hanley the way he did Klose.

I think that is true but I also take Yellowrider's point about Klose. Either way we got into the absurd position of having one or other of the defenive midfielders - who were meant to provide much-needed cover in front of a shaky defence - playing in that defence because there was no-one else available.

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A nice balanced post (from a non-Libran). The biggest error in my view was not getting the defence issues addressed pre season or in-season....and that might be recruitment, poor tactics/coaching or even a lack of investment (and combination of any of these). I think in the PL you have to build more from the back and be stable (like Sheff U) ....suppose this is Hughton again.

In the Championship, you need to have attacking flair and ability. That's why we won the league last time. In the Championship the quality of finishing is good but not as brilliant as in the PL. We've had some very good goals scored against us this year.  I hope we learn this most. Attack the Championship and be on the front foot. It normally helps you (look at Brentford's style...lovely to watch). 

Next time if we get to the PL, invest in great defenders, experience etc.

One final point is that possession wise, we've been mid table and we are second aren't we in hitting the woodwork? With the point well-covered about our defensive injuries (and VAR), is it even fair to point out we haven't had our run of the luck? We had a good share last year.

As ever, I'm really looking forward to next year. We seem already to be a step ahead in new signings. Actually, I'm excited! Honestly.

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Posted (edited)

This thread feels strange, calm and cool compared to a lot of others right now.

Can't disagree with anything that has been said. I think the club committed to an idea of how to do this season, but commitment doesn't always equal success. The worst thing to do now however would be to scrap it all.

Edited by Mason 47

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Posted (edited)

It would be interesting to see the stats on Hanley, Klose, Zimmerman and Godfrey all being available for selection at the start of each match. I doubt even three on them were fit on matchday very often. It has had a profound effect on our season tho that isn't to hide from the deficiences and errors elsewhere.

I don't know whether that is bad planning, bad training regimes or just bad luck but it does need to be addressed.

Edited by duke63

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Calm and sensible. Not sure I can handle this on a Sunday morning 😀. A very good post. The one thing I do get upset with is "the project". All it is is a business plan. Every business from my local coffee shop to Apple has a business plan and some fans think it makes us different. Every club has a business plan the only difference is ours went to plan at first. Business plans are a statement of intent, a view of what you want to do but now we will see how going up and down will effect us in the long term. Huddersfield had a project a few years ago, Hull had a project and I'm sure Leeds have had a project for the last decade. We will cash in on a number of players but my worry is how much damage has been done to some of the players who will stay at the club from a dispirited season. 

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Great post, and it's good to see some calm/reasonable discussion around the club on the thread without someone going OTT!

In my opinion our two failings have been recruitment and management. 

In the first half of the season, we were playing well but we're narrowly missing out on results. At this point, it seemed clear that perhaps a few extra players of quality, or even just a few players in a different style, could have turned those performances into important points. It really was fine margins in many of those games. 

In the second half of the season, we fell off a cliff both in performances and results. 2020 has been the worst I've seen us play at this level. It was at this point I think many came to the conclusion that Farke was not as blameless in our league position as some possibly thought in the first half of the season. 

You make an excellent point about the loan signings being terrible, but that we should be glad that they were not signed permanently. Duda, Fahrmann, Amadou and Roberts would likely have cost well upwards of £60m and we are lucky that none became contracted players. I said in another thread that the recruitment team rightly were showered with praise last season, but need an inquest after recruiting so many flops for the first team this season. I'm not sure I've ever seen a club send back so many players loaned for the first team. I think there are some valid concerns around a few of the first xi signings too... 

What we have done very well over the last few years is with our recruitment for players of the future. I am pleased to see we have carried this on and hopefully they will be huge for us next season, because the current senior squad needs a major revamp imo. 

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Whatever opinion the deep meaningful evaluation of the club right now and going forward brings, there were indisputable errors on the coaching side.

I get what DF was saying after the match. Not much of that really concerns him. His main job is to coach. And he has to work with what he is give.

And Webber let him down there. DF, as a reserve team coach would have no experience of bringing in players.

But as this season developed, I think many of us felt that maybe relegation was inevitable, not just because of the personnel or the board's determination to see this season as 38 free hits, but because DF didn't seem able or willing to change much. And that was disappointing. Forget about physicality or power, we didn't have it. But tactically, nothing altered from one match to the next. Its all very well for top teams to say let the opposition worry about us, but in reality, most teams in this division saw us as a soft touch particularly after lockdown.

I would love to be able to have a pint or two with DF and ask him those type of questions and see if I respect his answers. It would have been awful to see us relegated per se but we have looked so lethargic and disinterested for so long now.

I hope we recruit well for next season and find ourselves a leader. Someone on the pitch who will not only lead by example but have the nous to be able to galvanise the players and get them to harden themselves mentally.

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Posted (edited)

I think one of the obvious failings is our lack of physicality, an example being the way Watford equalised from the corner. We were not strong enough to stand up against much stronger players. I think power and pace is a success to all premiership sides and we unfortunately lacked both. I would say a lot of sides at the bottom technically, are not much better but they can scrap and fight because they get back quicker and are not easily pushed over.

Edited by Kenny Foggo

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The two things need adding this summer is pace in the forward positions and physicality.

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1 minute ago, Move Klose said:

The two things need adding this summer is pace in the forward positions and physicality.

Norwich shouldn’t ignore their core principle of being a technical side just to bring in big players. This is what happened with Amadou and why he never made an impact. 
 

The big challenge that finding physical players who are also technically proficient and affordable is incredibly hard. 

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2 hours ago, sonyc said:

As ever, I'm really looking forward to next year. We seem already to be a step ahead in new signings. Actually, I'm excited! Honestly.

I'm worried......has Lakey recruited you to his sunshine cult ? 😀

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Good balanced view Purple.

I still can't get my head around why things changed so drastically post restart. We were/are like a different team. Sure there were injuries to contend with but they've been there all season. Other teams have had the same break but they just seem much more alive and up for it. Is it just the injuries?

If there's something underlying there either with some players or even Farke then it needs to be addressed.

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14 hours ago, PurpleCanary said:

Did Farke's game management and coaching let us down. I don't know, not least since I never had a minute's football coaching in my life. I have read a great deal about the supposed failings of zonal marking, particularly at set pieces. Is that it, or is it simply that we have missed our two most physically imposing central defenders?

Good post but I don't think you need to be a qualified coach to recognise there have been issues with how Farke has managed the squad and how he's managed during games. Zero points from losing positions says quite a bit.

Re set pieces- I don't think its really zinal marking nor is it injuries- I don't think if we had all our central defenders fit that we'd be starting Hanley and Zimmerman and a team as short as ours is probably better suited to marking zonally than man marking- most teams would have some obviously favourable match ups if we tried that. I just don't think we executed a zonal system very well which goes back to the 'whaaas goin' on in traaaynin?' question.

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I still think we missed our crowd more than any other team did post restart. There's no way we would have laid down so easily with 27000 people screaming at them - think back to the Millwall and Forset games last year and the Man City one this season; we'd have lost all of them without the crowd.

Michael Bailey seems to think we will sell 2 or 3 of our "youngsters" - he suggests Buendia, Cantwell and Godfrey I believe. Others on here seem confident that Lewis and Aarons are definites for a move. Bailey also suggests that only one player (Drmic) will be on more than £20k a week next season, so if we do get acceptable offers with wage offerings which dwarf ours they will all be off.

It's difficult to see where we are next season until we know who will be around. I still think Jack Butland is a possibility, and it would be good to get players like Ryan Sessegnon or Divock Origi on loan - players who may well be on big money but who are unlikely to get too many games for their teams. The like of Liverpool and Spurs have seen how we can develop players and subsidising their wages while they improve may well be attractive to them.

I'm looking forward to seeing our new players as well as some of our other youngters step up - particularly Famewo and Gilmour.

Will we trouble the top 6? Don't know - but in all honesty I can't really see the point in going up again unless we do have new, wealthy owners prepared to invest.

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1 hour ago, sgncfc said:

I still think we missed our crowd more than any other team did post restart. There's no way we would have laid down so easily with 27000 people screaming at them - think back to the Millwall and Forset games last year and the Man City one this season; we'd have lost all of them without the crowd.

Michael Bailey seems to think we will sell 2 or 3 of our "youngsters" - he suggests Buendia, Cantwell and Godfrey I believe. Others on here seem confident that Lewis and Aarons are definites for a move. Bailey also suggests that only one player (Drmic) will be on more than £20k a week next season, so if we do get acceptable offers with wage offerings which dwarf ours they will all be off.

It's difficult to see where we are next season until we know who will be around. I still think Jack Butland is a possibility, and it would be good to get players like Ryan Sessegnon or Divock Origi on loan - players who may well be on big money but who are unlikely to get too many games for their teams. The like of Liverpool and Spurs have seen how we can develop players and subsidising their wages while they improve may well be attractive to them.

I'm looking forward to seeing our new players as well as some of our other youngters step up - particularly Famewo and Gilmour.

Will we trouble the top 6? Don't know - but in all honesty I can't really see the point in going up again unless we do have new, wealthy owners prepared to invest.

Cantwell and Godfrey were not even key players whilst trouncing the championship last season. I think people are forgetting how good the likes of Zimmerman, Hanley, Vrancic, Tettey, Stieperman, Hernandez etc were- and they will probably still be here next season. So, probably will Pukki. Idah, Byram and Martin could well be big players too. I see no reason not to be extremely confident.

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Bloody hell. 

I totally forgot drimic was signed. I got it into my head is was on loan. 

My god what a waste of a squad place in the championship. The guy is an utter lightweight. 

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2 hours ago, sgncfc said:

I still think we missed our crowd more than any other team did post restart. There's no way we would have laid down so easily with 27000 people screaming at them - think back to the Millwall and Forset games last year and the Man City one this season; we'd have lost all of them without the crowd.

I agree. They really needed us, and for obvious reasons we couldn't be there. And they will need us again next year as soon as we can get back to physically support them. 

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2 hours ago, sgncfc said:

Michael Bailey seems to think we will sell 2 or 3 of our "youngsters" - he suggests Buendia, Cantwell and Godfrey I believe. Others on here seem confident that Lewis and Aarons are definites for a move. Bailey also suggests that only one player (Drmic) will be on more than £20k a week next season, so if we do get acceptable offers with wage offerings which dwarf ours they will all be off.

I've just read his article on the Athletic, not sure if you've read it but I'll highlight some of the more salient points for the other pinkun posters.  It always hard to say what he's been told directly, and how much he's speculating. There's a lot of specific financial information in the article that could only have come from the club. He seems to imply that interest has cooled in Aarons or Lewis, or that we're not interested in selling to lower tier Premiership clubs.

https://theathletic.com/1921368/

"Three are expected to leave Norwich this summer, if the jigsaw pieces fit."

Says Emi's got the moneyball stats that interest Europe-wide, Todd's had some highly-visible performances and Ben is attracting interest from Germany and Italy.

"Those players are likely to attract the ideal mix of interested parties and high valuations that would persuade Norwich to sell."

Says only one player will earn more than £20k a week but doesn't name any names.

Seems to think the four coming in shortly are Sorensen, Soto, Dennis and Mumba. Hopeful of two more deals before the close season arrives.

Details on COVID losses, £20m dent in the accounts, repayments to broadcasters will be deducted from parachute payments.

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This season makes more sense if you accept that staying in the premier league was a secondary consideration to the club's financial success. The plan was always to take the money, showcase our best young players and prepare for relegation.

This is why we assembled a team of young technical players who were encouraged to play free flowing attacking football when a bit more physicality and directness would almost certainly have produced better results.

This is why we persisted with pushing our fullbacks forward and over committing in attack, or playing out from the back when under repeated pressure. These tactics were less about winning matches than they were showcasing our young attacking talent.

We've all said it all season, but why can't we defend set pieces (and what are they doin' in traynun?) Again, the coaching effort is expended where it will give the best results in terms of making our players attractive to buyers, not necessarily in winning football matches.

This may also explain Farke's rueful "no regrets" attitude and constant highlighting of our shortcomings; he was carrying out his brief to play in a certain way and develop players technically rather than to win football matches.

As Delia and Michael get older and inevitably look to hand the club over to someone without money to invest, they want to make sure the club is self-sufficient, debt free and financially sustainable in the medium to long term.

The upgraded training facilities, the technical style of play, the excellent loan program and the commitment to giving opportunities to young players all make us not only attractive to youngsters looking to develop their careers, but also to bigger clubs when we come to sell them on, hopefully at a good profit. This is the project. It was never about being in the premier league.

 

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28 minutes ago, Peanuts said:

This season makes more sense if you accept that staying in the premier league was a secondary consideration to the club's financial success. The plan was always to take the money, showcase our best young players and prepare for relegation.

This is why we assembled a team of young technical players who were encouraged to play free flowing attacking football when a bit more physicality and directness would almost certainly have produced better results.

This is why we persisted with pushing our fullbacks forward and over committing in attack, or playing out from the back when under repeated pressure. These tactics were less about winning matches than they were showcasing our young attacking talent.

We've all said it all season, but why can't we defend set pieces (and what are they doin' in traynun?) Again, the coaching effort is expended where it will give the best results in terms of making our players attractive to buyers, not necessarily in winning football matches.

This may also explain Farke's rueful "no regrets" attitude and constant highlighting of our shortcomings; he was carrying out his brief to play in a certain way and develop players technically rather than to win football matches.

As Delia and Michael get older and inevitably look to hand the club over to someone without money to invest, they want to make sure the club is self-sufficient, debt free and financially sustainable in the medium to long term.

The upgraded training facilities, the technical style of play, the excellent loan program and the commitment to giving opportunities to young players all make us not only attractive to youngsters looking to develop their careers, but also to bigger clubs when we come to sell them on, hopefully at a good profit. This is the project. It was never about being in the premier league.

 

That's a very interesting take on it. It would be a marker of some cynicism by the club.

I've a sense that you've probably explained something I found puzzling earlier in the season (Carragher and Neville talking to Delia before a home match) when it appeared we were really relaxed about everything. It annoyed me at the time. I felt it showed us being amateurs in a way, not so bothered by all the glitter of the Premier League.  Yet...your last 3 paragraphs have provided a lot to reflect on, especially the last one. 

It makes perfect sense. If we can get £30 to £40m to reinvest along with parachute payments, there is every chance we can be competitive next year.

I feel the same as the owners at times, if only for the fact that you never see the top 6 or 7 teams ever being close to the relegation slots. There are two leagues in it, always....the top 6/7 and a bottom cohort of 6/7. Somehow there are the middle ranking teams making up mid-table. It's the same every year. Boring and all linked to money of course. 

Perhaps we may see a similar thing happening in the Championship in future years, where of course, we might be in the top 6/7.

I would be interested to look back and I'm sure this trend has already started. In which case, maybe our board know already that we can sustain our club to be a top 6 Championship team pushing for promotion, but aiming to become one of the middle ranking ones in the PL (with the current ownership).

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2 hours ago, Surfer said:

I agree. They really needed us, and for obvious reasons we couldn't be there. And they will need us again next year as soon as we can get back to physically support them. 

If there was a crowd in the ground it would have been volatile,  a not very nice atmosphere, in fact Farke might well have been sacked by now.

You know what it's like playing like that and losing all those games in a row. 

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