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Webber - the final balance sheet

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6 hours ago, lake district canary said:

I have one issue with Webber's time here - the Premier League. First season the buying of players was woefully short of what was needed. The 2nd PL season, he spent what money there was on young hopefuls woefully unready for the PL.  Then to cap it all he lost his nerve and basically tore up the long-term plan in an act of woeful stupidity in sacking Farke for no good replacement. 

He did some good too, but wasn't up to the PL challenge. 

I do like the way he can be simultaneously criticised for buying younger players who need time to develop leaving us lacking experience, whilst also buying older experienced ones at the expense of planning for the future 

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It’s all about how it made you feel.

The two titles, the football, Farke, his Germans, EMI, Teemu.

The kids, Godfrey, Jamal, Max, Todd, Idah

I can honestly say I’ve never felt more connected to the club than in this period.

Whilst our first crack at the Prem felt short, I was proud to do it with those kids and I figured out the Prem wasn’t the be all and end all.

Farke gave me something to believe in, a little like Bielsa at Leeds. I didn’t mind losing as long as we lost the right way.

In hindsight I do anything to keep Farke, win/lose I was with him.

SW made all that happen.

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Posted (edited)
On 20/05/2024 at 00:51, CDMullins said:

It’s all about how it made you feel.

The two titles, the football, Farke, his Germans, EMI, Teemu.

The kids, Godfrey, Jamal, Max, Todd, Idah

I can honestly say I’ve never felt more connected to the club than in this period.

Whilst our first crack at the Prem felt short, I was proud to do it with those kids and I figured out the Prem wasn’t the be all and end all.

Farke gave me something to believe in, a little like Bielsa at Leeds. I didn’t mind losing as long as we lost the right way.

In hindsight I do anything to keep Farke, win/lose I was with him.

SW made all that happen.

Yes, I’d go with that too. Really good, important post.

You won’t always win, though feeling good about your club-team-manager come-what-may is actually a very rare and precious feeling. 

I think even the wise, sharp-eyed and balanced @ricardo - who has a wealth of Norwich experience encompassing many managers and styles - has said something similar previously.

That feeling you refer to is football really isn’t it?

Parma 

Edited by Parma Ham's gone mouldy
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Posted (edited)

….but did Webber tear that up for the good of Norwich or his own ambition-character?

The Prenier League stats this season are shocking: 267 goals conceded by the bottom 3, the lowest points totals ever for the bottom 3…yet Burnley smashed all records didn’t they? Sheff Utd we’re the organised, physical blueprint weren’t they?

Forest stayed up by throwing huge, huge money at it previously.

The BBC today ask if these are the ‘worst 3 promoted sides ever’?

So it wasn’t just us then? Football has changed then? It is about money then? The gap is huge then? 
 

So….not Farke then….

Parma

Edited by Parma Ham's gone mouldy
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Clearly the man has drive and an eye for the future, but the communication aspect of his role let him down.

Despite some notable achievements, he leaves with his stock no higher than it was on arrival, due to some very naive behaviour in respect of comments made to or about elements of the fanbase.

Imagine him at an unsuccessful Liverpool or United, making the same mistakes whilst addressing a far larger and more demanding fanbase. 

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20 hours ago, Parma Ham's gone mouldy said:

I was referring specifically to the change that followed second promotion. It entailed the ‘need’ to sell Buendia, buy wingers and change the system to accommodate the purchases

Yes, I understood that. Was just thinking in terms of the OP's balance sheet approach and wondering if there was an initial positive to set against the undeniable negative you're talking about.

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3 hours ago, Parma Ham's gone mouldy said:

….but did Webber tear that up for the good of Norwich or his own ambition-character?

The Prenier League stats this season are shocking: 267 goals conceded by the bottom 3, the lowest points totals ever for the bottom 3…yet Burnley smashed all records didn’t they? Sheff Utd we’re the organised, physical blueprint weren’t they?

Forest stayed up by throwing huge, huge money at it previously.

The BBC today ask if these are the ‘worst 3 promoted sides ever’?

So it wasn’t just us then? Football has changed then? It is about money then? The gap is huge then? 
 

So….not Farke then….

Parma

It can be all that and Farke...🤩

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Posted (edited)

Lots of interesting posts on here some I agree some I disagree.

I am one of the few who thinks Webber was right about the need for a tactical switch after our second promotion. Football isn't long term enough for a club to do the whole 'marginal gains, year on year improvement' stuff. It would have been different if we'd finished 4 or 5 points off safety first time around but we were 14 points away. Sticking with Farke's preferred methods and tactics endlessly despite getting hammered on a regular basis wasn't a realistic option for any but the most idealistic. He executed the change badly and clearly didn't bring Farke along with him but I think a switch to a more pragmatic, flexible mode of playing was inevitable and needed.

My biggest disappointment though echoes what others said in that he seemed to jack in the idea of a long term vision so willingly. One of the biggest plus points of his early days was the clear, established pathways that meant our young players got chances in the first team. The fact we're now in a position where young players are actively choosing to leave because they don't see a pathway and we ended up with a manager preferring a half fit Ashley Barnes to giving a young player 15/20 minutes is a real shame and undoes a lot of the previous good work.

Edited by king canary

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34 minutes ago, king canary said:

Lots of interesting posts on here some I agree some I disagree.

I am one of the few who thinks Webber was right about the need for a tactical switch after our second promotion. Football isn't long term enough for a club to do the whole 'marginal gains, year on year improvement' stuff. It would have been different if we'd finished 4 or 5 points off safety first time around but we were 14 points away. Sticking with Farke's preferred methods and tactics endlessly despite getting hammered on a regular basis wasn't a realistic option for any but the most idealistic. He executed the change badly and clearly didn't bring Farke along with him but I think a switch to a more pragmatic, flexible mode of playing was inevitable and needed.

My biggest disappointment though echoes what others said in that he seemed to jack in the idea of a long term vision so willingly. One of the biggest plus points of his early days was the clear, established pathways that meant our young players got chances in the first team. The fact we're now in a position where young players are actively choosing to leave because they don't see a pathway and we ended up with a manager preferring a half fit Ashley Barnes to giving a young player 15/20 minutes is a real shame and undoes a lot of the previous good work.

I think if it was needed, it had to be done as a full reset and not on promotion. It was done in the most spectacularly self defeating way possible.

We did not have the players to play that way and gambling we could buy them and change the team in one summer in the hardest league in the world was stupidly optimistic IMO.

If we wanted a reset in style of play it should have been done on the first relegation. 

Taking a team that’s just come off the high of promotion and selling the best player, drafting in a bunch of different players with no experience at that level and completely changing the way the team plays so a lot of the team weren’t playing the system they were bought for and drilled in was insanity IMO.

It was never, ever going to work and likely did far more damage long term than building on what we had would have done. I still believe personally if we had built on what we’d been doing we would have performed better, although probably still not been close to survival.

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Posted (edited)

Webber was someone who started very well and made all the right noises. However, he was a man who met his own limitations and started to veer out of control. 

He was a PR disaster and this alone would probably prevent him from getting a job at a bigger club, though some of the blame must lie with Smith & Jones for allowing and supporting his behaviour in a poorly structured club. 

My biggest gripe with Webber on the playing side was the recruitment for our last EPL campaign. He bought too many players - none of EPL standard at the time - when the wage pool would have been far better spent with 3/4 players of far better quality working around what we already had. 

What we didn't know then was Webber was concerned that Farke's squad were picking up too many injuries and went quantity of over quality which did not please Herr Farke. It was the worst recruitment I've seen, especially given the budget he had. 

His appointment of Dean Smith was all wrong and Wagner was a man of limited means, but may be looked at more fondly in a few years time. 

In short, Webber did some good things and certainly did some bad things. I never want to see him again. 

Edited by komakino
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Performed some minor miracles in his first couple of years, culminating in the magnificent 2018-19 campaign and the Man City game probably ranks as our zenith in recent times.

That said, his stock has clearly fallen since then - quite a fall in fact to see a man once linked with Chelsea and Man U to be now, seemingly at least, out of work.

Whilst I wouldn't want to see him back at Norwich any time soon, I wouldn't be surprised to see him back in the Champs - he's proved a good buyer and seller at this level and whatever your thoughts on the last two seasons, I would say that Sarg, Sainz, Sara, Stacey, Nunez, all signed on his watch, have been good value.

So just in credit for me and agree with others, history will probably be kind. Perhaps though Stu, a trip to charm and PR school would be fitting.

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20 hours ago, Fen Canary said:

I do like the way he can be simultaneously criticised for buying younger players who need time to develop leaving us lacking experience, whilst also buying older experienced ones at the expense of planning for the future 

You could buy 26, 27 year olds like lambert did. Trouble is they cost alot and have no resale value. But they give you a stronger team.  Isn't that what farke wanted 2nd time. 3 or 4 players to hit the ground running. 

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24 minutes ago, Sufyellow said:

You could buy 26, 27 year olds like lambert did. Trouble is they cost alot and have no resale value. But they give you a stronger team.  Isn't that what farke wanted 2nd time. 3 or 4 players to hit the ground running. 

We don’t know what Farke wanted because he or nobody else has ever commented on the transfers of that window. It’s just one of those rumours that’s been repeated enough times it’s now accepted as fact

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2 hours ago, Fen Canary said:

We don’t know what Farke wanted because he or nobody else has ever commented on the transfers of that window. It’s just one of those rumours that’s been repeated enough times it’s now accepted as fact

It came from local media I believe. Webber was always going to buy youngsters, it was how he saw the club being run. Trouble is it doesn't work in the Premiership, he messed up and used Farke as the scapegoat. No one was keeping that squad of youngsters up. 

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15 hours ago, Fen Canary said:

We don’t know what Farke wanted because he or nobody else has ever commented on the transfers of that window. It’s just one of those rumours that’s been repeated enough times it’s now accepted as fact

The Athletic did a big piece on the transfers after we got relegated, as it appeared they (MB) were sitting on the story for some time. I can't believe he would have written that as fact unless it absolutely was. Farke was never going to directly comment and neither would any other manager in his position. What it did show is that you cannot have a coach and SD/D.o.F on different pages as that is not going to end well - and it didn't. 

 

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8 minutes ago, komakino said:

The Athletic did a big piece on the transfers after we got relegated, as it appeared they (MB) were sitting on the story for some time. I can't believe he would have written that as fact unless it absolutely was. Farke was never going to directly comment and neither would any other manager in his position. What it did show is that you cannot have a coach and SD/D.o.F on different pages as that is not going to end well - and it didn't. 

 

The problem is that it’s all hearsay. Farke may well have wanted fewer more expensive players, but who’s to say they would have come in the first place? Very few established top flight players are going to move to a newly promoted club, irrespective of what you want your options are usually limited to promising youngsters or old heads looking for one last crack at the big league.

Ultimately nobody knows what the plan was for that season except for Farke and Webber. Unfortunately though it highlighted a club of our size can no longer compete without serious financial backing 

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None of us have any real idea of what was going on behind the scenes, but, judging by what we could see on the pitch, Farke didn't have much of a free hand in the transfers for our 2nd PL season. If so it's a shame as we would've had a more confident, dynamic manager than the Daniel we ended up with.

Even if it'd have meant spending all our budget on a couple of real game-changers (one of whom needed to be a Skippesque type) with no resale value I think it would've been worth it - survival in the PL means you're much more attractive to aspiring youngsters, & we could have got the production line rolling again, likely at a higher level.

But, really, who knows. We could still have ended up relegated & with expensive want-away players on the books. We'll never know.

So I don't really blame Webber for the failure; he was just being cautious, responsible with the club's finances & long term future (prudence with ambition?? 🙃) & was I think simply doing what he thought was best for the club.

I have to say though in all honesty I never really warmed to the guy ....  Welsh wasn't he? ...

 

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On 20/05/2024 at 00:51, CDMullins said:

It’s all about how it made you feel.

The two titles, the football, Farke, his Germans, EMI, Teemu.

The kids, Godfrey, Jamal, Max, Todd, Idah

I can honestly say I’ve never felt more connected to the club than in this period.

Whilst our first crack at the Prem felt short, I was proud to do it with those kids and I figured out the Prem wasn’t the be all and end all.

Farke gave me something to believe in, a little like Bielsa at Leeds. I didn’t mind losing as long as we lost the right way.

In hindsight I do anything to keep Farke, win/lose I was with him.

SW made all that happen.

And then Webber chucked it all away. 

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8 hours ago, ron obvious said:

None of us have any real idea of what was going on behind the scenes, but, judging by what we could see on the pitch, Farke didn't have much of a free hand in the transfers for our 2nd PL season. If so it's a shame as we would've had a more confident, dynamic manager than the Daniel we ended up with.

Even if it'd have meant spending all our budget on a couple of real game-changers (one of whom needed to be a Skippesque type) with no resale value I think it would've been worth it - survival in the PL means you're much more attractive to aspiring youngsters, & we could have got the production line rolling again, likely at a higher level.

But, really, who knows. We could still have ended up relegated & with expensive want-away players on the books. We'll never know.

So I don't really blame Webber for the failure; he was just being cautious, responsible with the club's finances & long term future (prudence with ambition?? 🙃) & was I think simply doing what he thought was best for the club.

I have to say though in all honesty I never really warmed to the guy ....  Welsh wasn't he? ...

 

This is it. When Webber came in we were a recently relegated side with lots of expensive supposedly top flight pedigree players on the books that he had to get rid of to balance the books, so you can understand him not wanting to end up in the same position.

Unfortunately not many top players are going to come to a club that’s one of the favourites to be relegated if they have a clause that halves their wages if it happens, so you’re left with younger players more willing to take the risk and use the club as a stepping stone. I don’t really blame Webber and Farke for those signings as most seem to have done ok since leaving (Rashica winning the league in Turkey, PLM at the top of the French league, might get close to our money back on Tzolis, Sargent looking a much better prospect in his more natural position) so they weren’t bad players, it just didn’t work out at the time.

If we’d role the bank to sign fewer more expensive players then everybody would be complaining that we had a load more Naismiths on our hands if we’d come down that we couldn’t shift so it is what it is. We tried and failed so it’s on to the next plan now to see if we can be more successful next time

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14 hours ago, Sufyellow said:

And then Webber chucked it all away. 

Would you rather of had but lost, or never had?

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On 19/05/2024 at 10:37, Cantiaci Canary said:

So, in short, Webber should be remembered for the short term triumphs but lamented for losing faith in his own vision ... oh, to go back and whisper in his ear in that summer of 2021!

I know I am going to sound a lot like Ethics here, beating the same stick that I always do, but the above hits the nail on the head where the Webberlution failed. The move to splitting the "football" part from the "operational" part of the club in my view created a failure in governance on the Board. Who was there at that level who was able to talk "football" issues through with Webber, or indeed give him good counsel. Now, I can already hear Nutty running along now to say that Delia and Michael had been running a football club for 20 plus years so they could, but really is that true given what had happened over the years and the changing face of modern football. And then there was always the close relationships at Board and Executive level. Even if the club had not been a "public limited company" you could still cry "foul", it will b interesting what "independent sporting" advice Attanasio brings in at Board level in the future, even if that advice is not from an appointed Director. 

If an independent chair had been appointed to replace Balls and if they were not an "experienced football person" themselves, I'm sure they would have ensured Webber would have been challenged and also counselled over the decisions that as Parma said became his alone to make given the landgrab he made. We might now be celebrating a 2nd year in the EPL if that "whisper in the ear" had taken place in 2021.

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10 hours ago, CDMullins said:

Would you rather of had but lost, or never had?

Why do we have to accept never had ? I have been around long enough to remember when we could compete in the Premiership. I was also happy with Farke as I knew he had reached the ceiling of what our club and owners could achieve. I was happy to see good football in the championship and seeing youngsters improving.  The squad in the prem was never going to work,  it should of all been about improving players individually while trying to find away to win as a team. Webber chucked it Away.

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