The term ‘transitional season’ has been thrown around a lot since we opted to adopt this new fancy model where Stuart Webber would lead the charge and Daniel Farke would be the man on the ground tinkering with the resources he has in his calm and collected manner.
It’s been frustrating watching the boys at times this season. The tactics have, at points, been turgid, key players haven’t stepped up to the mark and the home form for the most part of the season has been poor.
When you delve deeper into the turnover of players since Webber and Farke arrived however, it’s truly astonishing.
After the transfer window shut yesterday it meant that 21 deals were completed this January, both in and out. If you add that with the summer transfer window it means that 65 players have left and joined the club in under a year. SIXTY FIVE. That’s a truly staggering amount and gives you perspective of the huge shift in culture we’re carrying out.
Let’s discuss this transfer window, and looking at things on a basic level, it’s been a positive one if you want to listen to me. We reduced the wage bill, made profit, reduced the average age of the squad, kept our biggest asset in James Maddison and strengthened areas which desperately needed it.
This transfer window epitomised what we’re trying to achieve as a football club as well. Buying players that have something to prove and will buy into Farke’s philosophy and the clubs culture. It seems that as well as part of Farke’s management techniques he likes to have a project to work on. Step forward Marcus Edwards and Moritz Leither.
Both players have undoubted talent but come with excess baggage, Mauricio Pochettino has gone on record and said that Edwards needs to ‘grow up’ while Leitner hasn’t quite lived up to the heights he set himself in his early days. It’s been evident with the work Farke has achieved with Tom Trybull that he likes a challenge and if can get both Edwards and Leitner firing then it’s clear that supporters could be in for a treat.
The player I’m most excited about though is Dennis Srbeny.
I’ve been crying out for a striker that has the potential to hold the ball up and bring other players into action this season. Nelson is a good striker but he’s not the striker we’ve needed at times this season, too often we just haven’t been able to retain the ball because Nelson doesn’t have the ability to bring other players into action.
Srbeny’s goal scoring record is phenomenal too, I know that it’s at a low level in Germany but we’ve had players already step up from lower standards in Germany so why can’t this be any different?
The biggest loss of the window was undoubtedly Alex Pritchard, a player who I still don’t think we saw the best of due to injury and poor management. That’s my biggest frustration, not the fact we let go of him. We certainly didn’t make the most of the time we had with him. However despite all of that, we got good money for a player who is yet to impress in the Premier League and more importantly, didn’t want to be at the football club.
No matter how good the player, if they don’t want to be here, they can go. We have absolutely no room for players who aren’t pulling in the right direction. Best of luck to Alex though, a very entertaining player to watch and one I’m sure the Huddersfield fans will enjoy watching.
A quick note on the youth as well – I’m really enjoying where we’re progressing as a club in this department. Ben Godfrey, Carlton Morris and Adam Phillips all continue to impress on loan deals at a higher standard than seen previously. Furthermore, the superb Todd Cantwell has been given a great opportunity to prove himself and get a grip of regular competitive football at Fortuna Sittard.
My only gripe is letting go of Glenn Middleton, who I thought was the cream of the crop coming through at the moment. Middleton is an old school winger who possessed an abundance of pace and final product to match. However, when your boyhood club comes calling with a manager who you already know and a better chance of first team football on offer, it would be hard to refuse.
It’s fair to say that we’ve certainly moved on from the days of signing ‘proven’ players for large sums of money and I’m glad because it didn’t have the impact required.
I have absolutely no idea if our new German friends will be any good but at least we’re trying to create a culture around the club and have a model and plan which we’re abiding too. It’s a low risk with the potential of high reward – a model which has the potential to cement us as a mid-table Championship side or propel us to promotion with an exciting project to get behind as well.
I don’t think even the most educated of fan or pundit would be able to predict where we will finish this season, but I think they could all tell you that we’re at least trying to head in the right direction following a plan that makes a lot of sense.
All we can do now is back the boys and see where we are come the end of the season. It’s certainly never dull being a Norwich fan is it?