A game which contained multiple comedic elements overshadowed another laboured performance leaving Norwich frenetically looking over shoulders.
Despite Norwich’s increased intensity in the early proceedings of the game, the performance regressed following a sublime free kick from James Maddison. His celebration was all the evidence needed to display his relief at proving his old boss wrong. That freekick takes his tally up to five goals for the season.
However, Norwich cannot hide from the fact this is the worst run of form at home since 1998/1999 season when Bruce Rioch’s team endured an 11-game winless run at Carrow Road. No longer can buzzwords like blip be used by supporters, make no mistake, this is a rut.
This run of games is causing City to look over their shoulders. A severe lack of confidence, team cohesion and equilibrium the underpinning factors to this abysmal run which has contributed to Norwich’s freefall down the Championship table.
Daniel Farke’s style is yet to be fully implemented, naturally that is going to take time, but it is the continuous lack of offensive impetus and the reoccurring themes which is frustrating supporters immensely. Those themes aren’t being rectified.
To be brutal, this side looks a significant distance from the top ten, let alone the chasing pack in the upper echelons of this division.
Sure, momentum was lost as the conclusion petered out due to the episode unfolding off the pitch, but Norwich didn’t look like scoring prior to that incident.
Tactically, Norwich lack width and conventional wingers who are willing to beat players and cross the ball into the box. Seemingly these are not premises of Farke’s football philosophy. It just appears as these players are programmed to retain the ball.
A severe lack of confidence is restricting the risk taking these players are making.
If confidence is high, Josh Murphy strokes that chance home and Ivo Pinto deposits a cross into the box. Safeness is infecting Norwich’s play at present. There is a fear about making mistakes, and they aren’t good enough to simply retain possession.
The absence of Alex Tettey is another mitigating factor to this run. It is no coincidence that this run has coincided with Tettey’s withdrawal from the side. Norwich simply fail to replace Tettey with a like for like replacement, it’s a mighty shame Louis Thompson is injured otherwise you’d imagine he would be a figurehead in that midfield lacking shape, energy and bile.
For a player who was written off and surplus to requirements, it perhaps epitomises how Farke’s philosophy has changed from the total football model supporters were promised initially.
Nelson Oliveira is a top operator in this division, of that there is no doubt. He stood a frustrated figure on Saturday, flailing his limbs in disgust more than influencing the game. For a player who City has pinned all their offensive aspirations upon, he has underperformed without criticism.
Cameron Jerome would have been a better option for the Canaries yesterday. Hindsight is a magnificent thing, but it boggles the mind as to why he wasn’t introduced as the game developed.
Many a supporter is still patient. The short-term deficiencies could be replaced by long term success. Patience has been thrown around since Farke’s appointment, and rightly so.
However, the teething problems have been major. The adjustment difficult and the financial implications of mediocrity and decline begin to be highlighted. Everybody is aware of the exodus of mass talent should City find themselves in this division come May, and that is looking like an ever-increasingly likely outcome.
The mess which was inherited by Herr’s Farke, Webber and Stone shouldn’t be discounted. This still isn’t a squad assembled by Farke, with players being shoehorned into positions in which they don’t suit.
But how much time do you give this expensive experiment? All Norwich supporters will agree that a period of change was needed due to the plateau the club suffered after relegation. Farke’s precursor spent significantly and failed.
The flags of the old regiment are firmly still on display. Players earning beyond their worth, a team devoid of belief and confidence, despite so much change, things have regressed to a year previous. This City side must be under little illusions as to where they stand at present. This is a side who are looking over their shoulder, not chasing down a pack of teams fighting for the Premier League.
With Cardiff, Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday upcoming, things show little sign of easing for the Canaries.