Can you feel it?
Something is bubbling to fruition around Carrow Road at present, the smell of team spirit is wafting around NR1 and on the pitch, Norwich are both joyous to consume but also effective in their play.
They should fear no foe, this victory needs to be bottled up and contained. They’ve set themselves a high standard to replicate, but with the unison surrounding the football club at present, they appear to have discovered a mental resilience that is winning them matches.
This wasn’t a victory whereby the opposition fell apart and Norwich took advantage, either.
Beyond Leeds United, Aston Villa were the most impressive side to arrive at Carrow Road to date this season. They boast a squad full to the rafters with experience whilst also possessing the bounce that having a newly appointed manager grants you.
In spells, they operated with a slickness that resembled the foundations of which Dean Smith had constructed at Brentford. The onus on possession-based football was apparent, and if Villa replicate that performance, then they’ll win far more games than they lose.
Villa’s quality merely reinforces how impressive Norwich were in order to win. The reality is this, sides don’t come from behind in consecutive fixtures against teams that possess the quality of Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa without possessing something impressive about them.
There’s some undoubted talent within this squad, but that technical talent is matched by their tenacity and endeavour. That is what is making this side so relatable to their supporters at present. That badge on the front is more important to those donning yellow and green than the name which is on the back, that’s a refreshing feeling in contemporary football.
Impressive more so is when you consider the calibre of operators Norwich are currently missing due to injury, Grant Hanley, Teemu Pukki, Kenny McLean to name only three.
Stylish and zesty, a combination that is adhering supporters to this team and their head coach.
Farke has been criticised from all quarters throughout his spell as Norwich City head coach, but he is the orchestrator of Norwich’s upward mobility. Farke’s evidently been working on the long-term aspects on this squad, and the fruits of his labour are becoming increasingly more visible.
Caution needs to be taken as Norwich progress, but Carrow Road is currently a cauldron of unity and noise, all supporters are behind one movement.
A good run this is not, this has transcended into a trend.
The possession of technical quality will only get you so far, but it’s the mental quality that Norwich have that will be a determining factor in games, that grit and determination to keep themselves within games but then to assert their quality in order to find methods of overcoming teams that will get them far in this division.
Norwich are doing things the right way.
Their philosophy is both effective and aesthetically pleasing, with a core of youthful endeavour and astute recruitment. This project was always going to be a venture into unchartered waters. It’s been testing for the Canary faithful at times, one whereby they’ve been served pilings of dross.
Reward is coming, sticking with this project has proved the right course.
Only in the positive moments do you appreciate the impact of the process, construction of this side was always going to be a lengthy journey, but right now Norwich are excelling and what’s more, they appear to have even more to offer.
Excitement is reaching fever pitch, and why shouldn’t it?
Inside the dressing room, the players are a close-knit group who want to play for Norwich City, in the terrace, renditions of chants are becoming louder and more audible by the game.
Moritz Leitner is one of the best players in the Championship, based on current form.
Not only is he dictating the rhythm of fixtures and the tempo at which Norwich play, but mentally he is sharper than anyone else on the football pitch in terms of his vision and execution of passes. He appears seconds ahead of his counterparts and opponents on the football pitch.
He resembles an artist painting his latest masterpiece, ever pass has direction and purpose. When you consider the supposed price tag of a certain Villa operator, Leitner was streets aheads of him based on this evidence.
It’s remarkable to consider how much Norwich would have departed with in order to purchase his talent had he of been English. Leitner is a glowing success story of how recruiting abroad can lead to unearthing some gems. He is thriving in that quarterback role and is the instigator of everything positive Norwich are doing with the football.
Unflappable in possession.
Few are making the impact of Max Aarons at current.
Whilst Leitner will, deservedly, gain the majority of the headlines, Aarons deserves a plethora of praise for the level of consistent performances he is displaying at current. His maturity, athleticism and low centre of gravity makes him not only a brilliant full back but also a force offensively.
Stoke aside, Aarons has displayed a level of performance way beyond his years, when you consider he is merely 18 years old, the potential player he could turn into is scary. What’s more, both Jamal Lewis and Aarons are pivotal for the balance Norwich possess.
Ivo Pinto has become a forgotten name at Carrow Road, for an 18-year-old to replace him is a testament to Aarons quality.
Jordan Rhodes scores goals.
He may not offer the dynamism, nor the technical quality offered by Teemu Pukki, but he occupies defenders and the mere inclusion of his presence on the pitch changes the way opponents defend.
Rhodes is a classic poacher, if he doesn’t score, then you’d be excused for remembering that he actually played. However, give him adequate service and his movement will undoubtedly mean he scores goals. Where he lacks pace, he makes up for mental quickness, the second goal defines Rhodes’ game down to a tee.
Norwich weren’t at their offensive best, they overplayed and created little, yet providing Rhodes with two opportunities was all that was needed to win the game.
That’s pivotal at this level.
Positivity is the major outlook at present, expectation shouldn’t be around this Norwich squad and this moment can allow for excitement but it must be underpinned by pragmatism and caution. That’s not to say enjoyment cannot be taken, but expectation should never enter the equation.
Be proud, revel in this newfound success and upward mobility, but never expect Norwich to overcome an opponent, that is when this situation becomes precarious.
Nobody expected Norwich to be in their current situation, that makes this situation all the more enjoyable.
Bring on Brentford.