Norwich City is on track to win promotion to the Premier League. Image: Paul Chesterton / focus images
Fortunately, Daniel Farke seems to agree and Saturday’s result resulted in five consecutive 1-0 wins under his leadership. As all City fans have said together, Norwich was still a long way from where we know they can reach. So right now the season looks very promising.
In the absence of a preseason, full transfer window and full schedule, especially for City players on international duty, Farke and his staff are working wonders to put Norwich at the top of the division.
Now the season is officially a quarter of the way over, the table is slowly taking on a realistic shape and questions are being asked as to whether City will solidify itself as an automatic candidate for promotion at the end of the season.
One of the first points for City is its defensive solidity. In 18/19 Norwich won the league by conceding 1 goal. 24 goals per game, the season before 1. 30th. In the 16/17 season, Norwich was on average even worse on the defensive 1. 50 goals per game. So far, Norwich have conceded 0 goals, although only 12 games. 66 goals per game. The addition of Ben Gibson and the reintroduction of Grant Hanley have given City a solid platform in the background, and the roles of Lukas Rupp and Oliver Skipp have been instrumental in creating a more balanced team.
Another player who has proven to be an excellent player in this division is Marco Stiepermann. Last season he faced numerous critics when he was used in the central role. The lack of pace was one of the key factors. In the championship, however, his first touch, his ability to work in tight spaces and pass the ball on to Przemyslaw Placheta or Emi Buendia, made him an integral part of the system that Norwich is currently playing.
Norwich arguably has the best striker in the division and also a goalkeeper who is not only the best shot stopper in the league, but also one of the leading voices in the squad encouraging the team from behind The pieces are there for Norwich to make a to be a serious, credible candidate for one of the automated commercials.
There are still a number of games to play, however, and what matters to all managers involved is the intensity with which the games are positioned. From now until Christmas City plays a constant Saturday / Wednesday rotation and hardly has time to take a breather.
Christmas is always a difficult time for any manager, but this season seems to be even more. If Norwich gets out of the next 10 games and is still within reach of the top spot, I would support them to cover the distance.
The decisive factors for all teams are the depth of the squad, the ability to switch players and good luck with injuries. Currently, Norwich doesn’t enjoy much of the latter, but there seems to be enough depth in the squad to cover every position.
As the new year begins, there will be plenty of players in the division (including Pukki) who are keen not to miss the euros. I can imagine it preoccupying managers and gamers alike, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he cut his workload to avoid burnout or long-term injury.
Bournemouth, Watford and Swansea all look like teams fighting for the top spot this season. So Norwich will face many twists and turns, but a quarter of the way is over and it’s done Daniel Farke.
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