Norwich City‘s recent slump has seen them fall down the Championship table. The Canaries were battling for the play-offs a couple of months ago and were brimming with confidence after taking Arsenal to extra-time at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup.
However, just two points from a possible 21 have made bad viewing for a club with exciting aspirations at the start of the season. Here are five things we have learnt from the recent poor form of Daniel Farke’s men.
Norwich City: Five Things We Learnt From The Recent Slump
Throughout the slump, disorganised defending was a common trend. A lack of clarity in the best defensive partnership caused lingering problems.
Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann, who previously looked excellent, showed the same traits of sloppiness. This was evident at Bolton and Nottingham Forest in particular. The disorganised structure in defending set pieces has led to fragilities and dropped points. The lack of leadership and strength in the air at Barnsley and high-flying Wolves had led to errors which could be avoided. Where have we heard that before?
Whilst defensively the performance was better against Sheffield Wednesday, traits of sloppiness and fragility appeared in spells. Norwich must show the strength of mind and build from the back to create a formula for success.
Dynamic Pritchard Could be Key
Alex Pritchard has shown moments of brilliance and added intensity and directness; something Norwich have lacked in abundance. Making his first start of the season against Wednesday, after a horrific injury, Pritchard was key in stopping the rot.
He created numerous chances, showing composure and athleticism throughout. Intensity going forward has been a flaw this season; the first goal Norwich created produced by his brilliant run showed he can add this. With goals being an issue this season, he was a bright spark and showed good decision making.
Norwich sit towards the bottom of the table, yet there is a sense among fans that Pritchard’s dynamic and attacking talents can solve the Canaries’ biggest problem; scoring and creating goals.
The Canaries’ Lack a Killer Instinct
Ruthlessness is an underrated trait in the modern game and can be the difference in success. With the talent possessed by Nelson Oliveira and James Maddison, why is it Norwich have lacked a killer instinct?
Simply, they have not created enough chances in the final third, with that killer pass missing. For example, Barnsley at home. A ruthless attitude was missing as Norwich failed to show grit and character resulting in a performance lacking equilibrium.
The performance against Sheffield Wednesday, though, showed glimpses of ruthlessness in attacking areas. They must show more confidence and be brutal to learn from the slump in form.
Alex Tettey is Critical
Can it be a coincidence his absence has led to a downward spiral?
Norwich’s brilliant September and October was built on a solid base at the back. Tettey kept the shape of the team brilliantly and added composure in central areas. Not only did he bring balance, he proved to be a brilliant shield and a key component in a record-breaking five clean sheets in a row.
Since his long-term absence, Farke’s side have suffered defensively and his traits prove to be critical in making the team tough to break down. He may be available on a free transfer next season, but his skills are a big miss.
Daniel Farke’s Tactics Remain Questionable
Finally, Daniel Farke’s tactics have been underwhelming. Two points from 21 have been part of the stuttering form. Barnsley and Preston were two winnable games; however, a lack of intensity and defensively mentality has led to underwhelming displays.
There is no doubt Daniel Farke can be successful, proving he can show organisation juxtaposing last season. However, the organisation has slowly become less prevalent and the tempo has dropped. A lacklustre tempo, in particular at home, has been an issue which Farke must address.
Tactically, Daniel Farke can adapt and be an excellent long-term manager, but the German should learn an increased tempo is needed for success in this team and suits the style of players.