On the 25th May 2017 Norwich took a gamble and appointed little known German coach Daniel Farke as their new manager. They could have appointed one of a number of Championship bosses who move between clubs on an almost annual basis but they opted for a more left-field choice. The former Borussia Dortmund II coach succeeds Alex Neil in East Anglia but can he follow in the footsteps of his fellow countryman David Wagner and steer them back to the top flight?
Farke arrives with a burgeoning reputation. German managers do appear to be fashionable in English football with Jurgen Klopp popular on Merseyside and the aforementioned David Wagner guiding the Terriers to an unexpected promotion from the Championship.
The new boss has been warmly welcomed at Carrow Road and a number of the players including Steven Naismith are determined to work their way into the managers plans for the forthcoming season.
Alex Neil was considered a gamble when the club appointed the former Hamilton chief and he guided them to the promised land at the first time of asking. Farke is hoping for a similar impact.
He had tremendous success at Dortmund, guiding their second team to a fourth place finish losing just three games in the entire campaign. His sides are easy on the eye and place the emphasis on possession football. He had been linked with a number of jobs in Germany’s second tier but opted to swap North-Rhine Westphalia for Norfolk.
There can be little doubt that Norwich underachieved last season finishing 8th and dropping out of the play-off positions fairly tamely. They have a squad capable of much better and Farke must unlock this potential. He will certainly put his stamp on the squad and make his own additions but he has been handed an impressive base from which to operate. As a result, Norwich have been priced up as 9/1 third favourites with Paddy Power for next season’s Championship title.
He’s already moved quickly to recruit young goalkeeper Angus Gunn from Manchester City. The stopper is the son of former Norwich legend Bryan Gunn and has been described as a ‘great talent’ by his new boss.