Why a lack of funds cannot excuse Norwich City’s disastrous Premier League return

Norwich City tumbled down into the Championship without a whimper losing 4-0 against West Ham United at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Michail Antonio ran the Norwich defence ragged scoring all four goals in one of the most mesmerising solo performances of the 2019/20 campaign.

However, Daniel Farke has been excusing his incompetence throughout the season, deflecting the attention away from his poor decision-making and disastrous performances.

Leonardo Trossard delivered the decisive blow to their hopes of remaining in the Premier League as Brighton & Hove Albion condemned them to a sixth successive league defeat on July 4.

Farke decided to leave out Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki from his starting line-up, despite the pair contributing to 17 of their 25 Premier League goals this term. For a team and manager fighting for relegation, this decision can only be described as completely irresponsible.

The Canaries may not have the financial powers to compete with the elite but playing a glamorous style of football with Championship standard players was always a recipe for disaster.

They have potential with the likes of Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey, Jamaal Lewis and Adam Idah but their lack of Premier League experience has seriously cost them. Only Tim Krul and Alexander Tettey headed into this season with more than 50 Premier League appearances and their transfer activity was woeful!

Norwich City’s German head coach Daniel Farke (L) consoles Norwich City’s English defender Max Aarons at the end of the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and West Ham United at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on July 11, 2020. – Norwich City will be relegated for next season (Photo by Ian Walton / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by IAN WALTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sam McCallum, a 19-year-old left-back with potential, was signed from Coventry City for £3.74m. This signing may prove to be a stroke of genius over the coming years but with Norwich embroiled in a relegation battle in January it seemed unreasonable.

Not to mention the farcical £2.7m loan fee for FC Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann, who made precisely one appearance in the Premier League before fleeing to Norwegian outfit Brann.

Rather than spending over £6m on the likes of McCallum and Fahrmann, Farke should’ve been scouring the market for Premier League experience. The potential seeping through the youth ranks at Norwich has created understandable excitement at Carrow Road but they require experience and leading figures to enhance their development.

Norwich must avoid further embarrassment during the final three games of the season by producing wholehearted performances. The display against Chelsea on Tuesday offered promise, although poor decision-making in the final third prevented them from posing any attacking threat.

This has been the story of their season with Norwich relying heavily on Cantwell and Pukki to deliver the goods. Emiliano Buendia has also played an influential role for the Canaries but quality has been few and far between.

The lack of leaders in the dressing room has been a major factor behind their disastrous Premier League return. It will be interesting to monitor the development of Norwich’s young and promising team but experience and leadership must be added to allow this precocious group of youngsters to flourish at Carrow Road.

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