There is just one game remaining for the Canaries before the Championship goes into the enforced winter break, created by FIFA’s ludicrous decision to award the World Cup to Qatar.  

Norwich City are sitting fourth in the table ahead of the midweek fixtures after a stuttering first half of the season; which they started poorly, then looked like they would cruise to promotion in second gear, before it all started to fall apart against Preston. 

Saturday’s win against Rotherham was much needed after a series of disappointing results and performances. There were many eyebrows raised, and disillusionment expressed when the team line up was announced before the game, but the Canaries came away from the New York stadium with all three points, and therefore justifying both the player selection and formation. 

However, I think it’s fair to say that not all fans are so easily won over by the current management, despite the win in South Yorkshire. There has been endless discussion about the level of disconnect felt by some supporters in recent weeks, and this weekend marked the first-year anniversary of Daniel Farke being sacked by Stuart Webber, in the Brentford dressing room following our first win of the season. 

That was a gamble, and our sporting director would argue it was a well considered one, a risk worth taking to try and keep us in the Premier League. Although it ultimately failed on the pitch, it did also have a knock on effect in the stands as well. The trials and tribulations, the joys and celebrations of the Farkeball era created a bond between the football club staff and the crowd. However, one by one the fans’ favourites began to leave the club, even before the departure of our German head coach. We started to feel less like a collective, and more like a group of people who congregated in the same place at the same time. 

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If Dean Smith had managed to perform miracles last season, and had stopped the plummet out of the division, then a lot of that damage would have been healed. However, the change in the dugouts made no difference to results, as our season fizzled out. Those who resented the sacking of Farke remained dissatisfied, and the below par performances since the summer have not won them round. 

Though I’m not suggesting that it all sits on the shoulders of the former Villa boss. Webber’s role means he takes ultimate responsibility for recruitment of players and coaches, as well as the Canaries’ style of play. A result of his absence, at least publicly, as well as a less than cordial relationship with the local media, means that he has escaped recent scrutiny. Dean Smith is obliged to attend pre and post match press conferences, so he has become the face of the football club whilst others have retreated, and become the focus of those unhappy. 

There’s no doubt that everyone wants to see the team win. Every goal against Stoke at home was cheered loudly, despite the run of form that had preceded it. But the increasing number of empty seats in the ground, particularly for midweek games, is hard to ignore.  

The Pink Un: Stuart Webber has left Dean Smith to be Norwich City's public faceStuart Webber has left Dean Smith to be Norwich City's public face (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images)

Yet the travelling support continues to prove there is still much joy to be had in following the Canaries, as they make themselves heard from the stands across the country, often with the infamous drum that has sparked so much debate. 

If Norwich win against Middlesbrough on Saturday and head into the break firmly in the top six, and do so whilst playing free flowing, attacking football, then maybe we’ll all return in December with renewed enthusiasm.  

With 20 games played the season is still in the balance, both on and off the pitch. Nothing has yet been decided in the league, and there are still debates to be won in the hearts and minds of the fans.