Norwich City and a clear style of play - it's a debate that has rumbled on since Daniel Farke's departure back in 2021. 

David Wagner is now the man hoping to conclude it and will seek to implement his desired playing philosophy onto City's revamped squad during a gruelling pre-season as he seeks to make them the fittest side in the league. 

Our City correspondents Connor Southwell, Paddy Davitt and Adam Harvey dissected Stuart Webber's post-season interview on the latest Pink Un podcast. 

Here is an excerpt from the latest Pink Un podcast - listen to the full show above or watch it on YouTube


CS: I was under the impression that is that Norwich City had a style of play in mind and they recruited a coach to come in and implement that style of play. Therefore, when it does go wrong, you take that coach out and put another one in rather than completely steering the ship 180 degrees and into a different direction because that then probably poses a question of well how much belief did you have in it in the first place? You're not just saying 'we don't believe this style of play can work under this coach'; you're saying 'we don't believe this style of play can work'.

PD: Well, within the restrictions of what they can do. You can't go and purchase the players to implement that style better than a lot of the Premier League. 

CS: Of course. But nobody was under any illusions about the position they were in back in 2017 when they had a significant financial hole to fill - they were recruiting to that style of play back then. They had one Premier League season where they tried to do it - so why has it taken four years worth of work and process to then decide it doesn't work. If it is a simple case of 'this coach doesn't work', then the idea of the structure was that you could take Daniel Farke out of it and put someone else in. They don't need to be a carbon copy but still had the key principles because that was the point - that a Norwich team would always look and feel a certain way. Instead, it feels to me like we've got to a stage where we're talking about Norwich's idea as David Wagner's idea and Norwich's idea as Dean Smith's idea which, maybe I've got it wrong, but that didn't feel like it what it was supposed to be. 

The Pink Un: Teemu Pukki played his final Norwich City game in a 1-0 Championship defeat to Blackpool

AH: It's never really been voiced that Norwich City are moving away from what they were under Daniel Farke before now. David Wagner has been thrown into this halfway through a season and has been given a group of players who possibly can't do what he wants them to and their fitness levels aren't where they need to be. The summer transfer window gives them the opportunity to address those problems and pre-season allows Wagner to turn them into the fittest team in the league - they don't need pots of money to achieve that. My bigger concern is then, if it doesn't work for David Wagner and his style of play - what route do they go in then? Do they appoint a manager who plays a similar way or do you change again? Then you can get caught in a cycle of appointing managers who don't have a style of play that links to the previous manager. There are teams in the Premier League who are finding that. Leeds are perhaps the best example - they've gone from Marcelo Bielsa to Jesse Marsch to Javi Gracia and now Sam Allardyce; they've still got a group of players who played in Bielsa's style now trying to do what Allardyce wants them to. There are teams who have done managerial changes well. Brighton are a prime example when they went from Graham Potter to (Roberto) Di Zerbi, who both are quite aligned but Di Zerbi has made tweaks. If Wagner can implement what he wants then there is a route to success - but in the future need to bring in managers who are aligned. 

PD: We've just come off a debate about philosophy and that the style of play has jerked in a different direction but this point about the plan, Webber made it sound like it's more of the same. It's about developing young players who can add value to the first team, accelerating the infrastructure, so I think he sees the route in the self-funding model. Within the current parameters of how the club is set - currently Delia and Michael and the Americans - so if that isn't changing, then the steps that you try to achieve it are do what you're doing but do it better.