Ben Knapper's first round of external media at Norwich City showed the difference in approach to how Stuart Webber ruled during his time as sporting director. 

Perhaps it was nice to emerge from a conversation with a figure at Norwich wishing they'd said more rather than less. It is not necessarily a criticism that Knapper didn't show his full hand on this particular occasion. 

His delivery, tone and style differed from his often divisive predecessor, but they are also contrasting figures in terms of decision-making and their approach to change. 

At the beginning, Webber took a sledgehammer to structures, was bold on staff and ruthless in his execution of his plan. For what Norwich needed in 2017 was undoubtedly necessary. 

Knapper is much more thoughtful, considered and data-driven when it comes to making the big calls. He wants time and the assurance that he can back it up with facts, figures and empirical evidence. 

Those contrasting approaches were visible in their respective approaches to the media. Webber often had a pre-planned message heading into interviews, was typically more robust and predictable.

Knapper was articulate, considered and strategic. As a personality, he is much less confrontational and more unifying in his message and delivery of it. 

It is a different type of leadership. One that is less energy-sapping and should, in theory, demand less attention from supporters in the long-term. 

That should make it more robust from scrutiny, and Knapper's challenge will be to hold his nerve should the going get tough in the years ahead. 

Knapper is more akin to sporting directors across the game. More strategic and perhaps less public-facing. 

Actually, a lot of the themes delivered by City's new sporting director were not unfamiliar to City supporters. 

The Pink Un: Stuart Webber divided opinion at Norwich City.Stuart Webber divided opinion at Norwich City. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Talk of an improved youth pathway, age profiling and smart recruitment are not new concepts to Norwich supporters or the club more generally. Knapper is looking to re-program the football machine to a similar hardwire as how his predecessor was initially successful. 

That may be why there was an underwhelm with the messages that Knapper delivered. This was a case for going back to the future - though that in itself is not necessarily a bad direction to head at this juncture. 

In many ways, it underpins how bizarre the deviation from that strategy was post-Daniel Farke's dismissal.

A club that cannot compete with the financial big guns in the Championship, let alone the top flight, must work smartly. A club that invests heavily to maintain a category one academy should not be building teams with a high quota of over-30s.  

Webber himself said that after Premier League relegation, they needed an alternative strategy. The last two years have been the result of it - and it's led to a regression and loss of identity. Now, they are heading back to the one that was set on fire a while back. 

Perhaps, being ultra-critical, there could have been more identification from Knapper of what had gone wrong or how the club could grow beyond what was afforded in a 21-minute chat, but what he did say was largely in tune with the fanbase's thoughts.

This felt more of a short-term scene setter rather than a major manifesto for a brighter future. Perhaps the moment for that will come away from the glaring spotlight of a Championship play-off push.  

The blunt truth, however, is this: the strategy that Webber attempted to implement led to two humiliating Premier League relegations. Norwich will need more to make a better fist of it next time around. 

Maybe the answer lies simply in resource and the pockets of the Attanasio group - but clubs spend vast sums of money and still fall short. Knapper's job will be to make them strategically superior to opponents. 

That will require innovation behind the encouraging steps that have been taken. Perhaps Knapper needs more time to establish that part of his plan. In fairness, the short-term, with a managerial saga unfolding and a transfer window to navigate, has demanded his energy and attention. 

The Pink Un: David Wagner has steadied the ship at Norwich City after a tough autumn.David Wagner has steadied the ship at Norwich City after a tough autumn. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Also, given the hole that Norwich had worked themselves into prior to his arrival, there is an argument to get back to what made them successful in the Championship in the first place instead of draining energy preparing for a league that they aren't in at present. 

There is mitigation, and Knapper's comments were positive. He needs time and space to assess and implement his vision. 

Ultimately, it will be actions that speak louder than words. The business in January aligns with the aim to unblock pathways for academy talents and bring down the age of the playing group. 

Sydney van Hooijdonk's arrival is a smart piece of recruitment geared to the long-term, the type that allowed Norwich to be successful in the past. 

In a sense, Knapper has the role to try and redefine Norwich. In a basic sense, that is everything that has been constructed in recent years. Phase one of the mission has to be around repair and realignment. That is made infinitely tougher when arriving mid-season.  

At some point, there will need to be a decision on the head coach and whether David Wagner is the person to implement his vision.

The Pink Un: Ben Knapper has plenty to do at Norwich City.Ben Knapper has plenty to do at Norwich City. (Image: Adam Harvey/Newsquest)

Now, in the midst of improving performances, with 16 games of the Championship season and the top six within reach, is not the apt moment for that debate, which has dominated large parts of the campaign. 

Likewise, Wagner has proven to be capable of managing this squad, which is older in nature and feels less aligned with the playing philosophy that Knapper envisages for the future. It is also set for major surgery come the summer.

The conclusions of the questions that persist in the long-term are for another chapter - but as a first media round, Knapper and the powers that will be content with how it was handled and received.