With big-name managers such as Frank Lampard, Marcelo Bielsa and Tony Pulis all competing in the Championship, you would think that there would be little room for other managers to come to the fore. But one beautiful German has broken the mould and placed himself at the top of the pile in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.
We are of course talking about Norwich City’s Daniel Farke. His cheeky demeanour and sense of humour make him easy to love but his football brain and remarkable ability to spot a bargain in the transfer window has transformed the Canaries from mid-table mediocrity into the best team in the Championship. The league leaders are now four points clear at the top of the Championship table and are just eight games away from securing their return to the top flight after three seasons away.
Below we look at three reasons why Daniel Farke should be embraced by the big boys in the Premier League.
He rode a horse around a football stadium
Daniel Farke once rode, like Lady Godiva but clothed, a horse around his team’s football stadium. This incredible tale comes from Germany, where Farke got his big break at SV Lippstadt 08. After taking them from the German sixth tier to the fourth, Farke left the club to take over at Borussia Dortmund II.
The president of Lippstadt at the time, Kai Hartelt, had given the talented young gaffer the nickname ‘Winnetou’, who was a long-haired Native-American fictional character that was extremely popular in Germany.
He then came up with the idea that his departing manager should ride a horse, as the character does in the novels. So that is what happened. His farewell from Lippstadt was him trotting around on a horse, a creature he has admitted to not liking. Bring this sort of stuff to the Premier League.
His development of young British talent
Ian Abrahams on TalkSPORT remarked back in December that Norwich being promoted to the Premier League would be bad for English football, due to their German coach. Ridiculous. Daniel Farke has regularly put is faith in young English talent and you just have to look at the Norwich defence this season to see this.
At right-back Max Aarons has been incredible this season, in what has been his breakthrough year. Farke has trusted him to take over the role from the more experienced Ivo Pinto and he has played almost every minute of league football since he broke into the team in September. On the other flank, Jamaal Lewis is gaining a lot of attention from Premier League clubs and it is easy to see why.
At 21, he is one of the best left-backs in the league and his attacking runs are simply sumptuous. If he performs like this in the Premier League the Northern Irish international could make a move to one of the top six clubs. Those two are the young stars of this side but they are also giving a large amount of gametime to Ben Godfrey and Todd Cantwell this season.
Ability to spot a gem
It is rare that managers make signings that perform so highly above what was expected of them when they joined. In a time when we see managers wasting millions of pounds on overrated players, it is refreshing to see Daniel Farke’s approach.
This season he has picked up Teemu Pukki, Emi Buendia and Moritz Leitner for less than £3m combined. Pukki has been incredible for Norwich and that goes without saying, hitting 24 league goals already this season but it is perhaps Buendia’s signing that is even more impressive.
Buendia was relegated to the Spanish third tier with Cultural Leonesa, on loan from Getafe. His team had a stinker of a season but the Norwich scouts spotted something in him as a player. They picked him up in the summer for just over £1 million and he has been nothing short of a sensation. He is now one of the finest creative talents in the league and could really make an impact in the Premier League, along with Teemu Pukki of course.
Farke could bring in several more hidden gems with more money at his disposal in the Premier League. Talented, suave, and a little bit sexy, Daniel Farke is our favourite manager in football at the moment.