I'll start with a confession.      

Two weeks ago my column was based on my coldness towards the Qatar World Cup.

Let me be absolutely clear, I still think it was wholly wrong to have the greatest football tournament on the planet in the country for all the reasons I outlined last time.

There have already been a string of issues which had been widely forecast to happen.

Fans being ripped off for food and drink, supporters being hassled by security staff for displaying messages backing LGBTQ+ people and media organisations facing chaos as they sort out accreditation.

FIFA has stuck its head firmly in the sand in so many ways and this competition will forever be stained.

My problem is I find it hard not to watch football.

If I'm driving and stop at traffic lights and there's a game on a pitch beside the road, I want the signals to remain red so I see what happens.

Whether it's the best teams in the globe playing beautiful football or two village sides scrapping it out, I can't stop myself being gripped.

I can't say I've watched anything like every minute of every match so far - but I've tuned into a fair bit.

We've got a "fans' zone" in our office - mainly to allow staff to cheer England during their lunchtime during the opening match against Iran on Monday.

But it's become a popular place - encircled with flags of all 32 participating countries - for people to grab a break during the day and catch a bit of the action. And with the kick off times as they are, it's certainly conducive to day time viewing.  

The tournament is still clearly at a very early stage. But there are already plenty of interesting observations - one of which has been the massively long periods of added on minutes to combat time wasting. 

While it's frustrating if you're desperate to hold on for a win, I'm in favour of the principle of cracking down on time wasters.

So what can Norwich City learn from the tournament so far, while the players and officials enjoy time in Tampa and start to think about the return to action at Swansea in a couple of weeks?

One of my biggest criticisms of the Canaries so far this season has been the lack of tempo and energy in games.

I'm fully aware that Gareth Southgate's men will face far tougher tests than the Iranians posed in the opening fixture.

However, almost from the kick off the Three Lions were on the front foot, moving the ball quickly and being super positive.

They didn't let Iran settle into a defensive formation, they constantly made it difficult for them with innovative creativity and intent and made the most of the chances.

Another thing England did - which midfielder Declan Rice specifically highlighted after the game - was to answer their critics.

The team went into Qatar 2022 on the back of a six-match winless streak and relegation from the Nations League.

"We wanted to prove a lot of people wrong," was Rice's simple verdict.

The boos which came from many in the Carrow Road crowd at the end of the Middlesbrough defeat may still be ringing in the players' ears as they enjoy the Florida sun.

It was one of several times this campaign when there has been a significant vocal sign of displeasure.

Come on City - answer the critics (including me) in the best possible way by getting this season properly up and running once the action resumes.

Belief. There's another attribute Dean Smith's men have been lacking.

I'd suggest taking a leaf out of Saudi Arabia's book for the rest of the Championship season.

Clearly they were massive underdogs against the might of the Argentines.

They went behind, they survived three disallowed goals and were really under pressure.

The heads didn't drop and they showed incredible belief to pull off one of the great World Cup shocks of all time.

Finally, we have been frustrated with City that when they do go ahead in games, they can't build on the advantage and teams come back into matches.

I'm never going to compare World Champions France to the team from NR1. However, the way the French clinically pressed home their superiority has to be a lesson as City play lesser teams.

So where will the Three Lions be when I pen my next column in two weeks' time? 

We've certainly got an intriguing fortnight ahead - and as important for us fans with yellow and green glasses is what happens on the training pitches in Tampa and then back in Colney.


Come on Josh

A colleague at work posed an interesting question this week as we chatted about our very own Josh Sargent's build up to the start of his World Cup dream.

Do we want the striker to have a great tournament, score lots of goals and potentially put himself in the shop window for other clubs to come in to make a bid for him during January?

Or do we hope the Americans quickly bow out, Sarge goes unnoticed and comes back in good time to prepare for the Swansea match with no injuries.

I'm 100pc in the former camp.

He seems a fantastic lad and what a phenomenal opportunity this is for him.

It may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Josh and I really hopes it can be as successful as it can possibly be for him.

I was thrilled that he started against Wales and thought he did well.

He was so close to glory when he hit the post with a first half header.

I felt he could have been better used and made a few decent runs without getting the service he deserved.

And what a night it will be for him if he can start against England.

Move would be good for Kenny

Few Norwich players are more talked about among fans than Kenny McLean.

Some love him, others think he's had his day.

Dean Smith clearly values him, especially with his versatility at a time when we've had so many injuries.

Kenny will forever be held in fond regard by supporters after his amazing "mayor of Norwich" performance on the City Hall balcony during the promotion celebrations.

There's no doubt that Kenny has contributed a huge amount on the pitch in his four or so years with us.

His contract runs out next June and there's increased speculation that the Scot may head back to his homeland.

Whether we go up or not, the summer is going to be a crucial time for Norwich.

And while I'd really miss Kenny, I think a fresh start up north would be good for all parties.