David Hannant: I think we have a new Carrow Road cult hero

Marcelino Nunez of Norwich celebrates scoring his sides 1st goal from a free kick during the Sky Bet

Marcelino Nunez of Norwich celebrates scoring his sides 1st goal from a free kick during the Sky Bet Championship match at the MKM Stadium, Hull Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 13/08/2022 Commissioned for use in Archant Norfolk titles only. All other titles fees apply. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

So the season is off the slowest of starts, with City as close to Ipswich in the footballing pyramid as we have been in years - just one place.

There is no sugar coating it, things are not yet clicking into place, despite what my biggest bug bear statistic says - expected goals, honestly!

However, having scraped the barrel to try and find any kind of liquid to half-fill my glass, I think I have found a glimmer of positivity.

And that is this - I think we may well have ourselves a cult hero.

Before I dive into this, when I say cult hero it doesn't necessarily mean the absolute best player - although sometimes it is.

Generally, by cult hero, I mean somebody who puts bums on seats, smiles on faces and creates memorable moments. 

Last summer, I'd argue we lost three of these figures: Emi Buendia, Mario Vrancic and Oliver Skipp.

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While we saw flashes from Mathias Normann at times, nobody who came in last season - despite £50m of spending - has really stepped in and filled their shoes.

But in the past seven days, with two very specific - and polar opposite - kicks of the ball I think we might have found our next one.

Marcelino Nuñez has really caught my eye since becoming the first Chilean to pull on the yellow and green shirt.

During his debut against Wigan, Nuñez looked assured on the ball, tidy in his distribution and unafraid to have a shot. 

All in all, it was a solid debut - enough to create a bit of optimism about him, probably not quite enough to earn him cult hero status.

However, in two fell swoops in his next two appearances, it looks as though he has done that.

The first was that penalty.

Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of Panenka penalties.

Yes, they look good when they come off, as the Chilean showed with his against Birmingham at Carrow Road - in front of the Barclay no less.

When they don't come off, they look utterly ridiculous - as was nearly the case when Neil Etheridge became within fingertips of readjusting and saving it, despite going the wrong way.

Call me old fashion, but for me, the perfect penalty is thumped. Be that straight down the middle or into the top corner, as Liam Gibbs showed.

However, the sheer level of cheek and confidence to pull one of those off almost instantly turned Marcelino into Carrow Road's next cult hero.

On Saturday, he took another step towards cementing this, with the kind of set piece perfection that earned Mario Vrancic a permanent place in the heart of City fans.

If you want to earn the love of what can sometimes be a very difficult fanbase to please, firing a rocket into the top corner from a set piece isn't a bad way to go about it.

Clearly, if he is to become our next terrace hero, he will need to show consistency.

Us City fans can be a tough bunch to get onside and a couple of pieces of audacity can only go so far, as Josh Sargent can attest to after his scorpion kick last season.

For the record, I desperately want the American to become a success as his work rate is impossible to deny - but you can only dine out so long on a single piece of brilliance.

But from what we've seen so far from Nuñez, it seems he will be one of the first names sung on the terraces at Carrow Road for the coming season.

If he can continue to shine, hopefully it will help break through these dark clouds which seem to have been hanging over NR1 for the past year or so.

Clearly, one man can not and will not make a season, but if he can help inject some joy back into our football maybe the season won't continue to be so glum.