Norwich City hopes and writing off Wigan
You can’t argue with international breaks for what they do give – a little bit of time for reflection.
That goes especially for the current break, where we see meaningless friendlies and only the odd slice of play-off excitement to grab attention.
In fact, given the Euro 2012 play-off draw is seeded, any shock will not only be a serious surprise but mess with Uefa’s grand plan.
Anyway, back to domestic issues – so where are we? Well, 11 games in is the answer – or 29 per cent of the season. Almost a third. And yes, it is racing away.
By this time, there is no doubt the Premier League table is taking shape – leaving only the odd team occupying the infamous false position. This time last season, Liverpool were 16th with three wins and 12 points – they went on to finish sixth with 58.
You may also want to watch:
After 11 games Bolton sat fifth on 15 points, before finishing 14th – maybe one for Newcastle United fans to consider, that.
What that table from 12 months ago should do – along with Saturday’s defeat at Aston Villa – is quell anyone in these parts getting carried away at City’s early season progress.
- 1 MATCHDAY RECAP: Hornets frustrate City in title tussle
- 2 City ace Krul reflects on Premier League interest
- 3 Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Canaries' 1-0 defeat against Watford
- 4 'Blown away' - Gibson reveals how City wooed him for Premier League push
- 5 Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries' 1-0 Watford defeat
- 6 Farke laments 'average' City display in Watford defeat
- 7 City lose Giannoulis appeal; three-game ban stands
- 8 Webber reveals he turned down 'massive job' to stay at City
- 9 Norwich City v Watford: everything you need to know
- 10 QPR forced to deny manager is leaving ahead of City clash
With the top seven seemingly increasing their gap from the rest, anywhere from eighth downwards could reasonably be on offer for a top-flight team good enough to take advantage.
And at the bottom of that lot it is already promising to be as close as last season’s relegation free-for-all – maybe with the exception of Wigan.
It may be harsh to write off a side so early, but the Latics are two points worse off than West Ham after 11 games in 2010 and already look doomed – a statement less risky than Alan Hansen’s September assertion that both West Brom and Fulham will have no relegation worries this season.
Last season’s lowest scorers by some distance were relegated – Birmingham City. Stoke, Wigan and the Baggies are all yet to reach double figures this term.
Conceding the most doesn’t help either: West Ham last season; currently Bolton this.
So how about the Canaries?
First quarter performance was 13 points from 10 games – keep that rate of points accumulation and the Canaries will survive.
And that remains the key. Blackpool had 14 points from their first 11 fixtures last season; Burnley 15 the season before. Neither maintained those hauls enough to avoid the Championship reckoning come May.
Norwich’s home form is reasonable – eight points and one defeat from five: Stoke, West Brom, Sunderland, Swansea and Blackburn. Hardly big-hitters, admittedly. Away from home City have one win in six – but that includes trips to Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Villa. Four points came in the remaining two.
So taking it a quarter at a time, with Villa gone, 12 points – say three wins, three draws – from the next nine games is the idea. Have a look at the fixture list.
And then comes January – when the really hard work starts…