Seven reasons to be miserable for City fans

Norwich City were routed 7-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League to turn up the heat on Canarie

Norwich City were routed 7-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League to turn up the heat on Canaries' boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Had enough of the number seven? Mmmm, me too.

Sorry I’m going to prolong the agony a bit further as I try to understand why we find ourselves in this pickle.

If a good percentage of City fans were in the hot seat of Messrs McNally, Bowkett et al, Chris Hughton would be sacked after the Moss Side mauling.

Lots of other Carrow Road regulars who would give him a bit more time have said their patience would run out if things go wrong on Saturday evening - and certainly if a decent haul of points isn’t on the board by the time relegation favourites Crystal Palace head back down the A11 at the end of the month.

Due to the wall of silence, we have no idea what the current thinking is from the City boardroom.


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However, it seems inconceivable that top level discussions haven’t been going on about how long CH has got - and who could come in to replace him if the plug is pulled.

This season, of course, is far from a lost cause.

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City are only a point adrift in the relegation zone. A couple of wins in November and the Canaries will flutter up the table and the pressure will be eased.

Simple eh? Er, if only it was that easy. The harsh reality is that we are in a rut.

Eight points from 10 games is considerably fewer than we all expected to have. Six shots on target from our strike force is woeful. £2m a shot is about where we are at. As one of my esteemed colleagues commented this week: “That’s more than an expensive bar.”

The defence is looking increasingly fragile and crucially confidence is very low. The fact that Norwich are in trouble can not be doubted. Where the malaise began is not so clear.

As seven is sadly the number of the week, I’m using that to try to suggest some of the reasons why we are all feeling so gloomy.

1 Some players are simply not cutting the Canary mustard this season. On paper we ought to have the best squad in our 111-year history. More than £25m was shelled out in the summer and yet that is not being translated in to points. Seb Bassong looks unfortunately out of sorts, RVW just can’t show us why he cost £8.5m and Robert Snodgrass is one of last season’s top performers who has become a scapegoat in some quarters. And this trio are not alone. I could go on.

2 The team appears to be lacking leadership. When the going has got tough, the tough haven’t got going. Heads have dropped and many wonder is there the talismanic figures in the dressing room to get their team-mates inspired?

3 We’re not aggressive and tough enough. I’m not suggesting we boot everyone in to the stands, but nine fouls in 90 minutes at the Etihad suggests they were given too easy a ride. And the theme has become too familiar.

4 City have become too predictable and opponents know how to play against us. Maybe that is a danger when a team enters its third season in the top flight and the element of surprise fades away. Within this point is the lack of quality service being provided to the frontmen.

5 There is no plan B. Linked to the issue above, many fans are frustrated by formations and CH’s apparent unwillingness to change things early enough in games and be more ambitious.

6 Expectation levels have gone up, so the threshhold for disquiet is lower. Fans of other clubs I have spoken to are surprised that we are so unhappy so early on. Leaving aside Saturday’s drubbing, they argue we haven’t been that bad. Are we being too ambitious? The board want a top-10 finish but is that realistic? Discuss.....

7 Maybe the quality of the Premier League has improved and the Canaries have been left behind? Despite the “huge” spending, City’s outlay is dwarved by many other top flight clubs.

OTBC!

FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Humour is officially cancelled after the last week. To anyone who thinks they are funny with gags like Len “severrrrrn” Goodman being the new football results reader or City’s new sponsor being 7Up or any of the other “jokes” doing the rounds, we are not amused.

HERO OF THE WEEK: If I had to give the gong to one player, Josh Murphy would be the only candidate. However, the only people who really deserve such praise are those fans who spent very hard earned money to travel 450 miles – and 900 miles in some cases - to endure that misery.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: I’m not quite sure how any Canaries supporter can find any sort of high point in the past week. The sound of the final whistle brought the brutal slaughter to an end at the Etihad – and at least we allowed those Blues from down the A140 to keep their record 9-0 top-flight loss.

PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: A tense atmosphere at 5.30pm on Saturday at Carrow Road is a dead cert. That will get much more acute as the Canaries go one down during the opening half. Fortunately Redmond and Hooper will come to the rescue and City will get the three points. The clouds may then lift, at least slightly.

VILLAIN OF THE WEEK: We can all take defeat – let’s face it after decades of supporting Norwich City you get used to it. And even though statistically 7-0 is the worst reversal for 75 years, you have to consider the quality of the opposition. What isn’t acceptable is pitiful surrender. Everyone involved in the embarrassing capitulation on Saturday needs to have a good stare in the mirror.

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