I’m happy for the ‘experts’ to keep writing off Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The enforced break from league football for the international friendlies meant the TV, radio and national newspaper pundits had to fill the void with a flood of predictions about how the season would end.
Ex-players, match summarisers and hand-picked fans from all the Premier League clubs were wheeled out with their crystal balls to share their views on who would top the table, fill the Champions League slots and slip through the dreaded trap door.
There was a pretty consistent theme in their assessments – Norwich will get relegated.
Former England star turned radio pundit Ray Wilkins said City wouldn't win another game (and that came just before the victory over the Baggies).
Sixteen out of 20 supporters representing top-flight teams who were surveyed by one paper tipped Alex Neil's men for relegation.
That ratio was pretty much mirrored by the writers and former pros.
I remember many occasions when I've shouted at the telly as Match of the Day guests have talked the Canaries down over the years.
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Maybe I've become more mellow with the progressing of time but I'm much less worried about negativity these days.
Actually I'm pleased that City are being written off.
I don't know what Neil is saying to his men and I have no knowledge of what is on the walls in the home dresssing room at Carrow Road or at Colney.
I sense the gaffer may be using the words of the prophets of doom to galvanise his squad.
That gritty draw against Man City and the victory we feared may never come over West Brom have certainly injected hope that the Canaries may be able to pull off the Great Escape.
Saturday's clash with Newcastle is massive.
Next week's trip to Palace is massive. Sunderland's visit down here is massive. A theme is developing....
I feel that a lot of pundits can't face the prospect of losing Villa and both the north-east giants.
Let's prove them wrong.
I'm confident and along with fellow fans I've given my views on the Premier League Preview Show being shown on Friday on BT Sport 1 (6.45pm) and Sky Sports 1 (10.15pm).
Good to see English stars who excite the fans
I'm certainly a club over country kind of fan.
Having made that clear, I'm pretty patriotic and always want to see England do well.
For too long I haven't been able to get really enthused about the national side.
Teams have been too predictable, lacked spark and managers have put faith in ageing players rather than trusting a new generation.
That certainly isn't an accusation which can be laid at Roy Hodgson's door. He has proved that he will pick players who are in form and not just on their reputations.
England's victory in Berlin at the weekend was the most enjoyable international I have watched for some time.
There was a real freshness, inventiveness, energy and hunger among the boys in that ghastly kit.
We've seen the likes of Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier shining on the domestic stage week in week out. It was great to see them replicating their form against the world champions.
I'm not jumping on the 'we'll win the Euros' bandwagon (and Tuesday's defeat to Holland brought a few people back to earth). However, I'm sure I'm not alone in being excited by the new breed who are injecting new life in to the national team with their refreshing approach.