Spare a thought for the fallen giants

It's a little tricky knowing how to kick off proceedings this week. My chosen theme was to be cup runs - or rather a distinct lack of them in recent times - and how nice it would be to see the Canaries embark on some form of adventure in one competition or another this season.

It's a little tricky knowing how to kick off proceedings this week. My chosen theme was to be cup runs - or rather a distinct lack of them in recent times - and how nice it would be to see the Canaries embark on some form of adventure in one competition or another this season.

League status and form suggests Norwich should have seen off Torquay with relative ease last night and so booked their place in Saturday's draw for the second round of the Carling Cup.

But given what happened to Nottingham Forest and Sunderland, among others, this week, perhaps it's best to assume nothing as I pen these notes a few hours ahead of City's trip to south coast. Fingers crossed then.

Actually, let's just take stock there for a moment and consider the two aforementioned teams - Forest and Sunderland.


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Having openly criticised much of what happened on the pitch at Norwich last year, it's fair to say the Canaries' problems were - and are - nothing compared to the once mighty incumbents of the City Ground and Stadium of Light, respectively.

I appreciate Forest have started their League 1 campaign strongly, but all the same the club's recent plight must have poor old Brian Clough spinning in his grave when you consider their glorious, and not so distant, European past. How the mighty have fallen.

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Forest could just be on the way back, cup blips aside, but what must Sunderland supporters be going through right now?

Premiership one moment, relegation the next, followed by four straight defeats and Carling Cup humiliation in the space of the opening fortnight of the new season. Niall Quinn, what have you done?!

Quinn seems an eminently likable chap, but even with bullish talk of appointing a world class manager you have to say he appears to have an almighty job on his at Sunderland. Good luck to him.

Closer to home, there are early signs that maybe, just maybe, the powers that be at Carrow Road were right to maintain the status quo, when some folk - ahem - were calling for change last season.

Certainly, the Canaries' displays in the league to date have offered plenty to be optimistic about.

Mind you, just as we were being advised not to get carried away with the woeful opening to last season, so we would do well not to start shouting the odds about how well this campaign might shape up.

The next week or so could offer an important indicator as to what to expect, certainly in terms of the playing squad.

With Robert Green now at last moved on (and the very best of luck to him) it will be interesting to see if Nigel Worthington is able to convert some of the proceeds into bringing new faces to Carrow Road.

I notice the number 9 and number 11 shirts are still as yet not allocated. Worthy's pursuit of a striker is well documented, but by all accounts he's struggling to find someone to fit the bill at the right price.

Two seasons ago in this column, I mentioned a couple of potential targets in the shape of Southend United's Freddy Eastwood and the then Luton striker Steve Howard. Hmm.

I appreciate Howard is/was more in the mould of the big target man Worthy hankers for, but I wonder how long it will be before Eastwood's obvious goalscoring talents are noticed by a bigger club?

Ditto, Colchester United's all-rounder Greg Halford, one of the stars of the U's promotion-winning campaign and another player with obvious potential. I understand he's just handed in a transfer request.

That's the 9 and 11 shirts sorted, then!

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