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When Jack Grealish slotted home Aston Villa's third goal less than five minutes into the second half on Saturday, it laid bare Norwich City's shortcomings more than any other.

A ridiculous injury crisis, two and a half hours without scoring an away goal and back-to-back 2-0 defeats.

If you'd have told any Norwich fan their team would win three points from games against Manchester City and Burnley, the majority of us would have imagined an impressive win at Turf Moor.

West Ham winger Felipe Anderson's man of the match performance at the London Stadium on Saturday served as a painful reminder of what this Norwich squad lacks.

A narrow 3-2 defeat to the Europa League champions only to fail to score at the home of League Two opposition three days later.

Afternoons like Saturday's don't come along often. In 23 years watching City I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen them dominate Premier League opposition from start to finish.

In many ways, Friday night's defeat at Anfield reinforced everything we know about this Norwich City side and the Premier League.

There seems to be two types of football fans. Those who feel lost on a Saturday afternoon without it by the first weekend of June and others who enjoy a well-earned break after a season of highs, lows, tension and drama.

After a season of late drama for Norwich City, it felt as though most in the stadium were anticipating a late Blackburn flourish on Saturday night.

The two and a half hours that elapsed between City's players dropping to their knees at the Bet365 Stadium and Brentford beating Leeds on Monday encapsulated the rollercoaster ride that is being a football fan.

It's a rhetoric that's been repeated by a lot of Norwich City fans in the past few months: "If you'd have told me we'd be in this position before the season started I'd never have believed you."

In a season of stand-out performers, it feels almost unfair that only one will hold the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy aloft at the end of the season.

The kind of football Daniel Farke has Norwich City playing has attracted plaudits far and wide - it has even sparked debate among fans as to which team was better; the current crop or Paul Lambert's promotion winners of 2011.

After another blockbuster at Carrow Road on Saturday, it was perhaps too much to ask for Sunday's televised double header to provide similar entertainment.

With every fixture that gets ticked off, there's an increasing feeling that Norwich City are about to approach the home straight of this nine-month marathon.

Whatever happens between now and when the season ends in May, Daniel Farke has already proved so many of us wrong.

The overriding feeling from Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sheffield United seemed to be that winning the game wasn't as important as not losing it.

There seems to have been so much noise around the upcoming Leeds United fixture this week that the small matter of Sheffield United this Saturday has almost been overshadowed.

Anybody active on social media might have noticed the latest phenomenon doing the rounds, which encourages users to post a recent photo of themselves alongside one a decade ago.

As injury-time sucker punches go, Portsmouth's 95th minute winner on Saturday was among the easier ones to take.

After Norwich City's incredible run of form in the 2018 half of this campaign, a blip was always going to be inevitable.

Not since Premier League relegation loomed have City fans had a reason to care much about other teams' results.

When the fixture list is released in June there are certain games you pray don't fall on important dates.

There seems to have been genuine surprise when Norwich's thumping 4-0 win at Hillsborough sent them top of the league on Saturday evening.

I was devastated. When Paul Lambert emerged as the white-hot favourite to replace the departing Paul Hurst a week ago, I found myself having to explain to colleagues why I felt so upset.

There is one word that every football fan dreads seeing in a headline about their club during the international break. Especially when it precedes the name of your team's top scorer.

At some point between 3pm and 5pm on October 5, I came to a realisation.

Shortly after joining Preston, Alex Neil told the Guardian: "A learning curve for me was getting to the Premier League with Norwich where I felt at times that we had to adjust our approach. Looking back, I would never do that again - I would carry on with the style that I've adopted. Now, I've got the courage of my convictions in terms of how I want my teams to play."

The Premier League is utterly unforgiving and if you're not at the races from the very start of a game you're going to struggle. It's a hard but important lesson that City need to learn.

It's difficult not to conclude that Daniel Farke spent the summer smashing mirrors and walking under ladders.

This hasn't been a week that Daniel Farke will look back on with much fondness.

While it hardly seems five minutes since that glorious afternoon at Villa Park, the summer's transfer dealings suggest that, outside the money-bloated world of the Premier League at least, there is real change going on in the game, with Norwich City the main catalysts.

Norwich City never do it the easy way. In spite of utterly dominating Blackburn last Saturday, the fact that they were never able to kill the game off meant that there was no chance to relax and enjoy the experience until Andy Madley blew that final whistle.

I really have no idea how I feel at the moment.

I'm really not sure how much more of this I can take. The last three games have been an absolute roller-coaster of emotions; each of them ending as a draw, but all provoking very different reactions.

When Stuart Webber talks about Emi Buendia he often refers to his footballing intelligence and, despite the rush of blood that resulted in his red card, the game against QPR showcased two prime examples of that.

It's slightly worrying that with seven games still to go I've already run out of superlatives for Daniel Farke and his young side.

This year's Player of the Season competition is going to be one of the most interesting for some time.

Last week I talked about City's discipline, and they needed every ounce of it at the New York Stadium in a windy and apparently post-apocalyptic Rotherham judging by the almost universal absence of people or functioning shops in the town centre. It is indeed grim up north.

A lot of words have been used to describe City's football this season; fluid, flowing, sexy, exhilarating to name but a few, but one which isn't often mentioned is perhaps the most important; disciplined.

At Carrow Road in early December, City made a meal of beating Bolton, surrendering a two-goal lead and only claiming the points through a Teemu Pukki strike late in injury time.

I'm not sure that too many of us would have been too surprised by Wednesday night's performance at Preston.

I've had some great moments watching City over the years, but Saturday evening was right up there with the best.

While Chris Wilder has assumed the role of pantomime villain for many City fans it's only fair to give him credit for the development of a team which resembles the footballing equivalent of a cockroach in terms of their apparent indestructability.

It's scarcely more than a year since Mario Vrancic was widely derided as too slow and insufficiently physical to cut it in the Championship and Christoph Zimmermann was written off as a German fourth division defender - yet on Friday night both were absolutely central to City's stunning statement of intent.

When I was growing up the FA Cup was something special, culminating in the day of the final when for just once in the year, TV would devote several hours to the build-up with the game itself the highlight of the football calendar.

Well, at least I now know that my heart must still be in decent shape.

Getting a result without playing well is key to any promotion push, so while it was disappointing to see City have to come from behind having led, albeit somewhat undeservedly, at Ashton Gate, the fact that they garnered a point from a game they could so easily have lost is a real positive.

The last couple of months have seen those who write about Norwich City struggling to find new words to describe their stylish football, but one has been noticeable by its absence: ruthless.

It's a sign of how much positivity currently surrounds the club that last week's AGM was more celebration than interrogation.

In Wim Wenders' recently re-released film noir The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty, the central character talks about the existential crisis faced by a keeper facing a spot kick. He'd clearly never seen Norwich City take one.

I think that we're all rapidly running out of superlatives for Daniel Farke and his remarkable squad of players.

You realise that you must have somehow failed as a parent when your son announces that he is going to get married during the football season.

"Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles."

Anyone wanting a perfect snapshot of this new, vibrant Norwich City need only look at the highlights of Saturday's game.

Welcome back aboard the rollercoaster!

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