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If talk of a great escape a few weeks back seemed fanciful, it feels futile after a defeat at Molineux where City’s spirit looked to have sapped away.

A few days may have passed since Norwich came away with nothing from another terrific performance versus one of the Premier League’s elite, but a sense of disappointment is still niggling away at me.

After watching City play Newcastle off the park in August, it would have been hard to believe Steve Bruce’s side would be 13 points better off the next time the sides were to meet.

For Norwich City fans of a certain era, the FA Cup has provided some special, if not bittersweet memories.

The third round of the FA Cup hasn’t conjured up much joy for Norwich City fans in recent years.

“The problem is they were so well drilled and organised. We had no answer to it.”

Sunday afternoon felt like one of those films that starts off brilliantly but by halfway through you’re beginning to fear you’ve worked out the rest of a frustrating plot that promised so much more.

Given Norwich City’s early season injury woes, they were long overdue a bit of luck.

Watford came to Carrow Road on Friday night averaging a goal every 165 minutes this season. It took them just 76 seconds to score against Norwich.

There is a crisis of confidence in this Norwich City squad... so what better team to face than the only one beneath you in the table?

There is an air of inevitability around when Norwich City concede first.

It’s become a weekly ritual for all those football fans who double up as virtual managers. Scanning the fixtures, weighing up transfers, trying to predict which players are likely to score big points.

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.”

As the enforced isolation resulting from the coronavirus pandemic continues to tighten its grip upon us all, it’s important to appreciate just how badly the absence of football and its associated social networks can affect the mental wellbeing of those around us.

The great soul singer Irma Thomas once sang “You don’t miss a good thing until its gone.” How right she was.

Could it be that the footballing gods have, somewhat belatedly, decided to smile on Daniel Farke?

The Premier League and its propaganda arm Sky Sports see football as all about glamour.

It’s only six months since that sticky early August evening at Anfield when City kicked off their season but as they prepare for the return fixture all the hopes and dreams we took with us that day have largely evaporated.

The inner workings of the transfer system are complex and generally shrouded in mystery, with fees often listed as undisclosed. Consequently it’s hardly surprising that all sorts of myths and misconceptions develop around them.

There have been relatively few opportunities to savour City’s results this season, but last Saturday was a notable exception as the Canaries produced a high-class display to beat a Burnley side who never looked like winning the game.

It’s a peculiar paradox that Norwich City are almost certainly headed straight back to the Championship, probably as the bottom team in the Premier League, yet the team and manager were warmly applauded by fans at the end of Wednesday night’s cruel defeat at Spurs.

It would be nice to be able to put a positive spin onto Norwich City’s defeat at Old Trafford, but the truth is that there was very little to be positive about.

With the madness of the January transfer window upon us it’s inevitable that there will be demands in some quarters for City to spend big money in an attempt to stay up, even though that would be in direct contravention of the blueprint that was put in place when Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber arrived in 2017.

And so we have said farewell to 2019, a year that has had more than its fair share of ups and downs for City fans as we scaled the heights of the Championship only to see the Canaries cursed by injuries and struggling in the toughest league in the world.

“We’re a young team but there comes a point when the lads have got to step up, stick together and be men.”

The only predictable thing about this Norwich City side is its total unpredictability.

If anyone comes across Norwich City’s identity could they return it to Carrow Road as soon as possible please?

The thing that really set City apart from everyone else last season was that when they were really under pressure to produce a result they delivered.

Inevitably, and quite rightly, much that has been written about City’s Goodison Park renaissance has centred around the return of Christoph Zimmermann, but it’s important to salute two squad players who both made significant contributions.

Anyone who isn’t a fan of VAR won’t feel very comforted by the outcome of last week’s meeting between officials of the Premier League clubs and Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body overseeing it.

The last few weeks have felt like an accelerating downward spiral, but the game against Watford was particularly soul destroying.

It would be impossible to talk about last week’s game without mentioning VAR, although it had little to do with the result.

The sort of footballer that fans come to idolise tends to have a bit of glamour about him; an acrobatic goalkeeper perhaps, or a prolific goalscorer or silky midfielder.

Much as I usually rail against them, for once I’ve actually found an international break enjoyable rather than frustrating.

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.

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