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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.

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.

Max Aarons

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.

Daniel Farke

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.

Ben Godfrey

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

Ben Godfrey

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