How does Alex Neil’s Norwich City side compare with past Canaries teams in the Premier League after 10 games?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ten games down, 28 to go, but are Norwich City on track to retain their Premier League status?
We've been back through City's seven previous Premier League campaigns to see how Alex Neil's team compare to Canaries teams who have gone before them.
Four of those seasons ended with the club in a positive position and three ended in relegation back to the second tier.
It will come as no surprise that the 1992/93 squad is the vintage held in the highest esteem – when Mike Walker's team took the inaugural Premier League (then known as the Premiership) by storm.
After 10 games of that season the Canaries were flying high at the top of the table with seven wins and two draws, scoring 19 goals and conceding 13.
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Of course that glorious season ended with City in third place, earning qualification for the Uefa Cup, despite the unusually low goal difference of minus-four.
Neil's team have won twice and drawn three in an early-season spell which many supporters will feel hasn't yielded the points that performances have deserved.
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With 14 goals scored and 21 conceded, the goal difference currently sits at minus-seven – with that defensive record not comparing favourably.
None of City's previous Premier League teams have conceded that many goals in their opening 10 games before, however, the goals scored total is more encouraging.
Only the 1992/93 and 1993/94 teams scored more (19) than Neil's team have in their opening 10 encounters, although Paul Lambert's first top-flight season (2011/12) also saw 14 scored.
In terms of games lost, only Chris Hughton's 2013/14 team lost more games (six) than the current City players have suffered (five) but skipper Russell Martin and his team-mates will point to extenuating circumstances.
Defeat to Crystal Palace on the opening day coming after a controversial disallowed goal for Cameron Jerome and drawing at West Ham coming after a late concession would be among those arguments.
Yet those games have gone now, excuses count for nothing at English football's top table.
Only twice have the Canaries been lower in the table at this stage of the campaign – and both times have culminated in relegation.
It is obvious which statistic Neil and his players need to improve upon to avoid that happening again. Stopping the steady flow of goals being leaked by the defence is vital if the current crop are to secure survival.
The former Hamilton chief will also need to ensure the goals keep flying in at the right end though – leading to a better balance and more control of their own destiny.
Things are at least looking brighter than the start to the 2004/05 season though, when Nigel Worthington's team failed to win any of their opening 10 fixtures.
That left City in 18th place and inside the relegation zone, which Neil's side have avoided since the opening weekend.
That season may have looked bleak early on but the survival battle went all the way to the final day – a terrifying prospect which no City fan will want to live through again.