Over before it has begun?

I'm laying myself open to be labelled the most fickle fan on the planet, but our season will be over within the next few weeks if we keep up our recent form.

I'm laying myself open to be labelled the most fickle fan on the planet, but our season will be over within the next few weeks if we keep up our recent form.

Last week, I said I thought that we still had half a chance of doing well this season, mainly because the Championship is so tight and any team putting a mini-run together could climb the table quickly.

Seven days later, that obviously remains the case, but the opportunity is only open to us if we play well and actually win a few games.

We may only have dropped three points since this time last week, but if we repeat the wretched Sheffield Wednesday showing too many more times, we might as well write off this year now.


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The post-match phone-ins and the message boards are being dominated at the moment by the debate over who is to blame for our current predicament.

One thing is clear - it is not Peter Grant's fault. It won't be until after next month's transfer window closes that we will be able to see the beginnings of the team and squad that he wants to build.

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And it won't be until August 2012 - assuming he is still here - that Grant will have had as long to build a legacy as Nigel Worthington was given.

Although some people at the top of the club have suggested that Worthington will go down as one of the all-time great Norwich City managers, the squad he left us with hardly covers him in glory.

Six years ago today, we played our second match under Worthington's stewardship. It was away at Grimsby, and we lost 2-0 (thanks to a Craig Fleming own goal and a last-minute strike from a certain David Nielsen).

The team that Worthington inherited from Bryan Hamilton has been described by many as the worst we have had at Carrow Road in recent memory.

But hang on a moment. Have a look at the team that lined-up against Grimsby on December 16, 2000: Andy Marshall, Daryl Sutch, Lee Marshall, Craig Fleming, Matt Jackson, Malky Mackay, Darel Russell, Phil Mulryne, Iwan Roberts, Chris Llewellyn, Alex Notman. (Subs: Robert Green, Darren Kenton, Zema Abbey, Adrian Forbes, Jean-Yves de Blasiis.)

True, it was not our greatest-ever starting 11, and even the better players amongst that lot were hardly at the top of their game at the time.

And it's only fair to point out that the likes of Fernando Derveld, Steve Walsh and Raymond de Waard - hardly hall-of-fame material - had been used by Hamilton in the preceding few matches.

Things really were grim around that time.

But now look at last week's team that came a clear second-best to Sheffield Wednesday: Lee Camp; Jurgen Colin, Jason Shackell, Dion Dublin, Adam Drury, Andy Hughes, Dickson Etuhu, Carl Robinson, Darren Huckerby, Peter Thorne, Ryan Jarvis. (Subs: Joe Lewis, Ian Henderson, Paul McVeigh, Robert Eagle, Mickey Spillane.)

Is the class of 2006 really any better than the so-called flops of 2000? Is the situation that Grant inherited really an improvement on the shambles that Hamilton left for Worthington?

For a start, at least there was a midfield of sorts six years ago.

So why have things been allowed to get this bad?

I have some sympathy for the board. Hindsight is all very well, and football is littered with 'What ifs?' and 'If onlys'.

If the directors had failed to back Worthington's judgment during his time in charge, they would quite rightly have been lambasted by the fans for not spending some money.

But it's the length of time they gave Worthington that has made a bad situation worse, and that isn't said simply with the benefit of hindsight.

He should have been sacked 10 months earlier, or in the summer at the very latest. Instead, while all around them there were calls for action, there was a stubborn belief that things would be okay, and more money was released to squander on players who, quite frankly, are not good enough.

As well as the sixth anniversary of Worthington's appointment, this month marks the anniversary of a key development in the Worthington Out campaign.

It was a year and 10 days ago that Norwich City Independent Supporters Association issued a statement calling for his head.

I must declare an interest here - I was on the NCISA committee at the time and, therefore, I shared collective responsibility for that statement. We received a lot of support, but there was also a degree of criticism of us (and it's only fair to point out that there were a couple of dissenting voices within the committee, too).

But the longer this awful season rumbles on, the more I believe the awkward squad had it spot on last year.

Worthington has left us with a few good players and a few decent ones, but collectively we are poor.

Grant's exasperated comments after last week's defeat indicated he knows major surgery is needed.

The stage has been nicely set for a whirlwind transfer window next month, and there could be significant arrivals and departures.

We sure need it.

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