As many of you might have twigged, I view all events Norwich City with a pretty distant lens these days.
Gone are the days when it was a 24/7 occupation.
Which, might, lend a little bit of perspective to the state of the Canary Nation; or, by the same token, it might make for an all-too dispassionate view of the debates surrounding the football club.
Which will have only be stirred again by the 0-0 draw with Cardiff.
One of those games that most would have had down as a ‘must win’. And it wasn’t – however hard Norwich huffed and puffed to blow David Marshall’s goal down.
More shots on and off target than any other Premier League club this season; or some such stat I read afterwards as one camp insisted that it was not a lack of attacking intent or ambition that Chris Hughton’s team lacked.
It was just the final execution; once anyone saw the whites of the keeper’s eyes, their effort either went straight down his throat – or flew just high and wide.
Which is true. And there will be other days when one of those 31 efforts will go a foot to the right or the left and Norwich would be two points better off and nestled in amid that mid-table ruck of clubs – all of whom are already banking on Sunderland and Crystal Palace being this season’s no-hopers.
A fond hope that the Black Cats stuck two fingers up at with the derby win over Newcastle.
A trip to the Etihad this weekend is unlikely to provide much by way of immediate relief; that gulf is only widening.
The trip to The Emirates proved that point; what you get for £8 mill is as nothing to what you can get for £42 mill.
But somewhere in the good ship Canary, something is not quite clicking and if history tells us anything, division and poison can make for a long, hard and uneasy campaign – evident when players take to the Twitter air-waves questioning the negative reaction that followed the final whistle against the Bluebirds.
The punters were banking on three points. Judgement was being aired.
For me, the problem lies at the very tip of the team. The two, big money buys – Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper – have yet to deliver.
One claim, clearly, is that neither has been handed the kind of service required.
And there is that lovely line about Robert Earnshaw that someone once delivered; that all Earnie ever did was score goals…
Point being that there’s more to being a decent striker than scoring goals.
Hooper, in fairness, put a shift in; he put himself about. But there has to be an end product.
And here we get to the difference between an £8 million striker and a £42 million one; the latter has the ability to make his own chances. Out of nothing. He doesn’t need service. He makes his own.
And Norwich – even now – haven’t got the financial ability to buy into that level of player.
But there is an expectation on such players that they will; this is the most that Norwich City Football Club have ever spent on a professional footballer; they are, therefore, expected to deliver.
The other trouble is that one side will swiftly use a lack of form or confidence of those two, principal strikers as a stick to beat the manager with.
He brought them in, at big expense (relatively) and much fanfare – it is his fault that neither have yet to hit the heights expected of them.
That is always going to be a manager’s lot, but – as there was in the fag end days of Nigel Worthington – there appears to be a hard core of supporters who will never be convinced.
From having a manager who could do no wrong (Lambert), we now have a manager who – for some – can do no right.
And as long as luck and results continue to elude him, so that vocal minority will continue to gather support.
And it seeps into the system; that division. And divided clubs tend to be those that under-achieve – particularly if manager and dressing room start to believe they are under siege.
Players tend not to be at their expressive best if they feel every touch and decision is under such a microscope.
It’s not easy. And I’m not about to throw any easy answers into the debate. There aren’t any. Only more risks.
But it has been an awkward autumn; of that there is no doubt.