Whenever mangers, coaches and scouts are assigned the task of going to watch a team and compiling a report on their main strengths and weaknesses, they'll usually simplify things by breaking their observations down into three categories.
Technical ability, tactical ability and physical ability.
So purely for arguments sake, let's imagine what the report might read like from the Wolves representative say, when his written findings on the Canaries from last night's encounter with Charlton land on Mick McCarthy's desk some time today.
Now bearing in mind that most teams have upcoming opponents watched at least three or four times before they play them, and accordingly the Wolves boss wouldn't have exactly been shaking in his boots after reading the dossiers from some of City's other early season performances, but what will he now be thinking when he studies something from last night that could read like this?
Technical Ability: Nothing special at all.
Do not pass the ball particularly well. Only have one player who can run at and beat opponents. Very predictable
Tactical Abilty: Use various systems, but without it ever leading to them dominating their opponents. Little movement or inter-changing. Players usually stick to their positions and roles. Very predictable.
Physical Ability: They will stand up to the physical challenge, but do tend to rely excessively on this aspect of their game.
In Summary: Did not play particularly well at all and were vulnerable when opponents played the ball to feet.
Defended well from crosses and shots, but allowed opportunities to be too easily created…
Not exactly intimidating, is it?
Throughout the game last night, City were given a lesson in passing the ball and creating space with simple, but effective movement off it. And the manner in which Charlton moved the ball through their midfield in particular was to become a feature of their attacking play.
At the back, City ? particularly Dion Dublin ? dealt well with aerial balls into the box and were certainly never found wanting when the situation called for someone to throw some part of his anatomy in front of the ball to prevent shots coming in on David Marshall's goal.
But that said, the manner in which the Charlton strikers ? particularly Luke Varney ? were afforded the time and space to receive the ball in areas where they most definitely shouldn't have been was basically asking for trouble.
At the other end Norwich were uncreative and ineffective, and rarely troubled the Charlton backline all evening.
Darren Huckerby didn't look as comfortable after being initially handed a role wide on the right and then later on in central attack as he does when he plays out on the left side of midfield, and neither Luke Chadwick, Lee Croft or Chris Brown provided anything of a significant threat either.
So as the minutes ticked away and with a 0-0 looking increasingly likely, City would have certainly taken the point if it had ended that way, even though they would have known only too well that they had been considerably out-played.
But they just couldn't hold out.
Now as regular followers of Norwich know only too well, City really ought to be made to carry a similar warning along the lines of all those financial disclaimers that you see tagged at the bottom of adverts tempting you to buy into stocks, shares and the like – in that past performances are not necessarily a guide to how things might develop in the future, seeing as we never can tell from one game to the next what we're going to get from the Canaries.
But after last night's unproductive showing following on from Saturday's equally unconvincing display, there is a worrying trend being set here, and so there'll be no prizes for guessing where all the sensible money will be placed on Saturday.