Four 1-1 draws in five matches has sent Stan's mind racing back to a season long ago. 1978-79 to be precise.
Now, Stan hasn't got his Guinness Book of Records to hand. Truth is, Stan found Roy Castle an annoying show-off and Norris McSquirter (or whatever his name was) slightly creepy. But, if memory serves, that season saw us notch up the record number of draws for a season (23) and enter the said book in rather sheepish fashion.
Nevertheless, we finished mid-table in the old (and proper) Division One, playing decent football and with our heads held high. Happy days, in the scheme of things ? at least you could stand on the terraces, and smoke, and swear, and move about a bit.
'Come on, Stan', Stan hears you say. 'This is a New Year, so time to look forward not back…'. Fair go. But the reason for Stan's brief reminiscence is not wholly negative. Not in the least.
Drawing games against decent opposition has, in recent seasons, become something of a lost art for our boys. The first post-Premier season saw us notch up just eight draws; last season nine. Worthy, of course, slotted a few victories in amongst the flip-flop of results, before Old Granty failed to stop the rot and duly turned defeat into a Canary 'norm'.
This season, as King Glenn gets his new breed up and running, we have already drawn seven games. This is progress. City have once more become difficult to beat; away days are beginning to come with a sense of 'We can get something here…'; going a goal behind no longer feels like 'game over'; even Selhurst Park failed to daunt Stan in the way it once did ? back in the day.
Most importantly, taken in the context of our annus horribilis, each of the past four score-draws can be seen as a force for good – a show of character in a relegation scrap, a point despite a poor performance against Wolves, and two great displays against Charlton and Palace – teams pushing for promotion.
Bottom line is, we are turning the corner and beginning to look more like the Norwich City of our (realistic) dreams. We are not there yet, but it's coming.
And so to the first game of the 2008. We didn't win. We gave away a soft goal at a set-piece. But hold you hard: this – again – was no 'typical' Norwich away display.
Over the 90 minutes we were the better team, we deserved to win, and we looked compact, organised and on a mission. Crofty had a blinder, the defence looked resolute for all but one fateful lapse, and Foz led from the middle (with Rusty in loyal support).
And all against a team unbeaten in 12 and making a beeline for the play-offs in impressive fashion. While the league position still causes palpitations, the performances no longer do. While the results are frustrating, the portents are positive. 2008 will be alright.
In Stan's mind, two things continued to be missing at Palace. First, that sharp cutting edge that transforms possession held and chances made into goals. Here, as in previous games, we missed too many decent opportunities.
Dion, Jamie and Ched all did their bit – no-one played badly. But the goals need to start coming in twos rather than ones. We lack the real killer instinct that will push us up the table sharpish rather than a rung at a time.
Second, the defence remains all too liable to lose its concentration.
These things happen, of course; but we make a habit of it. So, once more, Stan implores Glenn, Doomy, the Turners, whoever it is who decides these things, just pay Brum the million quid and get the Big Man back here in time for Barnsley. You know it makes sense.
As it was, Stan took much heart from both the performance against Palace and the Xmas programme as a whole. The FA Cup will provide a nice distraction; a chance to applaud Colin Woodthorpe and, perhaps, give one or two players a go in the last chance saloon. It also gives us ten days to secure and find the missing pieces in Roeder's Norwich City jigsaw.
And while Stan does not really want to repeat the record-breaking feats of John Bond's team of '78-79, he feels far happier making comparisons with a team that graced the upper echelons of the English game than he does arguing about who gets the gong for 'worst ever Norwich City manager'. On the ball, City ?