?You're only as good as your last game.? How many times have you heard that particular saying?
It is a little inaccurate though, as every team can have an off day.
After all, when Manchester United were surprisingly dumped out the FA Cup at Old Trafford at the hands of Portsmouth last weekend, it didn't subsequently mean that they weren't very good any more.
Likewise with Chelsea. True Barnsley did a number on them, but they're still going for the Premier League and Champions League trophies for Heaven's sake.
So no, your'e not only as good as your last game. However, if you are talking about the last half dozen or so games then maybe you have a more realistic appraisal.
So baring in mind that City entered last night's contest having won just one of their previous six matches, it didn't take a genius to figure that they hadn't exactly been overly impressive of late, and that the levels of confidence and quality that were evident in abundance during the thirteen match unbeaten run had obviously diminished somewhat.
Last night did see City a more positive performance from Canaries than of late, but the usual problem of hitting the back of the net resurfaced again as did a failure for them to ever really stamp their authority on the contest.
As for Stoke? well? they were Stoke. Nothing fancy, disciplined and direct more often than not.
They had a couple of chances of their own, but other than Mamady Sidibe's flicked header from another of Rory Delap's mortar-like throw-ins, like Norwich they were unable to seriously mount any sustained periods of pressure to ever have the game fully under their control.
The Canaries seemed determined to return to wining ways and erase the bad memories of their visit to the Ricoh Arena at the weekend, but their final ball or bad decisions in the final third often proved their undoing.
It was frustrating for everyone concerned really. The intent was there alright, but there just wasn't enough in the locker in order to effectively make all the difference, and Jamie Cureton spurning the best chance of the game to earn a share of the spoils near the death from no more than a coupe of yards out probably best summed up the evening in a nutshell.
And it's even more frustrating that it's all fallen flat in the last month.
For those of you heavily into your stats, Glenn Roeder and his staff were richly deserving of all the praise that came their way as they oversaw the Canaries fighting their way from the bottom of the table up into the top half of it by taking 33 points from their first 18 games in charge up to and including the match at Cardiff, but since then of course just five points have been secured out of a possible 21.
Which means that collectively, in the 25 league matches since Roeder's arrival at Norwich the Canaries have now averaged 1.52 points per game which, if maintained over the course of a 46 game season would achieve a total of approximately 70 points and therefore probably not enough in a 'normal' season to make the play-offs.
Of course it will more than likely be a completely different team that starts the campaign next term than the one that is so desperately trying to give themselves a lift at present, and the manager won't have to focus primarily on trying to save a sinking ship in the manner he credibly has done of course, but my friend 'Jimmy the Book' would probably inform me that the odds would be fairly long on City managing to repeat that excellent 13 games unbeaten again at any time next season regardless of the size or quality of the playing squad, and that was something that has obviously had a hugely positive affect on the above figures.
All hypothetical stuff this at the present time, granted, but quite sobering.