First things first. Credit to MK Dons.
They are very capable League One outfit who – to the eternal credit of their manager Roberto Di Matteo as well as former boss Paul Ince ? try to play football the way it should be played.
They get the ball down and pass it – even at the back when they are put under pressure. And they 've got a good 'Big 'un – little 'un' combination that can cause problems up front. Good on them. You can see why they strolled out of League Two last season.
Now then to matters closer to home.
Saturday at Coventry was rightly pigeon-holed into the ?On any other given day?? category as far as the Canaries performance was concerned.
Norwich could and should have won the game. They played very well indeed. Just that old chestnut again of missing sitters that Stevie Wonder could have tucked away, blah, blah, blah?
No worries though. It'll be alright we all said if they carry on like that.
Erm? but difficult to use that one again I'm afraid, because as was only too evident on Tuesday night? it certainly wasn't!
Don't be fooled. The performance at stadium MK wasn't anything like that at Coventry.
The only similarities being that City dominated possession again and missed some more decent goal-scoring chances ? just three this time in fact.
Because unlike three days earlier, the general gist of this week's showing from the Canaries could be suitably summed up as a worrying example of them lacking ideas and a variety of ways to attack.
As we all know, the team needs more strike power, and unless or until Glenn Roeder can persuade either the club to free up the necessary amount of cash, other clubs to release their players or players themselves to want to walk over broken glass to come and play for Norwich, then it looks set to be a long, arduous and painfully frustrating campaign ahead.
But based on that showing there was also more to trigger the alarm bells than just someone being able to stick the ball in the old onion bag.
City were lethargic, uncreative and ubanle to answer nigh-on any of the questions they were asked by the opposition.
City operated 4-3-1-2 with Hoolahan given free role behind the strikers, but they came unstuck on so many occasions because of the simple fact that it was difficult for them to pick their way through the opposition who adequately were grouped tightly together in central areas.
MK Dons were quite happy for Norwich to have the ball because Norwich were doing so little with it, and if it is to be regular case this season of teams asking questions of Norwich by showing them same respect as MK Dons did this week – by accordingly retreating behind the ball in numbers and surrendering the lions share of possession – then City are going to have to come up with much better answers than they did this mid-week.
At the other end of the pitch ? admittedly infrequently ? the home side showed how to attack with purpose, and it's of little consolation really to point to the fact that David Marshall once again had little to do in the City goalmouth, if only for the fact that you can be certain that he will have plenty to do in games against teams that possess more of an attacking threat than Coventry and MK Dons did, and also that he's still had to pick the ball out of his net three times when all is said and done.
No, Saturday provided cause for optimism despite the scoreline. The MK Dons game didn't.
Two matches into the season and Blackpool is now a must win game.
Did I really just say that?
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