'Get thee behind me S[a]tan!' Yep, S[a]tan has been having some dark thoughts since watching City drop two, clanging points against a very poor Blackpool side that was but a shadow of the team that so impressed at Carrow Road last season.
Some of these mental indiscretions have been hanging in the air throughout the pre-season, especially once Spurs embarrassed us, Colchester matched us, and the 'big man' – whoever he may be – failed to walk through the door prior to kick off at Cov.
By Saturday evening, however, these Beelzebub moments were bubbling from S[a]tan's mouth amidst a foam of green vomit and no end of expletives that even S[a]tan's mate Bid had never heard before. Given this is Norfolk, the devil's tune had many a 'farkin' in it.
So, what's the problem Stan – how come possession took hold? First, let Stan reassure you that he has since recovered. The dark moments descended at night and began to lift on Sunday with the sun. Nevertheless, the substance of S[a]tan's musing remained. We are, let's be sure, in a bit of a pickle…
As everybody knows, not least Saint (or is it the Dark Lord?) Glenn, we are lightweight up front and in need of major reinforcements very quickly. This, in turn, has been compounded by the fact that our three existing front men seem petrified of the goal.
Lupoli, in particular, too often came across like S[a]atan's hero Christopher Lee when confronted by a lump of garlic or a hastily put together crucifix. His miss on Saturday was down there with Deehan against Newcastle in 1985.
Overall, the performance was reminiscent of City against Scunthorpe last year; lots of possession but lacking fluidity or a clue as to where the goal was. The team looked tense, the crowd felt tense, and the game plodded on in very unspectacular fashion.
Thankfully, once Russell provided a mix of muscle, determination and belief, and once Croft gave us the width so obviously lacking throughout the first 70 minutes, we did enough to rescue the game. But this, without any doubt, was a bad result and an all too stodgy performance.
From this came the darkness. We have difficult games coming up – Cardiff (a), Brum (h), the hell-hole of Plymouth away (let in three for three seasons running), QPR and Sheff Utd (both home).
Given this, we are, and here is S[a]tan's first big one, capable of making a worse start than last season.
This time last year we had four points and a 5-2 hammering of Barnet behind us before the team imploded and Grant – already struggling and obviously out of his depth – lost whatever overly-complicated plot he had concocted.
This year, until a striker joins us and Bell gets fit, just where – S[a]tan pondered – were the goals and the points to come from? Looking at the fixture list, Stan began to fear the worst and all manner of dark forms and apocalyptic scenarios began to flow.
Were the new signings really any better than the last lot? Are Clingan and Foz too similar, in terms of sitting deep rather than pushing forward, to preclude the midfield ever scoring? Why do we try to play 'total football' without any width, thus narrowing the play and giving the opposition the easy task of simply lining up in front of diminutive strikers and a static and deep-set midfield?
Has King Wes got a right foot (someone behind Stan, or was it the Devil, even whispered 'David Nielson' following one particularly comic left foot trip down a cul-de-sac). And then worse. Do the loan players really care? What happens when they leave?
Will the board ever manage to raise funds? Did talk of 'in-betweenies' mean top of Division One and bottom of the Championship? How different would the wage demands of Ameobi and Jimmy Floyd be; why the hell (praise be) did Raziak fall off our radar?
Is OJ simply Elvis Hammond in disguise? If the defence let in goals when under no pressure, what happens when someone turns the screw? And on and on and on …
Like Stan says, he has since recovered from his own personal inferno.
The next few games are difficult, but not impossible. Cardiff and QPR have both started slowly, Plymouth should have left enough scars to ensure no repeat of previous trips, and Brum and Sheff U are tough but not impossible, especially if a new hero has been signed up in time to face them.
We have a management team which clearly has a plan, a vision, and good connections.
At times, moreover, the current squad looks capable of playing neat football the 'right' way.
We are, basically, lacking a physical presence to balance the guile and finesse. This we know; this everybody knows.
As to who wins the battle of 'good' (Norwich do well) against 'evil' (Norwich do bad), only time will tell…
Now, after me, 'Our Drinkell, who art in Thorpe Hamlet, hallowed be thy name …'