One swift glance at tonight's Championship table – ahead of Ipswich's televised home clash with Crystal Palace – tells its own story.
Of why, exactly, Wolves look to be a force to be reckoned with after their 2-0 home win over Bristol City and why, exactly, Norwich's claim to a place in the top half of the table looks tenuous at best.
Goals. As in goals for.
Goals conceded and on the back of this afternoon's 0-0 draw with bottom of the table Barnsley at Oakwell and the Canaries can mix it with the best of them. Indeed, they have only conceded one more goal than the flying Wolves.
And after adding today's early penalty save to the big, big denials against first Kevin Phillips for Birmingham City and then Danny Webber for Sheffield United, in keeper David Marshall Norwich have a last line of defence as good as anything in this division. The four in front of him are hardly the worst, either.
That between the likes of the returning Dejan Stefanovic and the on-loan Jonathan Grounds, the Canaries have more than enough about them in the back third of the pitch. That's job done.
Barnsley might have had more chances than Jon Macken's spot-kick to kick-start their own season into life and might have shuddered the woodwork on one occasion too, but by five o'clock Norwich had their second, successive clean sheet to their name. That's fine. You don't expect anyone to smash a hatful beyond the 2008-2009 Canaries.
And then there's goals for. Seven. As opposed to the 23 that Wolves have already racked up.
Seven of which – including the second this afternoon – have gone to Sylvain Ebanks-Blake. It takes the one-time Manchester United trainee's tally to 17 in 28 league starts for Wolves. Provided the Premiership doesn't come a-calling for the 22-year-old's services in January, then it will be on the back of Ebanks-Blake's goals that Molineux will be hosting Manchester United next season.
City's top-scorer thus far this season – the three-goal Arturo Lupoli – missed today's trip to Oakwell; presumeably still troubled by the slight hamstring strain that ended his outing against Sheffield United early last weekend.
Minus the Italian and Roeder opted to give Darel Russell another go at centre-forward as Matty Pattison covered the hole in centre-midfield. And while Russell might have reverted back to his natural habitat after the hour mark as Jamie Cureton joined the fray, it is in the final third that Norwich's real problems lie.
They don't score goals.
In fairness, City boss Glenn Roeder was first to admit that the Canaries hadn't enjoyed the best of afternoons. This wasn't Playmouth (a). But equally, they had escaped back down the M1 with a point.
And in the age-old play-off formula – win you home games, pick up points on your travels – the last couple of weeks haven't been too bad. Rangers at home wasn't great; but Plymouth was fine; Sheffield United was a big job done against a likely top six side.
“They made it difficult for us to play, but it's a good sign when you don't play well and still pick up a point,” said Roeder afterwards, having warned anyone that would listen on Friday that appearances can be deceptive – that the FA Cup semi-finalists were far better than their bottom-of-the-table position suggested.
A point the home side underlined by battering the City goal in a one-way opening spell.
“If Barnsley play like that, I'm sure they'll get away from the bottom of the table. You have to pat them on the back for their performance.”
All of which probably comes as little consolation to Tykes boss Simon Davey as his luckless side head to Ipswich on Tuesday night. Most punters north of the border will be wishing Barnsley well on that trip; just the place for their luck to turn.
“Our first-half performance was fantastic and we should have gone in three or four up,” said Davey, as Marshall once again thwarted a manager's best-laid plans.
“The players were fantastic and I couldn't have asked for any more from them,” added the Tykes chief. “The lads are working 100 per cent and there's a belief in the dressing room that we can turn things round. There's a platform for us to build on and we have to turn draws into wins.”