It has long been an established bench-mark – this ten games thing.
That it is only after ten games that you really begin to get a 'feel' for where a season is head. Or, at least, that's always the usual logic.
For me, year-by-year the Championship defies that logic. Such is it's level of inconsistency, that I would defy anyone to predict what is going to happen over the course of the next seven months on the basis of what's happened in the course of the first three months.
Plymouth, by every account, were a total shambles on the day that Norwich went to Home Park and helped themselves to three points. They haven't lost a game since and are now fifth. Sat snugly among the early play-off contenders.
A sure sign of just how 'competitive' the Championship is going to be again this season? Or a telling indicator that, year after year, the standard drops and drops; that if it is the mark of any good side that they deliver a certain consistency in terms of both performances and results, we can all but take it for read that there's not a good side in the Championship this season.
Everyone's average. At best.
Are Norwich as good as Plymouth? Or are they as poor as Sheffield United? And given the slide in attendances elsewhere, does anyone increasingly care? Row after row of empty red seats greeted the visitor to St Mary's the other night; down the road and Ipswich's attendances have, likewise, been heading south.
As one pal pointedly observed: 'All those empty seats and yet we've got a billionaire…'
Back up the A140 and the fact that Peter Grant's last and final game for the Canaries came in this very week last year and was that 'benchmark' tenth game of the season make comparisons between October, 2007, and October, 2008, all but inevitable.
There is, you suspect, a small body of opinion already out there who are convinced that Norwich City Football Club are no further forward those 12 months on. Just more in debt.
Of course, that's not wholly true. Compared to this time last year and Norwich have two more points on the board. And they've scored three more goals. Last October City had only scored five goals. Now they have scored eight.
That all said – and I haven't checked – but I would be very surprised if this time last year the Canaries were just five points off the play-off places with ten games gone; I'd be equally surprised if the sixth-placed team in October, 2007, was sat on a Coventry-like 15-points. Or, indeed, on the 15 points enjoyed by fifth-placed Plymouth.
If they were, apologies. If they weren't, then there's more compelling evidence that this division is getting worse, not better.
What is more interesting still is to compare the two sides…. those knights in shining Canary armour that rode into battle on Grant's behalf at Loftus Road that fateful Monday night.
On the pitch the moment that Martin Rowlands stroked home the 67th minute penalty that effectively banged the final nail into Grant's managerial coffin were: Marshall, Otsemobor, Shackell, Murray, Drury, Croft, Russell, Rossi Jarvis, Strihavka, Martin and Huckerby.
On the pitch the moment that a certain Scottish international keeper had a wild rush of blood to the head this weekend were: Marshall, Clingan, Omosuzi, Drury, Bertrand, Bell, Fotheringham, Russell, Lupoli, Sibierski and Lita.
Put the two teams side by side and I'd take one player out of Grant's Class of '07 and put him into Roeder's Class of '08. Maybe two. But until any of us work out what David Bell brings to the table, even he's a doubt.
Individually, the two teams are poles apart. Shackell can't get into the Wolves team; Martin and Jarvis are playing for the 92nd team in the league; Murray is back in Scotland; Strihavka back in the Czech Republic.
And yet team-wise, the only difference is two points and three goals.
Which is the big challenge for Roeder and Co. To make the sum of all those individual parts add up to rather more than eight goals and ten points these ten games in.
Norwich ought to be better than that. Much better than that.
As for the argument that 'It's the loan players… they just don't care…', one look at that QPR team knocks that argument on its head. For if the theory then goes that it's only the home-grown boys who have a real 'feel' for the Norfolk club, then the fact that neither Shackell nor Martin nor either of the Jarvis' were exactly rallying to the Canary cause that night suggests that a lack of yellow and green blood has little to do with the current malaise points-wise.
Something else has yet to click.
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