There was always a danger this most abnormal of transfer windows could explode in our faces. With five, young, highly prized gems sparkling in our own shop window, this was never going to pass off peacefully. Or end well.
Yet because things had remained relatively calm, we’d all been lulled us all into a false sense of security. Other than Jamal Lewis being (seemingly) offered his dream move to Liverpool only to eventually end up in Newcastle and the usual agent-inspired rumours, things were ticking along with the ripples being of a manageable nature.
Those with a penchant for trying to second-guess Daniel Farke’s starting XI were including said gems in their dream teams with increasing confidence that most would still be here once the window had closed.
Others had delighted in a guessing game of how many of the Famous Five would depart; with the mean of those guesses decreasing as time passed, with a ‘possibly four’ now becoming a ‘maybe just Lewis’.
And we all indulged in a round or two of ‘how on Earth can Farke hope to keep such a huge squad of players happy’.
Well step forward Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell.
Both did their bit in making the head coach’s job that little bit easier when it came to formulating his midfield for the Bournemouth game. Respect to them for effectively ruling themselves out of the selection process, thus giving Daniel fewer permutations to juggle.
Thoughtful stuff, lads.
I mean, they were being thoughtful. Kind of, albeit the thoughts uppermost in their thoughts were of… themselves.
That Daniel Farke chose to take to Dorset a squad of players who are committed to Norwich City Football Club was the right thing to do, even if it meant it being shorn of its two most creative sparks.
And what was missing most from yesterday afternoon. Yep, you guessed it.
In terms of the stats, yesterday’s was the best of the three performances so far, and if City had been playing standard Championship fare rather than a team who were playing in the Premier League two month ago, then it may have been enough to earn three points.
But on the day, they came up short. Again. And however we dress it up, from the last 39 points available, City have won four.
Of course, before anyone reminds me, these are early days, and the Championship is still, like our new-look squad, in its embryonic stage but with things now so unsettled off the pitch, us supporters are desperately looking for something positive to grasp on it.
It feels like we’re owed one after the Project Restart nightmare.
The pending arrival of 0-0-3 Derby is certainly sufficient to make the sphincter twitch, with all of its along come Norwich potential, but (ever the optimist), I’m hoping that at least the pre-match build-up will be minus the shenanigans of the last two weeks when mentions of Barcelona and Leeds figured far too prominently.
Having said that, Farke has an unenviable task right now of keeping happy a ship that is clearly anything but. With the Colney changing rooms littered with dummies and toys that have been hurled from prams, it’s a tricky path the head coach must tread this week.
Does he sit down with said duo, explain their responsibilities while they still remain paid employees of Norwich City, or does he accept that neither no longer has the appetite or application required to be part of the group?
Only by looking them both straight in the eye and gauging their reaction on the training pitch will he know.
Either way, as the two creators in a side that is bereft of creators, both of their situations ideally need to be resolved in the next week and a bit, but despite the European window closing at 11pm on Monday October 5, the domestic version remains open until 5pm on Friday, October 16.
That’s potential for 18 more days of transfer BS and the closer either leaves it to the closing of the window to depart (if indeed they do), the harder it will be for Stuart Webber and Farke to fill those voids.
But, make no mistake, this squad minus a Buendia, Cantwell and – at least until the New Year – Kieran Dowell will struggle to create enough chances to win games.
There was no lack of desire yesterday, no lack of endeavour or grit, and, possession-wise, City bossed the second half against a team that prides itself on having the ball, but who believed we could come back in that game to earn even a point, let alone win?
But, we’ve been here before and from a similar position, with the belief of the Canary Nation starting to wane, Farke and Webber conjured up a formula that saw us win the Championship with some ease.
So much depends on how the Buendia, and to a lesser extent, Cantwell situations are managed and if, from somewhere, a creative spark can be either discovered or rediscovered.
An interesting week awaits.