It feels a little trite to be writing about a 0-0 draw with Millwall as the world teeters on the brink while the US decides whether or not to give a second term to an orange, thin-skinned, racist man baby. But I’ll give it a go.
We could all do with a distraction from that terrible prospect.
Unfortunately, City haven’t given me an awful lot to write about in what was 96 minutes of the most bog-standard Championship fare possible.
Only one team went out to win the game, while the other was well-organised, well-drilled, combative and obstinate, and yet the latter went within a whisker if smashing and grabbing the points as a late effort shaved the City post.
That Millwall came for a point was fine and me pointing it out was in no way a criticism. Three-quarters of the Championship will come to Carrow Road to try and do the same; the Lions just did it better than most.
There was an increasing sense of huffing and puffing as the evening wore on – an evening in which City mustered 27 shots on goal compared to Mllwall’s six – and for once it didn’t feel like there would be a late twist, even when Mario Vrancic entered the fray.
From the very outset it was clear Gary Rowett had closely examined City’s win in Bristol. There was to be no space between the three centre-backs for Teemu Pukki to peel off into; no pockets of space for Emi Buendia to operate in; and, crucially, no chance of Marco Stiepermann being allowed to get on the half-turn and get his head up.
All three boxes were successfully ticked by Rowett’s men and, let’s be honest, it made for a tough old night.
Despite having those 23 shots, Bialkowski wasn’t tested in the way Daniel Farke would have hoped, with Stiepermann, Buendia and Pukki all managing to find the Pole as opposed to the corner of the net, while a lively Przemysław Płacheta would hit his right-hand post.
As has been the case with almost every home game so far this season, hope eventually gave way to frustration which in turn led to desperation. It was a familiar feeling and this time there was no Mario magic to ease the pain.
Technically (and mathematically) it was obviously two points dropped, but it’s all too easy to get bogged down in assuming City could and should win every home game. We should be familiar enough with the Championship by now to know that simply doesn’t happen.
More importantly, it was a continuation of the unbeaten run and another clean sheet for a defence that has at its heart two centre-backs who are improving with every game. Both, for reasons discussed previously, have taken a while to hit their straps but they now look like a solid, bona fide Championship pairing – the type we’ve yearned for.
There’s a lot of love still out there for Christoph Zimmermann, and by god we need the rarity of three fully fit centre halves in the squad, but if Grant Hanley and Gibson stay fit and healthy and Farke keeps with his 4-2-3-1, then there is no reason to change it.
Backed up by Tim Krul, we now look to have a solid core and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to write that.
Swansea will obviously provide a different type of challenge at the weekend and so thick and fast are the games coming, it’s conceivable Farke may want to rotate a little to keep the legs and minds fresh.
But we’re in decent shape. Let’s not lose sight of that.
And, besides, in the spirit of the day, even though we technically drew 0-0 last night, I’m calling it a 1-0 win for City.
If you don’t like it. I’ll see you in Delia’s Supreme Court.