As I write, it’s Thursday morning and, as my column has to be in by 9am, I’ve got up at 6am to complete it.
Usually, I’d write my column on a Wednesday, but because of Norwich’s game at the London Stadium that night I wanted to wait until first thing to give you my thoughts.
I didn’t see the game as it wasn’t on TV, but, as I often do, I listened to my good friends Phil Daley, Rob Butler and my former team-mate Cedric Anselin on BBC Radio Norfolk.
One thing’s for sure – although, once again, the lads lost, it was a much better performance than the one at The Valley on Sunday, even though City got through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
I spoke to a good friend of mine who’s supported Norwich for 42 years and he said the opening 45 minutes against Charlton was one of, if not the, worst first halves he’d ever witnessed as a Norwich City supporter.
From what I’ve heard, even though they won, the players couldn’t have taken anything from that win, not a boost in confidence, not the belief as a group they could fight their way out of the situation they find themselves in and one they’ve been in all season.
The performance on Wednesday night sounded better – at least the lads showed some fight and spirit, but once again they hardly troubled the opposition goalkeeper because there’s a lack of quality in the squad.
We are now over half way through the season and Norwich have scored just eight league goals in 20 games. Even though City won’t set a record for the lowest points tally in Premier League history, even though they still need two more to beat Derby’s unwanted record set in the 2007-08 season, what they they are set to do if things don’t improve drastically is set a record for the fewest goals scored in a Premier League season.
Norwich need to score another 13 goals to beat Derby’s 20 scored in that same 2007-08 season.
I was looking at my only season in the Premier League back in 1994-95 when I played for Leicester – we knew we weren’t a great side and knew it was going to be a tough test for us to stay up, but we gave it a proper go. We fell well short at the end of the season, but no one accused us of giving up with a lack of effort, which many Norwich fans are accusing their team of this season.
We finished second from bottom, between Ipswich and Norwich, with 29 points, scored 45 goals but conceded 80; only Ipswich conceded more that season.
On Saturday, Norwich face a team which must be equally low on confidence, with their manager Rafa Benitez under huge pressure after a dreadful run of results. Not many Evertonians wanted Benitez as their new manager because of his past, having managed the team across Stanley Park.
Everton made a decent start to the season, losing just one of their opening seven games and taking 14 points and Benitez started winning over some of the doubters. However, since beating Norwich back on September 25, Everton have won just one of their next 12 games. They’ve actually won only two points less than Norwich in their last 12 games – that statistic alone tells you how bad Everton’s run has been and just why their manager is under severe pressure.
Norwich are in desperate need of a result after six consecutive league defeats and just one goal scored in their last eight Premier League games. Let’s hope they can find something against Everton and crank up the pressure on the Blues manager.