Norwich City fan Ed Seaman’s column: How to measure progress?
If I had a pound for every time this Norwich City side had been called a ‘work in progress’, I would be a wealthy man.
It’s a label used by myself on numerous occasions, and with this season drawing to a close, we can now assess whether City are now a better side than when we took to the field at Craven Cottage in August.
If you base your decision purely on points accumulated, you could justifiably argue that little progress has been made.
After the 1-0 win at Middlesbrough in September —City’s 10th game of the season — we had picked up 15 points; good enough for 10th in the table.
Compare that to the last 10 games, where City have won just twice on the way to collecting 10 points — placing us 19th in the form table.
Turn the comparison to goals — in the first 10 games of the season City scored nine goals and conceded 12 at the other end.
In the last 10 games City have scored more (12) but also conceded more (17).
But we all know football isn’t as black and white as statistics suggest, and the recent home performances against Fulham, Aston Villa, Cardiff — and even Reading — have left me with renewed optimism heading into the summer.
Because against three of the league’s top four teams, I would argue that City were outplayed for a total of 10 minutes, against Fulham, when our visitors scored their two goals.
Against Cardiff it was a case of style versus substance — albeit a very gritty one. To be honest, what else would you expect from a Neil Warnock side?
But as has been the case on so many occasions this season, City were undone by their own inability to convert good positions into goalscoring opportunities and half chances into goals.
Solve those puzzles, and I have every faith City can make real progress next season.