Most Norwich City fans would agree that the team has adjusted to life in the Premier League superbly well. However, the better the team does the higher expectation levels will be raised. Some supporters have been overly critical of individuals following the defeat against Aston Villa. Those fans have short memories and quickly forget where these players have come from.
The reality is this is a squad made up of players recruited from the Championship and League One. Those same players have now been thrust into the limelight at Premier League level. There are no easy matches and every game is against top-flight and international calibre players.
Teams like Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic may be more likely to feature in the bottom half of the table than the top half, but they have still been in the league for a long time, and have established Premier League squads.
This is all very new for Norwich City and it is a steep learning curve. Yes of course the team needs to cut out individual errors, but it’s early in the season and the Canaries are in the top half of the Premier League table. Fans should be patient and supportive towards the players.
Also supporters should be careful what they wish for. Leon Barnett received his fair share of abuse following his poor performance against Villa. But remember fellow central defender Ritchie De Laet made errors earlier on in the season. De Laet is far more error prone than Barnett is.
It is easy for fans to suggest that players should cut out the errors. But it’s not quite as simple as that when they are constantly up against players that are superior in ability and in many cases more experienced. The game is also incredibly fast-paced with only a few seconds in thinking time.
Paul Lambert is a good manager and has clearly seen something in these players and will find a way of getting the very best out of them. But also remember that a lot of these individuals have never played in the Premier League before. As much as we would love to see Norwich finish in the top half, surviving in this league alone is a massive achievement.
It’s been a fine start to the season and it may be time to lower expectations. Norwich needs to learn to walk in the Premier League before they start to try and run. Fans need to understand that it is a big step up and players will make mistakes.
James Kent for FootballFanCast.com