The first month of the new season has passed, and as far as Norwich City are concerned, it has exceeded my expectations for the first few games. 

I think it's been a really positive start to the season and they've definitely improved the dressing room. 

Fifth in the Championship, 10 points from the opening five games, scored plenty of goals and looked stylish in winning the games that they have won. City are also through to the third round of the League Cup. 

I think considering how last season ended and all the negativity towards David Wagner, I think there'll be a lot of noise. Obviously the Rotherham defeat was in September, but August has to go down as a really good month for the football club. 

City have a new centre forward coming in and Ashley Barnes is getting on the scoresheet. Losing Josh Sargent to injury is a massive blow, and that's probably the one negative aspect of the month. But injuries are part and parcel of the game, and it is not like you can do anything about them. But they open the door for somebody else. 

The emergence of Jonathan Rowe is something I don't think anybody envisaged with the way he has settled so quickly into the first team. Jack Stacey looks very good down that right hand side, as if he's been part of that back for a long time. Players left in the summer and they needed to move away, they needed a fresh start, and you have to say the team hasn't really missed them. 

They signed Ui-jo Hwang, who I don’t know much about, but were also linked with Welshman Keiffer Moore, who I know plenty about. He's got good movement, a little bit of pace for someone who's six foot five, and is a handful in the air in the penalty box. This is someone who's scored more goals for Wales since his debut in 2019 than anybody else, even Gareth Bale. So I think he would have been a really good signing. 

Norwich Evening News: Ashley Barnes' experience has been a real asset to the Canaries so far

One of those who left Carrow Road was Andrew Omobamidele, who went to Nottingham Forest on deadline day. 

It's a great move for him. I think he probably played better in the Premier League than he did in the Championship. If the reports that he was sold for £20m are correct, then it's a great deal – and Forest are a good club, with a good manager in Steve Cooper, who, from what I saw at Swansea, knows how to build a team around its defenders. He takes a lot of pleasure from his teams being hard to beat and keeping clean sheets. When he was at Swansea, for the first of the two seasons he was there, only two or three clubs had better defensive records, so he knows how to coach. 

Steve Cooper will make Omobamidele him a better defender, and he won't ask him to do anything that he's not capable of. I don't think Cooper is one of these obsessive managers who demands his centre halves to come out of the back and play through midfield and take risks. He's not one of them. He'll want his defenders to defend and I think that's probably his biggest strength. 


Chaotic Championship


Welcome to the Championship was apt after last weekend’s results, with City losing at Rotherham and Leicester losing at home to Hull. 

Maybe we shouldn't be so surprised at Hull, even though Leicester had won all six of their previous games. Since Hull lost, unluckily, at Carrow Road on the opening day, they have taken 10 points from four games. And they made some good signings, including Scott Twine who has gone there on loan from Burnley. 

Rotherham beating City was more of a surprise. Their fans want full effort and commitment from the players on the pitch, because they're working class people in that part of Yorkshire and they demand that. You always have to go up there and match them physically and match their work ethic - things that should come naturally in the game, really, to any professional footballer. 

If you don't do the nitty gritty, the hard bits that sometimes you don't like to do in a tough place where you know they're going to give their manager everything because they always do, then you are in trouble. They're limited on quality maybe, and ability, but what they lack in certain things they more than make up for in the physical side of the game. 

And City didn’t defend well for the goals either. I'm looking at the second goal in particular and I'm looking at Shane Duffy’s reaction and I'd be disappointed if I was David Wagner. He got caught on his heels and Jordan Hugill doesn't do much, really; he just gets across him. It's a lovely header but I'm looking at their feet and Duffy should be doing better. He knew his body position was all wrong when that ball was crossed. Had he opened his body out, he might have been able to see Hugill’s run, then reacted to that. 

What I will say is that Norwich and Leicester were never not going to lose a game. It's now how you react – and it's not ideal because you need to avoid stewing on it and just get on with things.