Norwich v West Ham: David Jones says both sides are struggling
Norwich and West Ham's Saturday night clash is pivotal for both shot-shy clubs, says David Jones.
Last Updated: 14/11/13 4:58pm
Both teams will be hugely disappointed with the start they've made to the season - regardless of how their managers may choose to spin it otherwise.
Even Norwich fans would accept that an 11th-placed finish flattered them last term.
The Canaries went four months from December winning just one game before a late flurry lifted them away from relegation danger.
Backed by the Norwich board, Chris Hughton tried to address his side's failings in the summer with serious investment but, so far, big signings Leroy Fer, Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper haven't been able to turn the tide.
Both have had injury problems but Van Wolfswinkel and Hooper have managed just five attempts on target and one goal between them.
Eight points and only six goals from 10 games is a poultry (sic) return: only Sunderland and Crystal Palace are making Norwich look good.
But there are extenuating circumstances: of Norwich's opening 10 games, six have been against sides in the top seven, a devilish start for any club.
Hughton's cause hasn't been helped by two morale-busting visits to Manchester where last week they conceded 11 goals without reply.
Now, though, is the time Hughton has to deliver, starting against West Ham this weekend, another team for whom goals are a rare commodity.
The Hammers have managed three in their four away games so far - all three coming in a 13-minute burst at White Hart Lane.
But as the weeks go by and the goalless draws pileup (four so far this season) that 3-0 scoreline looks more and more the freak result Andre Villas-Boas had us believe it was at the time.
West Ham need a win, too.
They battle on a without a centre-forward but as Sam Allardyce waits for Andy Carroll's return Hammers fans need to know that a striker-less Plan B is a tactic really worth pursuing.
In Allardyce's eyes West Ham are just a goal away from the perfect performance - and they will hope it comes at Carrow Road in a huge game for both sides.