When you've been supporting a football team for 45 years, you will have seen plenty of ups and downs.

I've been fortunate to have had countless highs as a Norwich City fan, particularly at Carrow Road.

That Steve Bruce Milk Cup semi-final header against Ipswich, Gossy's leveller to see us overcome Bayern Munich, beating champions Man City in 2019.

Add in Fashanu's goal of the season, the incredible comeback to beat Millwall and the pitch invasions when we won promotion in the days before such incursions would lead to a stadium ban. 

I could go on and on.

Of course it's not been all champagne and celebrations - none of us would expect that.

Heavy defeats, relegations and periods of poor form happen. This will happen whatever club you follow.

But as I sat and pondered in the final minutes of enduring what was supposed to have been a joyful final Pukki Party on Monday, I came to the conclusion that this has probably been my least enjoyable season of watching the Canaries at Carrow Road in my 45 years as a supporter.

Eastern Daily Press: Teemu Pukki got a rapturous reception at the end of his final game

Yes, I know that's a pretty bold claim.

Of course there have been many worse teams over those years. On paper the class of 2022/23 was a fairly decent collection of players.

City have secured fewer points in lots of campaigns since the mid 70s - and been relegated on plenty of campaigns.

So why has this year been so, so bad?

I think the heart of the reason so many of us are so fed up is that week after week, month after month our footballing home has been so flat, souless and joyless.

Those never-to-be forgotten memories of years gone by seem an age away.

I used to jump on my seat to celebrate special goals and huge victories.

We've hardly even been on our feet in so many games let alone jumping around.

David Wagner's men ended the season without scoring in the final five matches. 

According to the brilliant Twitter account @ncfcnumbers, it was the first time ever that Norwich have failed to score in five consecutive home games at Carrow Road.

The last time they went five without a goal at home was 103 years ago when the club was still playing at The Nest. 

How damning is that?

@ncfcnumbers also revealed that 29 points at home is the Canaries' lowest total across a 46-game season since 1956/57, when wins were only awarded two points.

And seven points is the lowest return from the final 10 games in a season outside the top flight for 59 years, since they got six from the final 10 in 1963/64.

The stats prove a point but the performances say just about as much.

How many times have you been really excited in NR1 this year? 

The early victories over Millwall and Coventry last summer were decent as were the wins against Stoke and Hull.

They are all too few bright spots in a campaign over overriding negativity.

Those final games were hardly (with respect) against world champions. Let's remember Blackpool had already been relegated (and without Angus we could have lost 4-0). Swansea were only just above mid table in a pretty average league. Rotherham were just two places above the drop zone.

A look at the final league table is very sobering. City ended in the bottom half and were no fewer than 39 points behind Burnley - yes the team they came down with last year.

Meanwhile, the overall haul of 62 points was only 18 more than Reading who will be in League One in August.

In some years gone by there has been an expectation of under performance due to a lack of investment or a realisation of the limitations of the squad.

With tens of millions of pounds having been spent on players in the last couple of years, a good raft of internationals in the dressing room and the parachute payments still coming in, things should have been so much better.

Monday afternoon encapsulated all that has gone wrong in a nutshell.

Even though it was the day to say farewell to one of our greatest ever players, there were hundreds of empty seats at the kick off.

After Pukki departed to the rapturous ovation he so richly deserved, plenty of supporters made their excuses and left.

And on the final whistle, masses of yellow and green seats were empty, leaving a sadly low number of supporters to see Teemu lead the team round on the "lap of appreciation."

I had to get back to the office to finish off the front pages with the "Pukki Party Poopers" and "Sad Finn-ish for City legend" headlines - but even if I hadn't had to do that, I probably would have joined the exodus.

The top brass have to see the toxic combination of anger, misery, disillusionment and extreme apathy among the fan base.

One of the most crucial summers in the club's history is ahead - and those in the corridors of power simply have to turn things round and do it quickly.

Farewell to the GOAT

Eastern Daily Press: Teemu Pukki is a true City legend

It was sad in lots of ways seeing and hearing Teemu Pukki on Monday.

As the start of the game he looked tired and in his post match interview he admitted a real weariness after playing without a proper break almost constantly due to club and country commitments for several years.

Everyone associated with the club was desperate for the hugely likeable Finn to end his career in Norfolk by adding to his goal tally.

He probably tried too hard and it just wasn't his day.

It's been a while since there have been more emotional scenes as he left the field for the final time.

How unfortunate it was that ground was so sparse when he toured the pitch afterwards with his family.

We need to look beyond that sad final day (and indeed his last few weeks) and reflect on a truly amazing five years since he joined as the best free transfer in City's history.

Farewell GOAT - we'll never forget you.

Mixed thoughts on Barnes

Lots of names are already being bandied around about those who could be heading to Carrow Road as part of the major overhaul this summer.

The one which has attracted the most attention so far is Burnley striker Ashley Barnes.

The experienced frontman is now 33 and is out of contract at the soaraway Championship champions.

He has said he's desperate to keep playing and is "fit as a fiddle" after a decade at Turf Moor and has bagged seven goals in 39 games this term.

Part of me thinks he's the wrong type of target for City as the rebuild starts.

He's well out of the "young" bracket, would be on a pretty high salary and isn't a natural fit to the style of football we're told City are aiming for.

But the more I read about him, maybe he's actually just what we need.

The hunger, passion, grit and bit of "nasty" have been badly missing at City this year.

And he'd certainly come on a high after the season he's had.