Young keeper Barden can take inspiration from Green’s debut for City
Robert Green knows exactly how Daniel Barden will be feeling ahead of his likely Norwich City debut this weekend.
Barden is likely to make his professional debut during Saturday’s League Cup first round tie at Luton Town, due to Tim Krul and Michael McGovern being away on international duty.
Former Canaries number one Green was also thrust into the first team at 19 years old, due to Andy Marshall being suspended, but he had the added pressure of it being on derby day.
Marshall had been sent off just eight minutes into a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield, with right-back Daryl Sutch having to deputise for the rest of the Division One game during the days of only three substitutes.
Two games later and it was time for Green to fill the gloves and he enjoyed a fine debut, keeping a clean sheet as City drew 0-0 with Ipswich at Carrow Road, making a sprawling save to deny a late David Johnson header.
“Because he was suspended, you knew the game was coming and the build up was there for what is obviously a big game for everybody. It was a sleepless few nights before,” Green recalled, when we spoke to him for our My Norwich City Story series on the Pink Un Youtube channel.
“It was, for me, a great occasion but one that I remember going home and just going to sleep straight after the game, I was just so nervous and the nervous energy that it took out of me.
“One of the things that has stuck in my mind was we were training the day before and just mucking around, I made a mistake with something and one of the players turned to me and said if you make a mistake tomorrow I’m going to kill you!
“So that kind of stuck with me and I thought ‘well I’d better not’, and then as part of the game I broke Matt Jackson’s nose towards the end, head-butted him coming out for a ball.”
Accidentally wiping out his skipper early in the second half may not have been part of the plan but that day started a fine career for Green, making 241 appearances for City before going on to play for England and clubs including West Ham and QPR.
He continued: “Watching it on the replay he was clearly waving for me to stay in goal but I just had my eyes on the ball. I was angry and he was angry at the end of the game saying ‘what were you doing?’.
“With hindsight, I could have just stayed in goal and let him deal with the ball but such is life, we both lived. But it was a memorable occasion and something that I enjoyed - but afterwards I was just shattered.”
- You can watch our My Norwich City Story episode with Green, filmed in 2019, at the top of this story. You can also see highlights from that debut against Ipswich in 1999 in the other video above.