‘I wish I’d stayed for longer’ - Earnshaw opens up on his Canaries career
EDP pics © 2006
Robert Earnshaw wishes he could have remained a Norwich City player for longer, as he reveals that he “loved playing for the club”.
The former striker was denied one of the best goal-scoring seasons of his career when injury struck midway through the 2006-07 season - when he still finished up as City’s top scorer with 19 goals in 30 games for Peter Grant’s team.
“I had scored 17 goals by Christmas and I was on a ridiculous run,” he recalls. “If I had carried on it would have been right up there with one of my best seasons.
“I scored 35 goals at Cardiff one year, that was my best season, but I was really on the path in the same direction. Then just after Christmas we were training and I got an injury which actually ended up being the worst injury of my career.
“We were shooting one day in training and doing some extras really after training. I went to shoot and kind of bend the ball but as I pulled back I ripped my groin, tore it off the bone really.”
At the time City were 17th but still within nine points of fifth in a congested Championship mid-table but with the Wales international returning with two gals in the final five matches, 16th place led to Derby swooping for the fit-again forward.
“At that time I didn’t want to leave because I really enjoyed my time at Norwich - and I always say that I think it was one of my most consistent times,” Earnshaw continued. “I loved it, I loved playing for the club and I really enjoyed the whole experience and actually I wish I’d stayed for longer but I had a buy-out clause, which was triggered at the time by Derby.”
With injury still fresh in his mind Earnshaw, 26 years old at the time, joined the promoted Rams in the top flight for £3.5million. City were linked with interest in a loan return during January 2008, a couple of months after Glenn Roeder had succeeded Grant, with the striker being given limited chances for a rock-bottom Derby team.
However, that opportunity never arrived, adding: “I don’t know if there was anything officially, I knew there were some teams interested. I don’t know if Norwich were definitely one of them.”
- For more from Earnshaw, listen to the podcast above and check back to this website tomorrow.