Green leaves Canaries with a heavy heart
PUBLISHED: 18:45 16 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:34 14 September 2010
Robert Green is looking forward to an exciting new challenge - but revealed he would still be leaving Carrow Road with a heavy heart. Speaking after signing a four-year contract at West Ham, the former Norwich City goalkeeper admitted it would be a huge wrench to leave the club he joined as a schoolboy in the mid-1990s.
Robert Green is looking forward to an exciting new challenge - but revealed he would still be leaving Carrow Road with a heavy heart.
Speaking after signing a four-year contract at West Ham, the former Norwich City goalkeeper admitted it would be a huge wrench to leave the club he joined as a schoolboy in the mid-1990s.
But he stressed he was excited at the prospect of furthering his career in the Premiership and would be ready to stake a claim for a first team place in a week or two, having made a good recovery from the groin injury he sustained while on England B duty just before the World Cup.
“Norwich City have obviously been a big part of my life for 10 years,” said Green, whose move could eventually earns the Canaries as much as £2m.
“I moved up here when I was 16 from school, having been involved in a few games even before that. I think I first came to the club the day after they beat Bayern Munich so I've seen everything since then, which has been as much of a rollercoaster as you can get.
“It's been a great club to be involved in and I've made a lot of friends up there and it's a great part of the world.
“But, as they say, there's a time for a fresh challenge and once the opportunity came along I knew it was time to move on.”
Green, who leaves Carrow Road with 241 appearances to his name, added: “I'm delighted to be at West Ham. I had a long day with the medical and it's been a busy week so far, but I'm glad that everything is now sorted and I just can't wait to get started.
“There was talk in the media about Charlton on Monday but that was as much as I knew about it and, once I was given the chance to talk to West Ham, there was no doubt in my mind about what I wanted to do.
“I spoke to Alan Pardew and his enthusiasm shone through immediately. He has very ambitious plans for the club and I am looking forward to being a part of that.
“Everything has happened very quickly and there has been a lot going on but I'm absolutely thrilled to be here and I can't wait to get to the training ground to get involved with the rest of the lads.
“I've been back in full training for around 10 days now and everything is going well, so hopefully I'll be back to full strength and flying again in the next couple of weeks.”
When fully fit, Green will be competing with Northern Ireland international Roy Carroll for top billing at Upton Park.
West Ham needed to strengthen their goalkeeping stock after Shaka Hislop, who deputised well when Carroll suffered a back injury last season, moved to Major League Soccer club FC Dallas.
Norwich opened negotiations for Green's transfer with Charlton at the weekend, and had agreed a fee with the Addicks, but West Ham stepped in to snatch him from under the noses of their Premiership rivals.
“I'm delighted to have secured Robert's signature,” said Hammers boss Alan Pardew. “He already has Premiership experience and is an established member of the England squad, so it is obviously fantastic to have him here.
“At 26, he still has his best years ahead of him, and we are all excited about what he can bring to the club. He is another young English talent who will be pushing to continue his international career this season, and I am sure he can achieve that aim at West Ham.
“We now have a stronger pool of goalkeepers than we had last year, with Roy Carroll and Jimmy Walker also competing for the first-team jersey, and it can only be healthy for the squad.
“I've no doubt that Robert will relish that challenge, and it will hopefully take all three goalkeepers to a higher level."
Green had words of sympathy for new Hammers colleague Dean Ashton - who broke his ankle while training with England - after completing his move. He bumped into his fellow ex-Canary while having his medical and was able to pass on his good wishes in person before completing his switch to Upton Park.
“I spoke to Dean on Monday morning when the opportunity of a move to West Ham came up and he had nothing but glowing praise for the club," he told City's official website.
“I congratulated him on his call-up and wished him well. But since then it's been a bit of a disaster for him. I saw him again on Tuesday in the hospital. I was having my medical and he was having surgery on the injury.
“It's a real disappointment for him and a massive blow. But he's got to be philosophical about it. He's a great lad and I'm sure he will bounce back."