Expect a few tears if Wes Hoolahan steps on to the pitch against Norwich
PUBLISHED: 14:59 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:25 11 January 2019
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It’s more than a game, said one advertising executive to another.
Without wishing to over-dramatise things, that applies to many Norwich City fans travelling to West Brom - thanks to the presence of Wes Hoolahan.
Hoolahan earned iconic status during 10 years at Carrow Road before he departed at the end of last season, at 36 no longer a part of the club’s plans.
But there is life in his legs yet, and it is the dressing room of Saturday’s hosts, West Brom, where he will sit just before 3pm today, no doubt pondering the tricks life can play.
This moment when a beloved player becomes an opponent was always on the cards as soon as the Irishman signed for a team in the same division, albeit on a deal which runs out this month (and started before the teams met at Carrow Road back in August).
Whether the initial plan was simply for a short-term stay and no more is something only Wes and the powers that be at The Hawthorns know. But that’s where we’re at ... so how will his still very large Norwich City fan club react?
Will, there be tears? Quite possibly.
Will there be cheers? Almost inevitably.
Will Wes play? Now that is a million dollar question.
So far he has started once, in the FA Cup win vower Wigan a week ago, with five appearances as a sub. It was that Cup performance, though, which hinted at a longer stay for Hoolahan, with Baggies boss Darren Moore impressed enough to want a chat with the midfielder about a possible extension. As of yet, we have heard nothing concrete.
West Brom have lost Harvey Barnes, recalled by Leicester City, but whether that pushes Hoolahan’s name into the frame for a start will be down to Moore.
So another question: will Norwich City fans want to see Wes play against them today? Debatable; if you want to see a still highly talented player do his thing, then the answer may be yes. Alternatively, in an ‘along came Norwich’ theme... probably not. You just know what might to happen.