Greeno was a great Canaries servant
PUBLISHED: 15:27 19 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:34 14 September 2010
It's been a busy week for players currently or previously connected with Norwich City.
It's been a busy week for players currently or previously connected with Norwich City. First came the ill-timed news of Dean Ashton's training ground injury (which ruled him out of a full England debut), in his absence Peter Crouch scored another two goals and, on the same night, Youssef Safri was thrown the captain's armband for a friendly in Rabat against Burkina Faso.
A little closer to home, we finally witnessed the closure on the inevitable transfer of Robert Green back to the Premiership. Perhaps the only surprise was the apparently late, but successful, offer from West Ham which means Greeno will kick-start this new chapter in his career playing in East London and not south of the river.
Seems incredible, but Greeno served 10 years at Carrow Road, albeit some of it as a boy in the shadow of Bryan Gunn, Andy Marshall and co. But after just shy of 250 appearances and the honour of becoming only the sixth City player to be capped for England, I couldn't write without giving the boy a mention.
Let's face it, we've been pretty blessed with 'keepers down the years; we only have to go back 30 years to include Keelan, Woods and Gunn (combining over 1400 appearances in the canary yellow between them). I wonder if, in the years ahead, Robert Green's name will appear alongside these City greats.
For now though, what are my memories of watching Greeno between the sticks in a City jersey? First of all, I remember vividly the endorsement 'Scotland's number one' (Gunny) gave a young fresh-faced Green when he was first called in to be the regular replacement for the Suffolk-bound Marshall; I think Gunny's confidence in the then 21-year old has proved to be well-founded.
Regrettably, I couldn't recollect any great penalty saves (were there any?) though a number of crucial point blank blocks were perhaps his trademark.
I think I will remember Greeno's time at Norwich for his courage and fearlessness, diving at the feet of on charging strikers or jumping to punch a ball amid a crowded penalty box; summed up perfectly in an incident at Walsall's Bescot Stadium, when his sheer determination and bravery resulted in him pole axed and out cold on the floor.
All the best to Robert; I hope a quick return to fitness and form will re-open the door to another crack at the England number one shirt.
For us, the immediate future is Gally and Lewis. I genuinely hope they too will be keeping the Keelans and Gunns company on that list of Norwich City legends.