A juxtaposition that could decide where Norwich City’s season heads from here
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It is hard to imagine a greater juxtaposition than the one currently surrounding Robert Snodgrass and Wes Hoolahan – two players of undeniable value to Norwich City as the final transfer window of the season prepares to softly close.
Anyone out there who has to deal with customers and complaints will tell you it’s not really about the original error – rather, it’s all about how you put it right.
And based on what happened at Carrow Road on Tuesday night and at Thursday afternoon’s Colney press conference, Snodgrass could always turn his hand to a customer services role once his football playing days are over.
Unlikely, I know. But bear with me – I’m trying to make a point.
Only a small number of players would turn on their own fans in a fit of frustration.
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And of that pool, most of them would head down the tunnel at the earliest opportunity without addressing what had happened in that game.
Put simply, most players seeking that sort of exchange are probably going to hide when the fallout swiftly follows.
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For that very reason, it really did say an awful lot for Robert Snodgrass as a character and person that from the moment Chris Foy blew the full-time whistle against Newcastle, the winger angled straight for the Snakepit and sought to clear the air.
For me, that showed real class – but also turned what could’ve been an incredibly awkward few days into an almost positive experience.
It was a sentiment backed up by his decision to make himself the player on press duties at Colney on Thursday – again, just to ensure he got his apologetic message across.
Not only that. Snodgrass was also able to make the kind of passionate case for unity that any captain longs to instil in the club they’re at.
And so ironically, Snodgrass’ actions may well have strengthened his and his team-mates’ rapport with the fans – assuming things don’t go too drastically wrong on the pitch any time soon. At least the Snakepit will get to continue their loving recreation of Snodgrass’ pre-corner routine – arm up, arm down. Presumably it isn’t code for ‘hit the first man’ (just a joke, Rob).
If only the same could be said for Wes Hoolahan, whose name seems to be associated with only negatives at the moment.
I’ve been hoping that once the window closes, the wounds will be healed and Wes will be back at Hughton’s disposal – at least for the rest of the season.
The only problem is that the wounds sound like they’re becoming so deep that following the leads of Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez may end up wishful thinking.
And that takes us to the final flourishes of the January transfer window – where Robert Snodgrass has appeared to be an almost unifying figure in recent days, Wes Hoolahan’s position now appears to be the symbol of all that is divisive with the current Canaries’ set-up.
One more day of the transfer window and one huge game at Cardiff – one point from their last seven games – and it will become clear which side of the argument is winning. And be assured, only one result will keep City up.