No Norwich fan would deny that Grant Holt is one of our best players.
The facts speak for themselves. Last season he deservedly won the Barry Butler Trophy and was voted player of the year by the Club’s supporters. He was also the Capital Canaries player of the year. Holty was our leading scorer with 30 goals last season, and might well have broken Terry Allcock’s record of 37 goals in a season but for injury and suspension. On several occasions Paul Lambert has paid tribute to his Captain Fantastic, both as a player and in his capacity as leader and inspiration to other members of the team. He really is a captain who leads by example.
Throughout his career Grant Holt has scored goals. At time of writing, 34 in 52 appearances for the Canaries; 28 in 51 games for Shrewsbury; 42 in 83 games for Rochdale. He even scored a few for smaller clubs; 25 in 108 appearances for Forest, 3 in 24 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday, 36 in 73 for Barrow, and failed to score only in his 4 games for Blackpool. As well as winning accolades last season at Norwich, he was Forest’s Player of the Year in 2006-7, was named in the League Two Team of the Year in 2009, and the League One Team of the Year in 2010.
Holt was born on 12 April 1981, and signed for the Canaries on 24 July 2009. He has become a cult figure at Carrow Road, the messianic figure whom the fans have been waiting for since Hucks was forced out of the Club by Glen Roeder, and the most talismanic centre forward we have had on our books since the halcyon days of Iwan Roberts. He is one of the few players who has inspired his own song (We effing love Grant Holt) which often resounds around the terraces, as well as his own official T-shirt which can be found in the Club Shop and proclaims the same message in slightly different words.
So we all love Grant Holt. But opposing teams know that he is the man to stop. “Stop Holt and you stop Norwich” must be the message preached to their players by every opposing manager and coach during their pre match pep talk. Holt is a big man and can hold his own physically, but he is no spring chicken, and has been worrying injury prone from the end of last season (he missed the final six games), during pre season (most of which he missed), and he failed to start the first game of this season. Thankfully he’s now getting back to full fitness. Once or twice last season Holt was booked or red carded for tackles which were either dangerous or over enthusiastic, depending on your point of view. On each occasion when this has happened there has been a collective groan of disappointment from the Carrow Road faithful. We all know how much we miss him, whether he is absent due to injury, or suspension.
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Of course Norwich is more than a one man team, and we have other great players in our star studded line up. In Chris Martin, Wes Hoolahan, Simeon Jackson, and Oli Johnson we have other players who can score goals. We also have midfield players such as Andrew Crofts, Korey Smith, Simon Lappin, and Anthony McNamee who are capable of getting their names on the score-sheet. And lest we forget, Michael Nelson, sadly now injured, has already proved this season that he knows where the goal is.
But I still feel happier about our chances if Grant Holt is fully fit and plays the full 90 minutes for Norwich from the start of every game. So if by chance Holty is reading this, please remember to get fully match fit as soon as possible, remain injury free throughout the season, try your best not to get too many yellow cards, and certainly no red ones this campaign, drive carefully... and remember that records are there to be broken. I believe you can break Terry Allcock’s record and score more than 37 goals this season. Hat tricks on 28 November and 22 April would be a great help...
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