Chris Goreham: Why Teemu Pukki is Norwich City’s very own superhero
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Anyone who has ever stubbed their toe on the edge of a table leg will have even more respect for Teemu Pukki after Saturday’s morale boosting draw at Leicester.
For most of us suffering a bang on the toe is enough for the air to be turned bluer than the map on the BBC's General Election coverage when we woke up on Friday morning.
Norwich City's main man was able to absorb the pain and continue to unsettle the tightest defence in the Premier League.
If the creators of Roy of the Rovers had made-up a character like Teemu Pukki it would have been dismissed as being too far-fetched.
Even Melchester Rovers couldn't unearth a Finnish striker on a free transfer who scored so many goals in his first season that he walked off with enough Player of the Year trophies and Golden Boots to fill any modest mantelpiece.
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That might have been just about believable but now that it's nearly Christmas in his first season in the Premier League and Pukki has matched Harry Kane's goal tally we really are in the realms of Fantasy Football.
There was a time when scoring as many goals as Harry Kane wouldn't have been considered particularly impressive at Carrow Road but England's main man has embarked on a comic book career of his own since the pale shadow in his origin story that played on loan for Norwich City seven years ago. Perhaps he was bitten by some sort of radioactive spider in the showers at Colney. We'll probably never know.
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Pukki's tally of nine goals means he is also level with Liverpool's Sadio Mane and Mo Salah as well as Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling in
the Premier League charts. That's how impressive he's been.
One swallow doesn't make a summer and one outstanding statistic can't save a season but Pukki's penalty box prowess is one of the things that Norwich City can cling to in the search for signs that the current relegation battle is winnable.
He proved again at The King Power Stadium on Saturday that he is a reliable source of goals.
The fact that he'd already missed one decent chance before putting the Canaries ahead underlined how good he is.
How often have you seen strikers become unsettled when they've missed a sitter? The true test of a forward is how they cope with the next opportunity. Pukki didn't rush it or try a wild 25-yarder in order to try to make amends.
When Emi Buendia's perfectly weighted pass sent him clear, the Finn passed the ball into the net so calmly that Kasper Schmeichel, an imposing title winning goalkeeper, didn't even bother to attempt to save it.
Let's just hope that Pukki can shrug off toe injuries just as easily as he can the odd missed chance.
The most nervous moment at Leicester came as news of his injury filtered through after the game. Several TV companies, radio stations and newspapers wanted to speak to Norwich's goal scoring hero and I watched worriedly as reporter after reporter got close to standing on his foot in an attempt to get to the front of the media scrimmage.
The golden boot that Teemu Pukki was presented with at the end of The Championship winning season at Villa Park on the final day looked quite heavy.
It might offer ample protection for a dodgy toe if only there were some way he could play in it during the busy period of fixtures that could go a long way towards deciding Norwich City's destiny between now and the end of December.
If Daniel Farke can find a way of tightening up his defence on a regular basis he has a team that is more than capable of nicking enough goals to win matches in the Premier League.