Holland game perfect for Grant Holt to get England call-up
I was driving back to Norwich last Saturday night after watching Leicester beat Cardiff at the King Power Stadium when my phone rang.
It was one of my colleagues from BBC Radio Wales, who had been working at the Liberty Stadium earlier that afternoon. He rang to tell me that the Canaries are the best side to have visited Swansea this season. Better than Manchester United, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
He was so impressed by Norwich City and the way they, unlike many other teams that have been there this season, had attacked from the very first whistle instead of letting Swansea get into their usual routine of possession football.
He was also impressed with Paul Lambert’s tactics of pressurising Swansea’s back four when just outside their own penalty box, causing them to lose possession in their own half, something which they haven’t done for a few years now. It was a tremendous result when you think of who has already been there this season and not taken three points.
Once again Grant Holt grabbed the headlines after his brace, taking his tally to 11 in a great season.
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England have a friendly on February 29 against Holland with Stuart Pearce in temporary charge, and in my opinion, and that of many others, Grant deserves to be named in that squad.
No disrespect to the likes of Andy Carroll, Kevin Davies, Jay Bothroyd and Emile Heskey, who have all been given an opportunity over the past few seasons, but not one of those four has scored the goals that Holt has managed this season.
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- 3 Police interviews and faulty planes - the inside track on Onel's Cuba bow
- 4 Paddy Davitt: 'Little old Norwich' tag is a poor fit
- 5 Dowell pledge from City boss
- 6 'Auld Enemy' clash on the backburner for City captain
- 7 City confirm fans will not return to Carrow Road this season
- 8 'We want to stop the party' - Cherries fired up for City clash
- 9 Lee Payne: Bruce has got it wrong over Norwich City and Premier League
- 10 Farke's fledglings: How City chief moulded the next generation for Canaries
In fact, Holty has scored the same as those four put together.
It has been a week where Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra have dominated the headlines after the events at Old Trafford, with Suarez refusing to shake Evra’s hand before kick-off.
Whatever Suarez’s feelings towards Evra were, he should have shaken his hand. This would have put to bed the whole sorry saga which has no place in football or wider society more generally.
However, I do believe the shaking of hands before a game should be dropped altogether as it can lead to needless confrontations akin to the Suarez-Evra meeting; leave the handshakes until full-time.
The FA Cup campaign continues tomorrow when my old club of the mid-90s Leicester City travel down to Carrow Road.
As you know, I was at the Foxes’ game last Saturday against Cardiff, and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with Nigel Pearson’s men.
They won the match 2-1, but it should have been by a bigger margin. They have some very good and experienced players who are working extremely hard for their new manager, and starting to find a bit of form in the process. It’s a really tough one for me when people have asked me, “who do I want to win?”
I had a great time with both clubs and have a great relationship with both sets of supporters, so it’s a question I’ve not answered.
However, what I will say is that, when looking at both teams, I do think that the club that I spent seven years playing for will have too much quality and strength for the visitors.