Norwich City prospect James Maddison has the perfect tutor in Wes Hoolahan
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
James Maddison has the perfect role model in Norwich City icon Wes Hoolahan to fulfil his potential.
The master and apprentice sparkled in the League Cup win over Swindon Town, with Maddison setting up Hoolahan to open his goal account for the new campaign before the Irishman returned the favour.
Canaries’ head coach Daniel Farke knows he has two special talents at opposite ends of their careers, and the German is urging Maddison to make the most of working with City’s reigning player-of-the-year.
“Wes is a very similar type of player to James Maddison so he can learn a lot and hopefully he will,” he said. “Younger players can learn from the experienced players, especially the very professional ones. It is important for James to learn from Wes, from Russell Martin, from Steven Naismith. Those lads have such a good attitude.
“From the first day on the training pitch I could see his potential. I love his way of playing, the decisions he makes, he can determine the rhythm of the game, he is able to find a good balance between the transition and controlling the ball. He is a very intelligent player but, for sure, you need the good conditioning to bring it on the pitch.
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”James knows that, he knows he has to work and still improve in that area. He is improving from day to day but I have to find the balance with him as well because he played so many games in this period, two hard games in the league and cup. It is important not to give him too much load to risk injury but that is tricky because he is so important for our game. Right now I am very content with his working style.”
Hoolahan’s workload is also a concern to Farke, with the 35-year-old enduring an injury disrupted pre-season.
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“The plan was to give him 60 minutes against Swindon but he is a player who can create special moments,” said the German. “We have to stick him in the ice bath for three or four days to get him ready again. Wes is a wonderful person. I like his personality and love him as a footballer. I am really sad I was not his coach 10 years ago. To train a 25-year-old Wes Hoolahan would be great. Right now it’s great too.
“I know he won’t play another 20 years, maybe seven or eight. We have to be careful with the load.”