Nothing can quite beat a golden oldie
CHRIS LAKEY He's been there, seen that, done it - and Canaries legend Iwan Roberts is backing Dion Dublin to continue doing it as long as he has a smile on his face.
He's been there, seen that, done it - and Canaries legend Iwan Roberts is backing Dion Dublin to continue doing it as long as he has a smile on his face.
Roberts is convinced there is no replacement for the experience that the 37-year-old is bringing to steady City's rocking ship.
"Dion Dublin is doing what he enjoys most - playing football," said Roberts. "And while he is still enjoying his football he will be a huge factor in what happens to Norwich this season.
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"Life is good to him and Peter Grant is clearly looking after him well to get the sort of performances that Dion is producing - in attack or at the back. He is invaluable to Norwich at the moment."
Dublin is fast approaching the sort of status that Roberts was accorded during a seven-year Canaries career that ended at the age of 35.
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Roberts hung up his boots two years later at Cambridge United doing just what Dublin is doing now in the twilight of his career - passing on his experience to his team-mates.
"It is great having the experience of someone like Dion," said Roberts. "You can look at the team Alex Ferguson produced at Manchester United with the likes of Scholes and Beckham and the Neville brothers, but they come along once in a lifetime.
"Dion is the sort who can help the younger players. When I was at Norwich lads like Ryan Jarvis and Ian Henderson would ask me for help and advice and that will be the same with Dion now.
"He has played at the very highest level and they can learn from someone like him. It would be foolish for them not to."
Roberts speaks of Dublin's achievements this season from experience, having seen him as part of his new career in the media covering matches for the BBC.
"I've seen Dion at first hand several times this season and he has impressed me a lot - but he always has done," Roberts said.
"He holds the ball up well, he passes it well, he uses it well. He's a very clever footballer. Off the field, I can imagine him being a big influence in the dressing room. He is a likeable man and players would listen to him."
Dublin has been sharing top billing with Darren Huckerby since Roberts' fellow Welshman, Robert Earnshaw, was ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.
And while Roberts rues Earnshaw's absence, he believes former strike partner Huckerby is the man to bail City out of trouble.
"Earnie's injury is a massive, massive blow for Norwich, simple as that, especially in the position they are in at the moment," said Roberts. "But Hucks seems to have come on since he got those two goals at Tamworth.
"I don't know if it was a confidence thing before that - I can't imagine Hucks being low on confidence - but I know Granty has had a pop or two at him and he has got a response.
"Hucks is a match-winner at the end of the day. You know that, I know that, Granty knows that, the fans know that. He will win you games on his own."