Putting an end to comparisons
CHRIS LAKEY One of the inevitabilities of the new season is that Jamie Cureton will be compared to Robert Earnshaw: they're the same height, they weigh the same, they use the penalty area as their personal shooting gallery.
One of the inevitabilities of the new season is that Jamie Cureton will be compared to Robert Earnshaw: they're the same height, they weigh the same, they use the penalty area as their personal shooting gallery. Their business is goal scoring, and they do it very well.
There's a few years' between them, admittedly, but the major difference is that while Cureton prepares for the new Championship campaign, Earnshaw is back with the glory boys after he - and his agent - decided to check in their get-out clause and take the quick route back to the Premiership that Derby County offered.
Cureton had already been a target for Peter Grant, so when Earnie moved on for a cut-price £3.5m, the City manager speeded up the process and, within an hour or so of one departure, the blow was softened by an arrival.
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At 31 he has a few good years left in him and he wouldn't break the bank as far as a transfer fee was concerned or, after a season at Colchester, in terms of his salary.
The Golden Boot was safely tucked away in the kit bag after topping the Championship scoring tables last season - and the alternatives - say, Michael Chopra, Diomansy Kamara, David Nugent, Billy Sharp, Freddy Eastwood - were either never going to consider Norwich as their next stop or were simply too expensive.
There was also the not insignificant matter of Cureton's “previous” - 32 City appearances back in the 90s when he simply didn't do himself justice. There were wrongs to be righted. It was, as Darel Russell remarked on his return last week, a “no brainer” for all concerned.
So Earnshaw out, Cureton in - the question of comparisons resurfaces, but don't expect Cureton to be bothered.
“I think the gaffer was looking to bring me in possibly even if Earnie was here, so I don't think I have come as a direct replacement for him,” said the affable Cureton.
“I think that with him leaving the day I came in obviously everyone is going to compare me with him. His record was very good here so if I can get anywhere near that I will be happy.
“But I have come into different teams when big players left before - but you are different players, you are not going to be the same. As long as I come in and do the things I can do well I am sure everyone will accept that and people won't be bringing it up - it's no big deal.”
A Championship tally of 23 goals last season took his career total past the 150 mark, but the pressure, rather like the comparisons, has little chance of taking the smile off his face.
“I suppose the closer we get to the start of the season the more people will talk about it,” he said. “But I am confident that I can go out there and get the goals again.
“It was a privilege to win the Golden Boot last year and hopefully if I can do something like that this year for Norwich. With everyone else we have here and everyone performing to their max, we have a great chance of being at the right end of the table and trying to achieve the right things.”
Should that happen, comparison will be a thing of the past.