Captain [n] – the leader of a group of people.
Grant Holt. WFLGH. Why? Because he’s what we would be if we could ever pull on that shirt. He cares as much as we do. He tries as hard as we would. In short, he is one of us.
He embodies Lambert’s philosophy on the pitch, he is a winner, he sets the tone, the standard for everyone else to achieve, he won’t allow himself or us to be dominated by anyone. He is the poster boy for the new Norwich City Football Club, the one that no longer bottles it in crucial games, the one that hasn’t lost two games in a row under Paul Lambert (IN THE SAME SEASON YOU PEDANTIC CRETINS), the one that no team has got a double over. He is our leader.
Contrast Holty’s leadership with that of another of our recent ‘Captains’, Mark Fotheringham and you’ll see how far we’ve come. Yes hard to believe it now but Mark Fotheringham was the captain of Norwich City Football Club. Those were dark days, some of the darkest we’ve known but as the saying goes it’s often darkest before the dawn. Bryan Gunn should always be fondly remembered by Norwich fans, first and foremost as a legendary player but secondly for possibly the only good thing he ever did as our manager, namely buying Grant Holt.
Holty’s had a great season this year. His late goal away at Scunthorpe got us up and running, his hattrick against 1p5wich and the way he bullied their defence, until they were shaking like the shitting dogs they are, will live long in the memory. He’s also chipped in throughout the whole season and scored 21 goals in the Championship (joint 2nd with Shane Long, behind Danny Graham on 24) as well as providing 14 assists, second only to Adel Taraabt. Despite the hot competition he was in my eyes for all the above reasons the rightful winner of both the Fans & Players Player of the season awards this season.
When he picked up the hamstring injury at Watford (A) we all feared the worst. Most City fans I spoke to, and who commented on the message boards, thought that without him the game was up for automatic promotion and that we needed him fit for the play-offs to have any chance of going up. We shouldn’t have doubted him (more on doubt to follow) because just 3 days later he ran out against Forest to huge relief at Carrow Road and, whilst clearly not fit, scored our equalising goal with a trademark powerful header before dropping deep into a trequartista type position and weighting a perfect pass for Andrew Surman to run on and score what proved to be the winner.
Let’s not forget there were doubts about his ability to step up to Championship level “Oh he failed at Forest in the Championship” was the common refrain. This conveniently overlooked the fact that then he was played out on the wing in a spectacularly unsuccessful side, managed by Colin Calderwood (yes that’s right, Colin Calderwood) but no matter.
One can easily imagine that the doubters only drove him on to achieve. So let’s doubt him again. Can he do it in the Premier League? Maybe, maybe not. He may not score 20 goals again but I’ll bet he scores at least 12 or 15. I’m unconcerned though because whatever his personal goal tally he is more than just our main goal scorer, he is our on the field leader and there’s nobody I’d rather have lead me into battle than the big, beefy and bothersome Grant Holt.
by Richard Jeffery