Wes Hoolahan has been part and parcel of the fabric of Norwich City for the past ten years and now, after much speculation, he’s leaving the club.
I don’t really know where to start because there have been so many brilliant moments in what has been the best part of his career.
Wes joined the club in 2008 as Glenn Roeder’s answer to the waning powers of Darren Huckerby. Roeder had decided that a new contract was not going to be offered to Hucks and he needed a replacement for the best player at the club at that time.
Hoolahan had caught Roeder’s and everyone else’s eye when he ran the show for Blackpool at Carrow Road in 2007. He was available for the paltry sum of £250k as a buyout clause, which was typically ill-judged for Blackpool at that time.
Norwich snapped him up and he quickly set about becoming a club legend. I don’t propose to go through his whole career here because you probably know it as well as I do and have lived and breathed it along with the rest of the Canary Nation.
I figured that I’d just add a few of my favourite bits from Wes to the rich tapestry he has woven while at our football club.
These aren’t in any particular order and you’ll no doubt have your own favourites.
These are mine.
Norwich City 3-1 Bournemouth
Wes provides the assist for Cameron Jerome from the right wing while holding a shin pad. He ran the wing and cut inside as he got to the edge of the area, beating the fullback and using the outside of his left foot to make a tap-in for Jerome and all while holding a shin pad in his left hand.
Norwich City 4-1 Ipswich Town
”It could get worse for Ipswich, it has got worse for Ipswich…”
With Grant Holt having already written his name into the history books that day with a hat trick, Wes got in on the act as the home crowd sang ”You’re getting sacked in the morning” and ”There’s only one Keano!” to Blues boss, Roy Keane.
By the way, just check out the way Wes takes the ball out of the air in the build-up to Holt’s third goal – typical Wes.
Norwich City 5-1 Nottingham Forest
Hoolahan sees the keeper off his line and scores a worldie. In any other game or moment, it would’ve been the best goal of the day/month but Jonny Howson grabbed that honour in the same game as he opened the scoring with an outrageous volley. Wes’ was a bit special too, mind.
Norwich City 3-1 Ipswich Town (Playoff semi-final)
With the scores level at 1-1 after the first leg, Christoph Berra blocks Redmond’s shot with his hand on the line stopping a certain goal and that sees him receive a red card.
The resulting penalty needs to go in to settle City nerves and up steps the most experienced player in yellow & green.
Wes took a deep breath and scored, sending Bialkowski the wrong way. His celebration in front of the Barclay showed what it meant to all of us, him included.
Norwich City 3-1 Rotherham
I’ve saved the best for last, in my opinion at least. This was Wes Hoolahan at his impudent best as he received the ball in the Rotherham area from Alex Pritchard, who nutmegged a defender by the way.
Instead of shooting straight away, Wes turned and completely took a centre back out of the game but he wasn’t finished yet. Another cut back inside followed which put both the other centre back and ex-City keeper, Lee Camp on their backsides, before Wes coolly slotted home for the opening goal.
I could watch this back for hours on end and if ever anyone asks me how good Wes Hoolahan is, this is what I tell them to google. A magician at work.
So here ends my little homage to Wes Hoolahan, you may or not agree and there are certainly loads more clips to choose from and I’m sure you’ll have your own favourites BUT this is my homage, it’s been an absolute pleasure, Sir Wesley Hoolahan. Thank you for some outstanding memories.