Savvy on the ever-mercurial City Captain Grant Holt…
Rumour, gossip and controversy never seem to be too far from City Captain Grant Holt. An article in The Mirror suggests that following the marquee signing of Ricky van Wolswinkel, Chris Hughton is ready to tell Grant Holt that he can leave at the end of the season.
This story follows the last two games, in which Holt has been dropped and his interview with respected football writer Henry Winter in which Holt gave an insight into his thoughts about England, his new deal, and why his kids have moved back to Carlisle.
“When I then watched the Euros and saw England go out with a whimper it made it tougher to take. If they`d gone to the semi-finals, it would have been easier to say I should never have been near it. I watched that and thought would I have made that difference? I`m definitely patriotic.”
It was a massive kick in the teeth for all of us when Holt was not given a chance, and added to a turbulent close season for Canary supporters. Ultimately there was no glorious end to that particular chapter for Holt, and of course shortly afterwards he put in the transfer request. Holt suggests in the interview that he was simply ‘playing in role` to secure the best deal for his family.
“There are two Grant Holts. There`s Grant Holt, the footballer for Norwich City and Grant Holt the dad. The dad comes first and always will. I do what`s right for the girls. My wife`s been away from Carlisle a lot. When I went to Singapore to play for four months, she came with me. I was 19 and she was 17. We had a fantastic time, went to Kuala Lumpur and little islands, ate a lot of rice.
“But she`s been away a lot. Rochdale, Nottingham, Norwich. She`s very family-orientated. I`m very close to my family. I got my new deal, bought a house in Norwich and within four weeks of signing my new deal the house we`d been waiting for three years in Carlisle came up. In Carlisle, all the relatives are round the corner. There`s a fantastic school a 10-minute walk away from the house.
“They are happy, which makes me happy. It`s nice to speak to her on the phone. She says: ‘I can`t speak, I`m busy.` Now I know they`re settled, I can do whatever I want. Just because they are there doesn`t affect my performance at Norwich. If anything it should enhance it. I get more sleep, more time with the physios, masseurs. I get up later in the morning while she [his wife] is having a nightmare up the road! Everyone should do it!
“It always make me laugh when I hear people say: ‘He`s signed his deal, he`s not bothered and he`s moved his wife home.` It`s a load of rubbish. Some guy had a pop at me in a coffee shop in Norwich. He said: ‘You want to leave, you`ve even moved your wife and kids home, how can you if you live here?` I said: ‘Are you mad? You`ve not got a clue what`s going on.`
On Chris Hughton, he showed the manager respect but hinted that he would much rather we were the attacking force of last year (don`t we all, Grant).
“Obviously Chris is a different personality but he`s still doing a fantastic job. He likes to work off a format and who are we to disagree when we are still in a similar position to last year? Ideally, I`d love to play with a two up front, winning 4-3, and I`m getting three. You`ve got to do what he wants you to do, do a job for the team.”
To me, I do wonder if Grant Holt is reaching the end of his Norwich City career. If we are signing players of the calibre of van Wolfswinkel, that is one thing, but if Holt has seen fit to move his family back to Carlisle than that is another. It would seem he is a family man at heart and it would also seem his heart is very firmly located in Cumbria. Holt is also doing very honest interviews and making a point of talking about his family situation. I honestly would be very surprised to see Holt stay at the club for another season.
I just hope that he plays a big part in keeping us up over the final seven games and if he does leave, he leaves on a high.