Thursday, February 14, 2013
I like Grant Holt, as a footballer. I really like him. And I like Twitter. Far too much, apparently. I just wish Grant Holt had never discovered it, because he worries me.
I can take Joey Barton launching a ridiculous diatribe at a fellow professional within the confines of 140 characters, or quoting Karl Marx, as you do. I can take stupid footballers with far more money than sense posting photographs of themselves using their filthy ill-gotten gains as some sort of prop in a gloating picture of their wealthy selves to a generally impoverished world.
But what I can’t take are the hints that drop ever so gently on the ground which neither tell me what I don’t want to hear nor keep from me what I don’t want to know.
Grant Holt and his right thumb have been far too busy of late, leaving fans all in a tizzy about his future. Not a year has passed since we went into a Holt-induced frenzy because, he said, he wanted to leave Carrow Road.
A transfer request from the three-time player of the season was the last thing anyone expected. Fortunately, everything was sorted out and Holt signed a new deal and stayed.
Things haven’t been altogether rosy this season, with Holt getting used to a new system, which isn’t exactly conducive to him scoring a shedful of goals. Then along came the January transfer window and talk was dominated by four strikers: Gary Hooper, Luciano Becchio, Kei Kamara and Holt, with a cameo appearance by Steve Morison.
City’s pursuit of Hooper was no secret, although Neil Lennon’s regular updates of another bid being rejected by Celtic got a little tiresome. Becchio signed from Leeds, with Morison and some cash going the other way, while Kamara came on loan.
And Holt? All he did was send out a few tweets at a time when City were signing/trying to sign people who play in his position – and every one was a mini explosion.
It started towards the end of the window when someone asked whether Holt would play for Celtic. “Of course. Massive club with a great history”, he replied. Which is like pouring fuel on the flames of speculation, what with Hooper and all that. Then came, “Would you ever play for Carlisle?”
Response: “What, the greatest team in the world? Of course.”
It might all appear fairly innocent, but for those who hang on the every word of anyone who ever donned the yellow and green, there are so many interpretations.
The story then began to twist a little, with Holt tweeting that he was “Just getting some boxes for moving stuff home and the looks I was getting was so funny”.
Having claimed he thought we all knew, he then explained: “For all tweeting me the family is moving home for school reasons. Not me people.”
As if that makes it all okay.
We football fans survive on the rumour, the madcap speculation, the wild theories.
But the logic of it all is simple: the call of the Lakes is too strong for the Carlisle-born Holt, who follows his family there in the summer in a part exchange deal which brings Hooper to Carrow Road. It leaves Holt with his family, and only 90 miles or so from Glasgow.
Trouble is, you can interpret the Holt tweets in much the same way as a fraudulent fortune teller can tell you what’s around the corner. Whatever Gypsy Rose tells you can be interpreted to fit. In much the same way as Holt’s bombshells may actually turn out to be codswallop. Or not.
And footballers blame us for putting two and two together and making five...
• KEI KAMARA CLICKS IN NORFOLK
I wasn’t at Carrow Road last weekend for the game against Fulham, which is good, because I had told anyone who would listen that City would win.
But even monitoring the various outlets – our live reporting via the Pinkun website, Twitter, emails, BBC Radio Norfolk et al, I could find no one who had much of a good word to say about the game.
Perhaps the best description was provided by one of the substitutes, Kei Kamara, who made his bow in the 86th minute and, by all accounts, did enough to warrant earning the man of the match award in many people’s eyes.
The enthusiasm he has brought to Carrow Road isn’t just felt in a few minutes on the pitch; his activities on social media have shown how delighted, genuinely delighted, he is to be playing here.
Let’s hope that enthusiasm isn’t dampened over the remaining 12 games when City desperately need an added buzz.