I was lucky enough, before Saturday’s game against West Ham, to be treated to a very pleasant brunch – enough food to make the match day viewing rather more of a squeeze than it should be.

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I lasted the full 90 minutes, but the subject of full bellies and tight clothing dominated the day, thanks to fans’ deliberations on the great Grant Holt debate. Holt, it seems, has a similar problem in that he is carrying a bit of surplus timber.

Personally, I don’t see it.

Holt is the man who has done no wrong on the field of play for three seasons. Now he goes four matches without a goal and the wrath of god is upon him.

His ‘weight problem’ appears to top the list of reasons for his lack of goals. That’s codswallop. Complete and utter tripe. If Grant Holt is overweight then criticism needs to be aimed at his manager Chris Hughton – but don’t bother; there is no way that he would send Holt out on to the pitch if he were unfit. It’s not just more than his job is worth, it also has an element of health risk, I’d suggest.

I’ve heard it suggested that Holt needs a few games to reach match sharpness – indeed, it has become something of a standing excuse. But while there may be an element of truth in that, the stats don’t quite back it up.

In his first season at City, Holt’s first goal came in his second game; he scored five goals in his first five games; then he had four blanks in a row. In 2010/11 it took two games to get off the mark, he scored three in his first five – but after that he had three blanks.

Last season it took him there games to get going, he scored one in the first five and then had two blanks.

If he scores at Newcastle on Sunday his muscle-flexing opening to the Premier League season will be the same as last year – when we all applauded him loud and long and touted him for an England call-up on the back of 17 league and cup goals.

What must not be forgotten is that all but three of Holt’s goals for Norwich City came under a previous manager who sometimes employed, shall we say, gung-ho tactics in order to get goals. Hughton is more cautious than his predecessor; his tactics are different, and I suspect that over the season, chances won’t fall to Holt quite as regularly as they once did.

City are currently without their two genuine wingers, Anthony Pilkington and Elliott Bennett, which doesn’t help his cause. In Andrew Surman and Robert Snodgrass, you have two players who are midfielders rather than wingers. Surman plays one-two triangles to move inside; he doesn’t possess the necessary speed to take the ball to the byline and cross it.

Against West Ham, Snodgrass – a left-footed player – was plying his trade on the right. His right foot is about as good as mine, if his reluctance to use it last weekend is anything to go by, so he cuts in. It’s a different game to the one that would benefit Holt most.

And then you have two full-backs who don’t attack as much as we saw last season.

The fact is that Holt isn’t overweight and while not exactly starved of service, it is a slightly different ball game. However, he will come good. It’s what he does.

15 comments

  • A well reasoned viewpoint, and one which I totally agree with. With Pilkington back in the picture on Sunday (?) hopefully Holt will put one in the back of the net.

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • The heaviest thing about this particular mercenary is his wallet. £40k a week for a journeyman striker is ridiculous. McNally was an utter fool to be held to ransom by a player long past his best. Ged - Living Legend.

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    Ged Steroo

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • now where's the rest of it gone . left here didnt get there. To rephrase it GH is not a fatty and will score sunday

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • It's not so much Holt getting his weight right, but getting his head back around the fact that he's a truly capable goal scorer. Last season his carrot inspiration was playing against the top sides, while his stick challenge was a drop to the bench and getting back in the starting line-up. The next few games give Hughton a difficult choice with Holt: Carrot or stick?

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    Robin Hood

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • 'Steady On'...are you sure you're going to games?! He is not in the same shape as he was. I'm sure he will get there, but you have to be blind not to see he has extra weight on him from the end of last season. He's fit, but not at optimum fat levels; there's no two ways about that. Just look at his face compared to the man who played towards the end last year. Only divisive, petty types of characters would think otherwise.

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    JimBob

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • Absolutely spot on Chris, Anyone who says he's fat is clearly not going to the games and just a divisive, petty type of character. He isn't unfit at all.

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    Steady On

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Agree with this article, especially with the part of our absence of wingers, however it's not settled my nerves about Grant Holt. He does usually grow into the season in my opinion and gets in better and better shape, my only discomfort is the worst case scenario... What if he doesn't start making the back of the net bulge? I'm a huge fan of Jackson, but although he puts in good performances, he doesn't seem like a reliable consider, and again I'm a true fan of Morison but given the dip in form towards the end of last season, will it pick back up? Last of all, I think I can safely say the answer to our problems is NOT Harry Kane, I don't rate him one bit. Maybe we need to spend some money in January, or maybe we'll start seeing our beloved Grant Holt kissing his wrist again, I really hope so.

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    Billy

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • He is carrying more weight, and the sharpness lacking too is only to be expected at this stage.holt only got back into the team really when he lost all the excess last season, thats obviously what lambert had instructed him to do in order to be effective for the team. Morison should be starting, the guy is looking razor sharp and needs minutes on pitch for his own game too.

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    Daniel Burke

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • I assume Mellow that you're not talking about Ged?? I do think it takes Holt a bit of time to get his match fitness completely right, but that is not surprising. I heard an interview with Roy Keane and, whatever you may think about him, no-one would ever accuse him of not putting in the hard graft as a player, he said it used to take him a number of games to get his fitness right. Add to that, Holt is a striker, and some strikers do take time to get their eye in. I suspect sharpness is more the key to it. Holt has earned some faith from the fans.

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    Preston Canary

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Holt has the perennial strikers' problem-they survive on confidence which only scoring goals brings.His physical size is an attribute not a problem.As soon as one goes in,he'll be back.

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    Peter Watson

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • Absolutely spot on Chris, Anyone who says he's fat is clearly not going to the games and just a divisive, petty type of character. He isn't unfit at all.

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    Steady On

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • He is carrying more weight, and the sharpness lacking too is only to be expected at this stage.holt only got back into the team really when he lost all the excess last season, thats obviously what lambert had instructed him to do in order to be effective for the team. Morison should be starting, the guy is looking razor sharp and needs minutes on pitch for his own game too.

    Report this comment

    Daniel Burke

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • Goalscorer considering last season* odd how I managed to miss out those key words.

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    Billy

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • DocOhNo

    Friday, September 21, 2012

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