Audio: Grant Holt underlines his growing Norwich City legend once again with Arsenal win

Grant Holt and Chris Hughton share instructions during norwich City's superb 1-0 win over Arsenal at Carrow Road on Saturday evening. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Grant Holt and Chris Hughton share instructions during norwich City's superb 1-0 win over Arsenal at Carrow Road on Saturday evening. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Monday, October 22, 2012
1:32 PM

There have been plenty of big wins in Grant Holt’s time at Carrow Road – but Saturday’s stirring victory over Arsenal was up there with the best.

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Grant Holt and Andre Santos sprint for the ball on Saturday evening. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesGrant Holt and Andre Santos sprint for the ball on Saturday evening. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

The Norwich City skipper was at his talismanic best as the Canaries’ hassled, harried and ultimately hung out to dry Arsene Wenger’s Premier League title hopefuls.

Holt’s 20th minute strike was his third in three successive games – but most importantly, brought Chris Hughton his first Premier League victory since taking charge in the summer and instantly lifted the mood around the club.

“That’s big, a massive win in the context of things,” said Holt. “Everyone’s documented we haven’t won and when is it going to come, so to get it off our back we can now go and relish the season.

“It was sweet. The endeavour and the work rate the lads put in deserved the three points.

The Norwich City wall does its job from Santi Cazorla's free-kick. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesThe Norwich City wall does its job from Santi Cazorla's free-kick. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“We were solid all over the park and we will take a lot from that win. The lads will realise that when you go in with a game plan you need to stick to that, you need to be tight and be solid and hit them on the counter attack, and that what we did.

“We had a game plan and we worked on it all week. We knew Arsenal would come here and be an absolute threat.

“They’re a little different this year. They can pass it, move it and if in doubt they can hit the long ball. So you’ve got to be on your toes.

“We worked in the week when we could, without those on international duty, but the good thing is we’ve got a great squad who could train all week and do it correctly.

“We had a game plan and when you don’t concede goals and give them away, your game plan doesn’t have to change.

“We got the goal and they came out and we should’ve finished them off. But we needed that. It has taken a while coming.”

Indeed, the victory would have been more comfortable had Holt taken his glorious chance late in the second half – only to chip into the waiting arms of the Gunners keeper when clean through.

But that did not take anything away from Holt’s winner; his 73rd goal in 139 appearances and taking him a clear sixth in City’s all-time goalscorer charts.

“You know Alex (Tettey) has got a good shot on him so I was just trying to stay on side because predominantly he hits the target,” said Holt of his goal.

“So I was just waiting and it’s good when you go in there and get those goals – the keeper had to move and I waited to put it in the corner. It was a good little finish.”

So was Holt sweating that his later ‘finish’ may prove costly?

“Sweating? I was sweating because I’d just ran 35 yards with the ball, that’s why,” joked Holt. “If you ask the lads in training, I do it all the time to John Ruddy. I got in the mindset it was there to do it and I got caught in two minds whether to scoop or dink him, and I came out with a scoop-dink and it turned out the other way.

“That’s football. You get the chance and it is up to you what you decide to do there. It was my decision and maybe it was the wrong one at the time. Wes (Hoolahan) said I could’ve squared to him but I didn’t see him.”

In the end, it did not matter and much like at the Emirates Stadium at the end of last season, Arsenal appeared unable to work out how to deal with Holt and his team-mates.

“I’d hope so – we know what we can do and we looked at a few things we did there last year, down there,” admitted Holt.

“We ruffled them up a little bit, got crosses in the box and worked them. And we knew we could do that today.

“They’ve got lads in there like Mertesacker who want to head the ball, but if you put the ball in the right area they cant get to it and I thought we looked really good.

“Wes took up some unbelievable positions when the ball was coming in and when you’ve got someone like that who’s prepared to get in behind you or mix it up and stand in front, then it works well.”

The City faithful left Carrow Road all smiles for the first time this season – and Holt is hoping for more of the same in the coming weeks.

“Today the fans have seen we were really good and the lads pressed and worked, ran around and tackled, and I think they saw the best of us,” he added.

“And I said to the lads afterwards, that’s how you get results. That’s how you do it – and we’ll do it again.”

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24 comments

  • Yes, MBA, the spirit and belief at least, I thought we were 'colossal'! In other news it seems Andre Santos is getting a right handful in the first picture...

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    Billy

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • 'Immense' lol is Lambo back?

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    MBA Marine

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • Hr Brewer, what I was referring to was actually Bassong's rough and ready foray up the left wing towards the end of the game. I remember Duncan Forbes doing something similar....once. I'll forgive Bassong almost anything based on his masterful central defender performance but that was really not very elegant.

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Caption: On which side do you dress, senór Holt? - "I wouldn`t worry about a little thing like that".

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Seb Bassong's comments about going up against Holt in training told a good story. Once again, cometh the hour, cometh the man.

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    Swiss Canary

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • It`s not unusual for Holty to start the season "slowly" on the scoring front, but he`s always in there trying. He`s never let us down so far. Wes thrived with that muscular midfield pairing of Tettey & Johnson, helped a lot by the willingness of Pilks & E. Benno to do their share of defensive graft when necessary. Thus released from his bottle the little Genie-us was in his element. I wonder if the attending Trapper Tony took note? I`d love for GH to pass 100 goals before he`s done. By helping keep us in the Prem he`s reduced his scoring chances. A few hat-tricks against the likes of Paulton in the FA Cup, and visits from the likes of Scunthorpe would see him there easily! But this is, hopefully, not to be. Go on Holty!! I`m not totally convinced who was really guilty of telling Wonderhorse he`s "too old". Maybe his display at Villa will give us a clue? OTBC

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Nice piece, Chris, helped by having such intelligent comments from Holty. Even the metropolitan media are waking up to the fact that GH is more than just a robust old-fashioned style centre forward but has lots of skills and guile. OK, the scoop-dink didn't come off this time, but it's another aspect to his repertoire.

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    atlanta canary

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • congratulations are due all round for that performance, and I do include hoots in that. Also relieved that we can now put arsenal and not be moderated

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Ta, Swiss. I picked that one up on another board. Funny I thought your descriptor fitted what Pilks & Benno did as "midfield wing-backs" or something. Seb`s wing play was a delightful eccentricity. I think we have a legend in the making if he stays with us. What Pondy & goldie said about Holty`s non-protection by the ref is spot on. Sheer badness. Cowardice, really. Heaven forbid deliberate bias.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Fragmentation Part3: Wessi`s Genie-us was released from its bottle by that novel midfield formation and personnel selection. In Swiss`s terms, "Centre-wing-backs" (Pilks & Benno). At least I THINK that`s what he meant! Plus the combative combination of Johnson & the excellent Tettey. ;-) OTBC.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Holty was truly back to his best in that game, he ran the show which is usually how our wins come about, he was absolutely everywhere and when he wasn't, he was always coordinating the midfield. Seeing him like that again, on defenders all the time and chasing back 20-30 yards just to get in the face of Arsenal was and is what I love about him, just being as annoying as possible to Arsenal and hugely influential and uplifting to us, I feel much better now.

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    Billy

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • A good sign that Norwich & Holt are progressing is that Arsenal were double marking Holt, one in front and one behind. On another day their crude bocking efforts wouldl have got us some free kicks but Saturday's men in black were typical "benefit of the doubt to the bigger team" Must have been a god performance as even Whinger Wenger had little to say

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    Pondlife

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Follow-up ethered. Wasn`t even trying to talk to Wiv!

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Spot on Mellow. I was just begining to wonder if we'd done the wrong thing by hanging on to Holty + perhaps we should've grabbed the 6 million from West Ham while we had the chance....looks like Captain Fantastic is back to his aggressive best !

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    Timbo

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • In spite of everything people have been saying about G Holt Arsenal were very worried about him and put two defenders on him everytime the ball was going in his direction, in fact he was fouled continually by being sandwiched by two defenders but the referee who was in awe of the red shirt team ignored this to the point of favouritism. Best team performance this season.

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    goldie

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Wes plays well, Norwich play well. Super Wes has to start. Wes Irish Legend! Son in Law watched the match and said he was outstanding. I know it's a team game, but you have to play your best team. This is a start, something out of the Villa game would be a good way to continue collecting points!

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    RoadWarrior

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • VERY,VERY GOOD PERFORMANCE. NOW CAN WE PLAY THE SAME 11 AGAIN PLEASE MR.HOOTS.

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    superfan59

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Part4: And Holty is a top example of a "leader by example". Clone him!!

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • ethered again

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • I wonder if Bassong might be our "new Forbes or Malky"? The guy certainly has a big personality to go with his footballing skills. Top buy, that one. Let`s hope it rubs off on Turner. On Saturday`s hugely improved performance it looks like that process has begun. Now let young Holty loose on Vanilla!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Ethered and it`s not even a Divot column this time. Go for 100 Holty, before you retire!

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Holt set the tone and the rest of the boys followed. Simply an immense performance from each and every one of them. OTBC!!

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • I wonder if Holty will rank higher in the Legend stakes than, say, Dean Ashton or The Infamous One?

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 22, 2012

  • Andre Santos seems VERY fond of Holt from what appears in the photo.

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    DocOhNo

    Monday, October 22, 2012

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