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Robert Snodgrass returns with Aston Villa – with Premier League in his sights

PUBLISHED: 11:01 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:01 05 April 2018

Robert Snodgrass celebrates scoring against Sunderland in March, 2014. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Robert Snodgrass celebrates scoring against Sunderland in March, 2014. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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An old favourite returns to Carrow Road this weekend to face his old club for the first time - Chris Lakey takes a look at Robert Snodgrass.

John Ruddy consoles Robert Snodgrass at the end of the Premier League match at Old Trafford in April, 2014. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdJohn Ruddy consoles Robert Snodgrass at the end of the Premier League match at Old Trafford in April, 2014. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Robert Snodgrass looks likely to make his first appearance against Norwich City since his exit back in June, 2014 – and another crack at Premiership football is within his sights.

Snodgrass left City for Hull, but his time on Humberside was dominated by a serious knee injury and by the time he returned, the Tigers were a Championship team.

A £10m move to West Ham should have resurrected his ambitions, but it was a ill-fated love affair, the Scot never really happy under Slaven Bilic and, after 15 games and seven months, he joined Aston Villa on loan at the beginning of the season.

Under Steve Bruce he appears to have found a new home, even if he has been courting a possible return to east London now the Hammers are under new management.

Robert Snodgrass takes the ball off Ricky van Wolfswinkel for a penalty against Aston Villa - and then misses. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdRobert Snodgrass takes the ball off Ricky van Wolfswinkel for a penalty against Aston Villa - and then misses. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

So what do you get with Snodgrass?

Well, passion for starters. The man tends to wear his heart on his sleeve, and even during his time at City he wasn’t shy to confront those who he felt were doing him wrong. He had a lively exchange with Snakepit fans one January night on 2014 when he was sarcastically applauded after taking a corner. He later showed a degree of humiliation to ensure it was all smoothed over.

But he was very animated on the pitch - cajoling and encouraging all around.

Sometimes the passion could overtake proceedings: he grabbed the ball off Ricky van Wolfswinkel to take a penalty, ironically, against Villa... and missed. Some say RvW never recovered. Others say that was just an excuse to cover up for the Dutchman’s shortcomings.

Robert Snodgrass receives the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy in May 2014. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdRobert Snodgrass receives the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy in May 2014. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

There was certainly something a bit Marmite about Snodgrass, if only because his product didn’t always match the enthusiasm he put into the game. He wasn’t that quick, certainly for a winger, and his set-pieces weren’t that special. But he worked his scruffy socks off and when he put his clever head on, he was a joy to watch.

In 2014 he was awarded the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy as Player of the Season, a highly coveted award which, generally, isn;t handed out to muppets.

When Hull decided to pay north of £8m it resurrected a football fan’s favourite, “for that money I’ll drive him there myself”. But be careful what you wish for: Snodgrass will be looking to have City’s full-backs on toast on Saturday lunchtime.

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