Green impressed by 'honest' Grant
Robert Green says new Canaries boss Peter Grant will win over players and fans alike with his honesty. The former City keeper, now back in the Premiership with West Ham, was at Carrow Road when Grant played for City in the late 90s, and their career paths crossed again, albeit briefly, at the beginning of this season when Green headed to Upton Park where Grant was assistant to manager Alan Pardew.
By CHRIS LAKEY
Robert Green says new Canaries boss Peter Grant will win over players and fans alike with his honesty.
The former City keeper, now back in the Premiership with West Ham, was at Carrow Road when Grant played for City in the late 90s, and their career paths crossed again, albeit briefly, at the beginning of this season when Green headed to Upton Park where Grant was assistant to manager Alan Pardew.
Grant left in October to take over the reins at Norwich - but Green had seen enough of him to make an assessment.
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“He is a good man,” said the 26-year-old Green. “He's a straightforward and honest guy and will say what he thinks and as a manager I think that is a good thing. It's a thing that players look for, that quality in a manager of being straightforward and honest.
“You get your fair share of run-ins with managers as a player, that's the environment you live in, and he will say what he thinks. As long as he is straightforward with the players I think the players will respect that and get on with him well.”
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The fans discovered just how straightforward Grant can be a week ago when he delivered his in famous Sound of Silence speech after the home against Hull. It stunned the fans - but didn't come as a surprise to Green.
“At Norwich in recent times since getting relegated from the Premiership, things haven't gone according to plan,” he said. “Everyone would have loved to have seen the club go straight back up but it didn't go according to plan. The ground was quiet at times when I played there and if it was like that last Saturday he would say what he thinks.
“I think before I left in one of my last games I got in trouble for saying what I thought - but I believe on Tuesday night the fans were great and the performance was a lot better, so things come hand in hand with that.”
While Norwich toil on the Championship, Green is enjoying life in the top flight at the end of a year which caused him so much trauma. A groin injury shattered his World Cup hopes on the eve of the trip to Germany but his fortunes took a turn for the better when, despite still being injured, the inevitable happened and he was sold to West Ham for £2m in August.
His debut came in a 1-0 defeat at Spurs at the end of October and the number one spot would now appear to be his as life at Upton Park begins to resemble something approaching normality.
“It's been an interesting time since the start of the season - ever since the two Argentinian lads came the takeover talk has been around and in some ways it has taken away from what has been going on on the pitch,” he said. “There was a run of a lot of losses there, but we have managed to turn it around and now the takeover has come and everything has settled down I think, hopefully things will be concentrated more on the pitch rather than what's going on off it. Hopefully we are going in the right direction.
“I'm enjoying playing. The games that you play in are massive. The pressure is there and personally I enjoy that and thrive on it and to get back playing again is brilliant. It's really good and really enjoyable to be playing again and good to be in new surroundings with a new challenge.”
Another part of the Norwich-West Ham link is Dean Ashton, who took the same route in January and also suffered international anguish when he was injured in training in August, having been called up to the England squad for the first time. He hasn't played since, and Green believes he will make a major contribution when he returns.
“Hopefully he will be coming back in January, when the transfer window opens, so it will be like a new signing,” Green said.
“He is such a good player - you saw at Norwich what he did in the Premiership in such a short space of time and he's by all accounts improved even more.
“In the short space of time at West Ham he has slimmed down and unfortunately looked a lot fitter and leaner and he apparently was really sharp. You don't want to rush him back, but he is such a good player you want him back as soon as you can. He will be a major addition to us.”
Perhaps one day soon both could be back in the international fold.
“It could be a way off,” laughed Green.
“It would be great to be involved again. Obviously he's had a taste of it at least, which was cut very cruelly short, and I am sure he is desperate to get back in. I know the feeling. For him to get back playing again and for me to keep playing and stay in the side would be massive boost for both of us.”