Paul Lambert - Grant Holt’s Norwich City statistics ‘up there with the best of them’
Paul Lambert started the weekend talking about the England omission of John Ruddy – and finished it talking about the England omission of Grant Holt.
The Norwich City boss is convinced Ruddy has plenty of time on his side to plot a route into the senior ranks for his country after a series of consistent displays on the club's top flight return.
Holt may be rapidly approaching 31 but the frontman's appetite for goals shows no sign of slowing down. The skipper lashed a superb half-volley past the previously unbeatable David De Gea to drag Norwich level and move into double figures on the Premier League goal lists.
'A lot of the Norwich lads seem to be getting overlooked; maybe it is too far to travel,' said Lambert. 'Listen, if you want to go by statistics, and I am not one into statistics, but he is up there with the best of them. You just never know and I will never tell anybody how to do their job because I have enough of a hard time doing my own. That is up to whoever is the England manager.
'The goal Grant scored here was fitting to win any game. I thought he was excellent and it was just a shame it counted for nothing in the end.'
Among the numerous sub-plots that unfolded at Carrow Road was the value of hard-earned experience. Lambert bolstered his frontline in the final stages with a senior partner for Holt in Aaron Wilbraham who tested De Gea with a thunderous long range strike.
'He is a brilliant lad off the pitch as well and he deserves an opportunity to see what he can do like everybody else,' said Lambert. 'He has been marvellous for me at this football club and the last two games he has come on, he has been a handful. He hasn't played as many games as he would probably have liked since he came here but I think he understands the ethos of the football club. He is relishing being part of it. Everybody can see his enthusiasm is terrific.'
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United's win owed plenty to their own evergreen goalscoring duo in Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
'The two of those are a huge part of Manchester United's history,' said Lambert. 'They have won major, major tournaments throughout their time. On the outside looking in they are two fabulous footballers and I am pretty sure the lads who played with them will have benefitted over the years and Manchester United as a club has benefitted as well.'