Poll: Steven Whittaker was our Norwich City Man of the Match against Reading, who was yours?
The last thing Steven Whittaker probably needs is a friendly in Luxembourg this week. The recalled Scotland international is a man in demand for club and country after a frustrating start to his Norwich City career when he suffered ankle ligament damage in a pre-season friendly at Celtic.
Russell Martin's own injury problems of late have thrust Whittaker firmly back into the first team picture. A steady senior debut in the Capital One Cup win over Tottenham has since been the precursor to an encouraging Premier League bow.
Against Stoke, he showcased his versatility on both flanks. In a goalless deadlock at Reading, the premium was always going to be on good defending. Jobi McAnuff's minimal impact – one swerving strike aside – underlined Whittaker's general effectiveness at the Madejski, but there was a fresh attacking dimension to his play which hinted at growing comfort within the City ranks.
The 28-year-old cruised into advanced positions as early as the fourth minute with a diagonal cross drifted just beyond Wes Hoolahan. Whittaker also earned Norwich their first corner with a goalbound hit that slammed against Kaspars Gorkss.
Late in the second half an intelligent link with Hoolahan was inches from dropping a ball onto Grant Holt's head. The former Rangers man proves with each passing week what an astute piece of business Norwich managed to pull off in the summer.