Spud Thornhill: Pukki is up there with the City greats

Teemu Pukki of Norwich scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match against Burnley

Teemu Pukki fires in CIty’s second against Burnley to cap off an excellent performance from a true great - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

I had the pleasure of watching our win over Burnley with my good friend Simon Cheeseman who, I’m sure won’t mind me saying, was born in August 1992 - the very same day we won 2-1 at Crystal Palace.

Some older Canaries, like myself, will remember a stunning and acrobatic winning goal from David Phillips. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t seen it.

Simon has, on many occasions, said he is envious of those of us who stood on the famous Barclay terrace before it went to seating the month he was born, or who were around in the late 80s watching us regularly beating the so-called big teams, regularly having top finishes in the top flight, seeing us in Europe as well as watching proper legends like Bryan Gunn, Darren Eadie, Robert Fleck, and many, many more.

I know I was lucky, I know I can treasure these memories and say I didn’t miss out.

But every football fan has missed out on certain eras. I was born in 1975 and I’m envious of my dad who, at the age of 14, witnessed the 1958/59 FA Cup run. Or who, a few days short of his 22nd birthday, watched England win the World Cup.

He has also had the pleasure of watching Kevin Keelan in goal for Norwich as well as witnessing World Cup final scorer Martin Peters plying his trade at Carrow Road.

Oh to have those memories.

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It makes me think about the next generation of supporters and how they will be envious of us current supporters - many future Norwich fans will ask questions about certain players or moments that we have been fortunate to witness over the last few years.

And I am sure most of those future Canaries will want to now about one Teemu Pukki.

Last Sunday, we saw classic Teemu. His work ethic was up there with his best performances for the club.

I find it bizarre that people have questioned Teemu’s work rate or said, at times this season, he’s past his best. The one player this season I feel who has chased every lost cause is Teemu - and that’s something many of his team-mates could learn from.

Teemu Pukki of Norwich City following the Premier League match at Elland Road, Leeds

Its not been easy for Teemu Pukki this season - Credit: Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd

The work he has had to put in this season to score has been first class. He’s had to create his own chances at times, unlike the days he had the likes of Marco Stiepermann or Emi Buendia, who were able to spot Teemu at any given time.

This season I can honestly only think of three or four occasions when our current crop of players have given balls for Teemu to feed on, like Mathias Normann did for his late goal against Burnley.

It was great vision from Normann to find Teemu, who controlled it superbly before a classy finish that we have seen so many times in the last four seasons.

Now that Dean Smith has confirmed that the club will exercise the option on his contract, which expires in the summer, for another year, we will be lucky enough to enjoy him for another season.

Had the 32-year-old Pukki wanted to experience top-flight football that one more time (should we go down) I’d have been gutted - but I wouldn’t have begrudged him the move.

Had we needed to replace him I very much doubt we’d find another striker like Pukki for free - and we wouldn’t be able to pay for a player of his talents.

Teemu is definitely irreplaceable.

We can be grateful we have been lucky enough to witness such a great player who will go down as a true legend for the club. Up there with the absolute true greats.