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Grant Holt, England`s secret weapon for 2012?

Now I must admit, being a Hereford United fan and wishing well to an ex-Shrewsbury striker may seem a little alien to me; but I have to stand up and start a nationwide campaign – HOLT FOR ENGLAND!

Norwich City`s ease at which they have sat back on their seat at English Football`s top table must feel like a dream to Canary fans who watched their team playing in League 1 in the 2008/09 season. On July 24th 2009 though Norwich City`s future was about to change; the day Bryan Gunn brought Holt to the club. Holt was Gunn`s fourth signing of his tenure and with the signing of Holt, he brought a striker as potent for them as Chris Sutton in their previous stint in the Premiership.

His scoring rate during his time at Norwich speaks for itself, in the 2009/10 season in League 1, he scored 30 goals in 43 games – he became the fifth player in the Club`s history to score 30 goals in a season; Ron Davies 46 years before him was the last. He followed that up with 21 goals in 41 games in the Championship the next season, to catapult them back to the Promised Land (including a hat-trick against East Anglian rivals, Ipswich in a 4-1 demolition).

Grant Holt has now reached the Premiership and his scoring hasn`t stopped, beating the Keepers of Everton, Newcastle (twice), Blackburn, Q.P.R. , Liverpool and even Chelsea in only 16 appearances for the Yellows.

Norwich`s very effective and different way in which they use Holt , mostly in the “super-sub” role seems to get the most out of the 30-year old and this is one of the reasons I think Fabio Capello is missing an incredibly useful trick. Holt`s bulky presence has caused nightmares for any Premier league defence he has faced so far this season and his heading ability has been one of the best in the league.

With the current England crop, they seem to lack any bullishness to opposing teams (barring Rooney) with resident attacking forces such as Defoe, Young, Bent, Walcott, Johnson and even young Sturridge ; England seem to try to use their pace to attack teams. Holt would be a different approach, who could be used to effect.

The main frustration for England fans seems to be that when players come off the bench, it is like for like but with Grant Holt in his continuing form he would give faith to England fans as he does to Norwich fans when he comes on; that a goal from him is always possible. With Capello trying some more experienced players with the younger players such as Bobby Zamora, Holt looks as if he could have a chance and unlike most strikers he seems to have improved with his age.

Robert Green was the last Norwich player to be picked for his nation whilst playing for the Canaries, Holt`s potential for a call-up could not only bring pride to his club`s fan; but could also bring pride to a nation fans. Grant Holt`s grit and determination from playing non-league football whilst working part-time tyre fitting to now playing Premiership football is a football story full of romance for any purist, would it not be completed by him playing for his country?

These are the reasons for Fabio Capello to look at and even pick Norwich`s number 9 going into the friendly with Holland in February and maybe, just maybe he could be the best present given to England fans going into the Euro Championships in 2012 and that`s not bad really for an ex-Shrew after all.

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