Grant Holt Says What Everybody Knows

Posted by on February 28, 2012 in General | 11 comments

Football ‘experts’ are the same people who said Norwich would be rooted in the bottom three this season, that a team without Premier League experience would struggle to step up and make an impact. The received wisdom of the ‘experts’ parrots the same nonsense every season because it’s too much effort to look outside the top of the table comfort zone and do some research. The reason I say this is it’s the experts, the talking heads on radio and journalists and their ilk, who are dismissive of calling up an in form striker because of his reputation. Because it sure isn’t about form.

Holt is reported in many places today as saying that playing for Norwich doesn’t help anyone (including him) in getting international recognition. The depressing thing is, this is true. Nor does playing for Swansea, or Celtic, or any number of unfashionable, ‘little’ clubs. The truth of the matter is it’s easier to get a callup when you’re pulling on the shirts of Man Utd, Liverpool and Tottenham than it is for many other clubs. The inherent bias against smaller teams comes from people who should know better dismissing them before really watching them play. They’re the same people who won’t realise that Anthony Pilkington, in his first season in the Premier League, tore apart Patrice Evra, international left back and Man Utd captain, time and time again.

They’re the same people who don’t seem to pay attention to John Ruddy winning Norwich points on his own, while extolling the virtues of players who have had numerous chances for England, but blown it. They’re the same people who look at Wes Hoolahan and think small and lightweight. And they’re the same people who look at Grant Holt and think they know what they’re getting.

You know who isn’t stunned to see Grant Holt in double figures and scoring crackers against top class defenders? Fans who’ve seen him play, and the few pundits like Stan Collymore who are unafraid to look beyond the top of the table to see the bigger picture. They see a player who’s scored against Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd with belting finishes in all three games. They see a player who plays with intelligence, who is as comfortable racing down the left hand side and setting up Steve Morison as he is putting away a 94th minute penalty to level a game. They see a leader, the same player 26,000 of us see every week.

Is Holt a guaranteed starter? Who knows. But look at who has been given England caps, or is still talked about for contention despite their complete lack of goals. Jay Bothroyd. Bobby Zamora. Heskey. Crouch. Davies. The amount of England players who’ve scored more than Holt this season? Just 1 – Rooney. But Holt is never good enough, right?! He’s just that lower league clogger, a brute force battering ram, all size and no style. Thats the perception. And as long as lazy pundits are allowed to close down arguments over Holt’s inclusion with a simple “er, no”, he’s never going to get the recognition he deserves.


  1. More likely, Holt’s reputation for diving, cheating and whining to the ref make him an unsuitable choice for recognition

    • Hasn’t stopped Rooney.

      Anyone got a decent argument against the best-rated English striker available getting in the squad.

  2. I’d imagine most England Managers would consider that. “Can’t pick Grant Holt, he’s scored more goals than most English strikers in the Premiership this season, including strikes at Stamford Bridge, Anfield and Goodison Park, but I did see him complain to the Ref when a throw-in got given against Norwich once. Can’t have that in the International arena”

    He’s in form. Players should be picked on form. He’s scored goals at the highest level in English Football. The stats don’t lie. He should be in. It’s a poxy friendly, for Christ’s sake. Not the World Cup Final. He deserves a place in that squad. So does John Ruddy, but that’s another argument. HOLT FOR ENGLAND!!

  3. Pearce has already illustrated that he is unwilling to pick players based on form, and for that reason above any other, I hope he doesn’t get the job on a full time basis. I thought he’d have bigger balls than that to be honest.
    I’ve nothing against Fraizer Campbell but how a player that’s played what, 6 games in 18 months can be considered in form enough to warrant a call up is beyond me. Reeks of an ‘old pals act’.
    As for Welbeck, I’ve never seen what Fergie see’s in him and after seeing him in the flesh on Sunday I can honestly say that I wouldn’t swap him for ANY of our forwards.
    Horse deserves a call up, he offers something no other player in the England set up can offer, and he is a player in the form of his life. He is an inspiration not only to his team mates but to players in lower leagues all over the country.
    I think I’d literally burst with pride, both as an Englishman and a City fan if he does get that call, but I won’t hold my breath.

  4. What happened the last time an England forward with the initials GH played in the finals of a major tournament?
    Surely he has to go, apart from Rooney none of the others are substantially better players. Even it is just for the next 3 years he has a lot to give, especially as an option from the bench, from where he has proved time and time again he can do well this season.

  5. Yes what did happen when Glenn Hoddle last played for England in a major tournament?

    • Glenn Hoddle was a forward?

    • If you’re referring to what JON said, the player he was mentioning i believe was Geoff Hurst.

  6. Get him on the plane, like mentioned in the article the most goals of any English striker eligible for the first two games of the Euros. Holt worst case is ineffective as part of the probable failure of the England squad. It’s a no loose. One thing is for sure Holt would give his all for the shirt.

  7. I saw Holty play for a season at Shrewsbury where his 28 goals were only half the story. His work rate and all round effort were brilliant throughout. He is still held in great affection here despite only spending the one season in sunny Shropshire.

    I have only ever seen one player try as hard and give so much to the cause as Grant Holt, and Steve Bull was lucky enough to be around when a great England manager was brave enough to pick a player from division three (now League 1) despite all the moaning from the pundits.

    England selection should be about form, Holt’s all round game is at another level than the time he spent at Shrewsbury and a more telling impact player is difficult to imagine.

  8. Holt = goals. Simples !

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