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Michael Bailey: Don’t pour scorn on Robbie Brady’s time at Norwich City – they will be worse off without him, as he returns to the Premier League with Burnley

PUBLISHED: 16:58 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 February 2017

Robbie Brady shares a moment with his now-former Norwich City team-mates. From here on it, it will be about a Premier League return with Burnley. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Robbie Brady shares a moment with his now-former Norwich City team-mates. From here on it, it will be about a Premier League return with Burnley. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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A lot has been written about last year already, but after the week just gone it deserves one more mention – for one more reason.

It’s still a minority of Norwich City players that prove good enough to earn international recognition. The number shrinks again with those who make regular appearances.

As for players that have scored goals in any kind of international fixture while signed to the yellow and green, we’re talking few and far between.

And then there are the special moments; when Canaries shine with an entire continent – maybe even the world – watching on.

When I took apart City’s 2016 in this column a few weeks back, the highlights cupboard was bare. Thinking about it now however, arguably the best moment for the club came while most were on their holidays.

Burnley unveil their Janaury deadline day signing, Norwich City midfielder Robbie Brady. Picture: Andy Ford/BurnleyBurnley unveil their Janaury deadline day signing, Norwich City midfielder Robbie Brady. Picture: Andy Ford/Burnley

Wes Hoolahan’s gorgeous cross. Robbie Brady’s powerful run and adept header. Italy were down. The Republic marched on. Lille rose to an Irish beat. Norfolk beamed with pride while thinking, ‘Our boys won that’.

In a year that ground down many, that spark at Euro 2016 brought a lost shimmer of light.

Perhaps Brady’s Ireland form was actually the issue for some. It rose expectations to levels Robbie couldn’t sustain in the second tier. There’s no doubt he hasn’t influenced games this season anywhere near as much as he should have done. But you could say the same about last season too.

That is a worthy debate – but it’s also a worthy point that City will be worse off for the loss of the Irishman. His quality should never have been questioned. It seems a near certainly he will shine at Burnley under Sean Dyche.

Yanic Wildschut will be hoping for his Norwich City debut at Cardiff on Saturday. Picture: Jasonpix/Norwich CityYanic Wildschut will be hoping for his Norwich City debut at Cardiff on Saturday. Picture: Jasonpix/Norwich City

Heading to Cardiff will offer plenty of optimism to those making the journey. The prospect of seeing Mitchell Dijks’ Ajax pedigree roaming the Championship is more than intriguing, while Yanic Wildschut has a price tag to suggest he will make things happen at the sharp end – or in the words of the City boss, “absolute havoc”.

If the pair have a hunger and commitment that comes with not tasting the Premier League before, then that can inspire the arrival of very goal you desperately want.

Much like Dean Ashton little more than a decade ago, Brady’s hunger and desire was different – but that’s exactly why he gave City fans a big reason to smile in a dark summer, and why his place in a select group of Canaries is assured.

For a club that’s flirted with crisis since October, City’s home form has been near faultless. Given the crowd’s tightly-sprung rebellion, it’s needed to be.

Five league wins from six games and a much healthier defensive record makes you wonder if Alex Neil’s men do have it in them to get to grips with the Championship from here and make an impact on a promotion picture they were dumped out of by Christmas.

Of course, reality bites quickly and we will know a lot more about what 2017 holds come this time next week. Two tricky away trips. One Neil Warnock.

In all probability it’s City’s last chance to prove they have what it takes to achieve their minimum requirement.

Tom Lawrence has been outstanding down the road. Arguably the only bright spot on what’s been a new low for Ipswich.

It’s threatening to be one of the worst seasons in their history. The fact Lawrence should return in a matter of days from his twisted ankle in midweek is a key piece of good news.

Some Blues fans fear the drop. However, they have points on the board already and while Blackburn and Wigan may pick up, Rotherham will most likely go, Burton will most likely follow and then it’s a scrap from there.

And this is Mick McCarthy. He loves a scrap.

Either way, derby day later this month will be a different affair to the previous two Carrow Road incarnations.

Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey and Facebook @mbjourno

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9 comments

  • Brady seems to be a player who came along with a large price tag, simply because he had gone through the Manchester United academy. He hardly shone or stood out at Hull, otherwise a larger, more established, wealthier club than NCFC would have been sniffing around for his signature when Hull was relegated. He has now gone to Burnley which, being realistic, is potential relegation fodder. Will Brady make it a hat trick of relegations? I wouldn't bet against it. He performed for his first few games then, when we started the downward slide to eventual relegation from the Premier League after THAT defeat at Newcastle United, he seemed to lose interest and had little stomach for the fight. We are well shot of him; he didn't want to be here and if, as has been suggested, we stand to get a $13 million transfer fee for him, it seems to be a good deal all round.

    Report this comment

    blagger56

    Friday, February 3, 2017

  • Anyone who thinks Brady is a big loss, should look at a replay of the Derby game, to see what a much more balanced team we were, with him not in it

    Report this comment

    Dave T

    Friday, February 3, 2017

  • I really want to see Burnley stay in the premier league. They epitomise good quality on a modest budget and are supported by crowds smaller than ours. I think Brady will do well there. He has premiership quality to offer and clearly wants to play at that level. What does it say about Norwich City football club that there are a few players who, over the past year or so, have, shall we say, disappointed? If it was one or two, you'd say look at the player. If there are more than a few you might rather want to look at the club, how are the club affecting the players. If you were say, Sergio Canos, would you want to play for Norwich. I find it amazing that he was so complimentary about the club. I don't agree that Brady will be particularly missed. I don't think his heart was really in it here. I do agree that both he and Wes shone like beacons during the Euros. Back then the craic was ninety.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • Golfing: am with you in finding it hard to understand why players in general do not show their worth or improve while at Norwich. Only to flourish after moving on. Redmond came to Norwich an exciting if raw player and one with tremendous potential. Yet he really did not develop in any meaningful way. Meanwhile the likes of Naismith and Brady, who in contrast arrived at huge cost, have not lived up to their reputations. So whether it is youngsters looking to make headway or experienced players looking like they are often going through the motions, the situation has a common denominator: coaching and man management. Hard to avoid making the obvious assumption. It makes a stronger case for a director of football, someone with experience and know-how. We are sadly lacking that from the top down.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • Brady was one please that should have not been sold , but I totally understand why he wanted to move to another club, looking at Burnley they seemed to learnt from the last time in the premiership this time round they have turned the corner and learnt from their pasted mistakes . Something theses city owners could never do even thou city have had more premiership promotion than Burnley, that show they have ambitions with a board to match . Something Delia and theses city owners and board members don't have or ever will we have become a far more of a selling club than the Chase era since the club came debt free Delia Smith, and her board of greedy cronies now just want to see more millions going into the clubs bank accounts and not invest in a quality manager and quality players, and build a established premiership club just want to see more millions build up so they can pay them selves big bonuses .

    Report this comment

    City M

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • Surely you are always better without a wantaway player? I think we have two bigger and stronger players on the left now and hopefully if they play well then we will be better set up for the future. And we have a stronger three at the back option now as well. Brady was too unpredictable with his crossing. No, let's all hope for more onward and upward.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • Nonsense. He's been dreadful this year. How can you be worse off without a player who has done nothing?! Another stupid statement and article.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • The frustration that many fans feel is that during AN's time at City a number of quality players have failed to consistently excel in yellow and green. Brady, Olsson and Redmond all fall into this category. It leaves us fans questioning 'how good is the coaching?' and 'are players given a clear game plan?'. We hope that the new faces will prove to be successful, but it's difficult to think that we have strengthened the squad.

    Report this comment

    GolfingCanary

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • According to the jolly old BBC the club has Received just over a million quid for releasing Brady, laffs and hoolihan for the euro footy tournament Even Fleetwood got £20k for releasing a Gibraltar player Brady... the gift that keeps on giving

    Report this comment

    bozzie

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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