It'll be the one question that will be gnawing away at City boss Glenn Roder all week: 'Could Jimmy still do a job…?'
For as his quest to bring in a big, target man-type forward continues to frustrate all concerned, so the arrival of 36-year-old Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Colney this week – to do no more than 'top up his fitness', according to both parties – has added an intriguing element to Norwich's preparations for their trip to Cardiff City this weekend.
Given the bitterness with which Hasselbaink ended his relationship wit the Bluebirds this summer – and Norwich's urgent need for someone with an eye for goal – could the former Chelsea ace be handed a short-term deal?
And while few would doubt that he had all the motivation anyone would need to make life very uncomfortable for Peter Ridsdale and Co at the Ninian, has he still got the mobility? Has he got the legs for another full season in the Championship?
And if he has, have the Canaries got enough pennies in the coffers to fund both a Hasselbaink swan-song and a big target man of the Steffen Iversen ilk?
Yesterday, City skipper Mark Fotheringham added his thoughts to the brew – welcoming Jimmy Floyd with nea open arms as the vastly experienced Dutchman stepped into a Dion-esque role at Colney.
“He is a top man in English football terms and it's great having him here,” the City skipper told reporters.
Everyone can learn from someone of Hasselbaink's ilk, was Fotheringham's verdict. Or if not learn, then be inspired to show the 'old man' a new trick or two yourself.
“It is also good for experienced players because when you get someone in like that you are looking up to him.
“The younger players look up to you but when a guy like that comes in you are trying to show him how good you are and it brings the best out in you and it's great to have people with that reputation around the young boys and the other players in the squad.”
The next question was obvious. And without player budgets and tightening belts to worry about – let alone how much transfer fees are likely to spiral upwards as August 31 and the closure of this summer's transfer window looms – for Fotheringham the answer was equally straight-forward. Yes…
“I would love to see him here at Norwich and if he comes it would be great,” said the City midfielder.
“But only Jimmy and the gaffer will know what's happening. I think he's looking to get a bit of sharpness and stuff and, in all fairness, he has done well in training.
Last time the two teams met, of course, Norwich could boast a certain C Evans in their starting line-up as the 'Hammer of the East' thumped an almighty, right-foot rocket into the top corner to seal a crucial away win.
This weekend and the Canaries could sorely do with someone of similar conviction and belief in the final third of the pitch; for now, those particular traits have been the sole property of Darel Russell. With his Blackpool leveller has done enough to earn him a start is another big question for the next 72 hours to answer.
Either way and Fotheringham is expecting another stiff examination for the Class of '08-09 as Roeder and Co look to fire their season into a life with a first away success.
“It's going to be a tough game at Cardiff. They have brought in some big name strikers and they are going to be hoping to challenge, like ourselves.
“It will be a good test because it is never an easy place to go and we've been giving Jimmy a bit of stick today because we did them up there last season and I'm sure they will want to get revenge on us.”
While most would take a point now, three would have Carrw Road bubbling for the visit of Birmingham City next weekend.
Hope and heart restored, if Roder could then pull a late – and six-foot – transfer out of the fire, all would be a little better with the world; that, perhaps, City's goal-shy hang-ups of last season were being addressed as Norwich's new-look back four settle into a decent, defensive rhythm.
“It's only two games into the season,” said Fotheringham.
“We have got another 40 odd games. People should just relax a little bit and let the lads get through this spell.
“You could see against Blackpool when that goal went in that the standard of the play went up again. I think it was a big weight lifted off everybody's shoulders and we all started to relax and do what we are good at and that is moving the ball around the pitch and getting chances.
“There are people saying we need time – if that's us needing time then I would hate to think what we are going to be like in December, because if it really clicks we will be due to give a few teams a bit of a doing.”
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