Here's a Monday morning poser: Which much-derided former Canary currently tops his division's goal-scoring charts having grabbed one of the goals of the weekend for his current employers?
Given that the answer was in the headline, it is not too much of a tease – the answer, of course, is Bradford City's Peter Thorne whose sixth strike of the season away at Port Vale on Saturday had Bantams boss Stuart McCall purring with delight.
?We needed that second goal and it was a tremendous finish from Thorney,” said the Bradford boss, after watching the 35-year-old striker hold off the challenge of two Vale defenders before smashing the ball beyond a startled keeper.
Pace was never going to get him the goal; power and precision were. And cometh the moment, cometh the man… much to McCall's delight as Bradford swept into second spot courtesy of Thorne's red-hot streak in front of goal.
?If you see Colbeck or Daley running through, you think they might go all the way with a bit of pace,” added McCall.
“Thorney had two with him but he checked inside and used his intelligence. It had to be a precise shot to beat a big goalkeeper from that position and he placed it off the inside of the post.”
Many a Canary fan might have expected the one-time Cardiff striker to have disappeared off the map altogether after proving to be one of the biggest transfer nails in Nigel Worthington's Carrow Road coffin.
Signed in the summer of 2005, Thorne – then 32 – arrived with a reasonable enough record; 46 goals from 116 league appearances for the Bluebirds was a pretty fair return; strong in the air; six-foot tall – the assumption was that he would be Dean Ashton's understudy. As and when the latter's hamstrings tweaked, so Thorne would be there to step into the 'big man' breach.
That, at least, was the theory.
In reality, Thorne's Carrow Road career never, ever fired into life. And as the club descended ever deeper into those post-relegation blues so Thorne's name would be trotted out alongside the likes of Jason Jarrett and Andy Hughes in a 'Hall Of Shame' that would not only deny the Norfolk club an immediate return to the Premiership, but would also come to weigh heavily around the neck of then boss Worthington as the charges against City's title-winning chief mounted.
Three years later and Thorne continues to roll back the years – albeit at League Two level. In fairness, he has had more of an impact already this season and, indeed, last when he scored 15 goals for the Bantams than many a supposedly 'bright' Canary prospect.
Danny Crow, Ryan Jarvis and, potentially, Chrissy Martin have all struggled to set the world alight in the fourth tier of the English game; for Thorne himself, part of the secret of his recent success is actually getting a decent pre-season under his belt. Back in Norfolk and his two years will be remembered as one, unending catalogue of bumps, brusies, aches and strains.
His 42 appearances yielded just two goals – the last of which was a thumping great header in a 4-2 Carling Cup success at Rotherham in September, 2006 – an all-too rare highlight for a player on whom many a hope rested. Particularly once he was teamed up again with his former Cardiff City partner Robert Earnshaw following Ashton's big-money exit to West Ham United.
?I picked up an injury at the wrong time last year and it's been a bit of a story of mine over the last few years, picking up little niggles at the worst time,” said Thorne, speaking to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus last month, fresh from bagging two goals against first Notts County and then Macclesfield.
?But I didn't miss a day's pre-season and I'm feeling good for it. Obviously it's going well. For me to get two in the first game was brilliant and then to get another two is fantastic. So hopefully I can keep that going.?
Which he duly did in spectacular fashion at Vale Park.
His next line could, however, be the story of his time in Norfolk. Stop, start; stop, start. All the time gathering one or two unflattering headlines on the way.
?You miss games, you lose your match fitness and then you've got to go into first-team games trying to get your fitness back so it doesn't do you any favours,? he added. The fact that at 35 he is still churning out both the goals and the performances is a credit to the man.
He was never that bad a player; or that bad a lad. It was just one of those… one of those moves that never, ever quite worked out as everyone intended.
With patience thin on the ground as hopes of a swift and swash-buckling return to the top flight waned that bitter, first winter back in the second tier, the Carrow Road history books will do Thorne few favours.
With 34-year-old Antoine Sibierski due to make his debut away at Plymouth this weekend after arriving to fill that 'big man' berth once ascribed to the luckless Thorne, Canary boss Glenn Roeder will be be desperately hoping that history is not about to repeat itself; that Fortune will smile rather more kindly on his 'last piece of the jigsaw' as City look to the charismatic Frenchman to kick-start their 2008-2009 campaign and get them back to winning ways.
But the story of Peter Thorne is the nature of the football beast; that the game is littered with transfers that are full of every good intention only for form, fortune and favour to desert all concerned.
And as the big beasts of the corporate jungle continue to circle the Championship club as City's principal shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones look for fresh investment out of the Square Mile, it is a lesson that any in-coming 'suit' needs to swiftly learn. Not everything goes exactly to plan.
Football is a people business and people are, alas, only human…
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