Canary defender John Kennedy may be one of the few people inside Carrow Road these days who would give George Burley the warmest of welcomes – and genuinely mean it.
Whether, for example, City boss Glenn Roeder would even speak to another international manager after events of a Sammy Clingan nature is another matter?
For the Town legend is, of course, now the international boss of Scotland.
And with this week's opening round of World Cup games out of the way, speculation is inevitably mounting as to where Burley's next scouting mission may take him ? that as word reaches him of Kennedy's return to full fitness and increasingly imperious form, perhaps Burley might be Norfolk-bound this autumn.
“I don't see why not,? said Kennedy this morning, quizzed as to whether he felt he might pop up on the Scottish international radar down in the bottom-half depths of the Championship.
?There's plenty of players in the Scotland set-up that are playing down in England – and there's obviously a few in Scotland and elsewhere, but I think he's got people watching all over the place so I don't see why not,? said the on-loan 25-year-old centre-half, speaking as the Canaries prepared for this weekend's long haul down to Plymouth.
“But as I say, I'll just keep playing here – hopefully – and concentrating on that.?
It is clear, however, that as far as Kennedy is concerned, he has some, big, unfinished business to pursue on the international stage.
His one and only, full international cap thus far came in March, 2004. But for the skill of surgeons in America, it may well have proved his last ever game as a professional footballer as the then 20-year-old was cut down in his early prime by Romania's Ioan Ganea.
Four years later and Kennedy is only now starting to return to both the form and fitness that saw him lauded as one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from Scotland in a generation. Only the meanest of hearts would deny the on-loan Canary defender the satisfaction of a second cap. Few will have ever have trod a longer and lonelier path than Kennedy to earn one.
He certainly has a big fan in City boss Glenn Roeder. Indeed, the latter becomes a bigger fan with every passing day. Roeder hesitated to speculate just how much the Celtic youth product might be worth if he was available on the open transfer market as opposed to the loan variety. The kind of money that only the Milans of this world could afford.
“John Kennedy – even allowing for his injury – is a valuable player. And Celtic want him back in January.”
One story was that Inter Milan were prepared to thump a large wad of cash on Martin O'Neill's desk for the young man's services – only for that cruellest of injury blows on his full Scotland debut to intervene. Roeder had heard the same story. Or rather half of it.
“I got told that it was the other one – [AC] Milan. They were interested in trying to prise him out of Celtic after seeing his performances in the Champions League when, apparently, there were times when he was playing the opposition on his own.
“And having got to know John now, he's a top class person as well. A fantastic professional. And only that type of mentality and character has allowed him to get back and play again now because the injuries that he had were horrific. It just shows you his desire to go on playing football.”
For now, however, Kennedy was simply content to play games. Thereafter, would will be, will be.
?I think it's important for me to just play football and concentrate on that first and foremost and then worry about that later – if that comes along, great; if not, not to worry.?
As for Norwich's more immediate worries as they head for the less-than-happy hunting ground of Home Park this weekend, one has been their chronic inability to score goals. And whilst Arturo Lupoli's dramatic late double away at Cardiff started to right one or two of those wrongs, it is the deadline day arrival of Antoine Sibierski that has cheered a few, damp autumn spirits.
He does what it says he should do on the side of the tin and with Roeder's 'final piece of the jigsaw' locked into place then ? hopefully ? the better times might start to roll.
Kennedy's opinion is more than favourable after watching the 34-year-old, on-loan Wigan striker go to work in training this week.
“He's been good – obviously I know a bit about him from playing Premiership games and I think he'll be a good signing for us,? said Kennedy, with Sibierski expected to go straight into Roeder's starting line-up at Home Park tomorrow.
?I think the manager has done well to pull in a layer of that stature because he's certainly a good player and he's shown that in training over the past week,? he added.
“He's been looking good – and he can certainly finish. And that's something that we were needing. So, hopefully, he can give us something else.?
One thing else he will give the Canaries is another option out-wise; that ? on occasion ? a hurried, early ball forward might be the solution. Particularly if it now came to 'stick' somewhere up around that half-way line.
“I think we will still play the way that we have done and play the way that we do – I think it will just give us a different option at times,? said Kennedy.
?I think there are some games where is hustle and bustle and not too nice and sometimes you need to put it up there and if somebody can hold it in, then having someone of that height and that presence will give us that option at times.
“But we'll still stick to our same game-plan – we'll try and play. And then if it's not on, we can look to that.?
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