City boss Bryan Gunn will be desperately hoping that ex-Canary star Robert Green grabs his latest England opportunity with both hands this weekend – and makes all the right moves in that World Cup shop window.
The 29-year-old West Ham United keeper is widely tipped to win his third, full England cap tomorrow as boss Fabio Capello makes do without the injured David James for the Wolrd Cup Group Six qualifier against Kazakhstan.
Some ten years Green's senior, James' involvement in next year's World Cup finals in South Africa have to be open to doubt. As fit as he is, will England want to go into battle with a 40-year-old No1?
Hence all the talk now on the succession as Green's former English rivals – Paul Robinson, Chris Kirkland and Scott Carson – end up playing second fiddle to the one-time Canary youth keeper.
And as much as Gunn will share Norfolk's delight at seeing one of their own step up to such a big plate, there will be one other thought crossing the Canary manager's mind – that for as long as Green's Hammers' team-mate Dean Ashton remains bedevilled by injury, Green remains the best hope of a sell-on windfall this summer.
Not that clubs always pay big, big money for keepers – a glut of 'foreign and free' operatives tend to skew the transfer market unfavourably as far as the likes of a Norwich are concerned.
But with new contract talks at Upton Park reported to be stalling again this summer as the Hammers No1 digs his heels in for a deal to match the ?50,000-a-week packages that the likes of Lucas Neill and Scott Parker enjoy, so everyone will be watching his first England start with real interest. Arsenal and Spurs included.
?I think it's a massive chance for one of the three of us,” Green told the official Football Association website this week, as ever taking nothing for granted.
The manner in which he has been wheeled out in front of the England Press pack, however, suggests that a huge opportunity now knocks – for both his one-time club and country.
“With 'Jamo' [David James] going for these two games it's an opportunity. Whether it comes to myself, 'Robbo' or Scott is another matter, that's down to the manager,? said Green, whose 88 consecutive games for the Hammers puts him firmly in the driving seat behind the 39-year-old James.
Every other English keeper is not getting that level of weekly exposure to the best that the Premiership has to offer. He clearly feels that he now has both the confidence and the experience to make the next step up and reach the mountain top internationally.
?I feel like I'm ready. I feel like there is a step to be taken there and you should never deny yourself that step up,? he said.
His relationship with the whole England set-up has always been something of a curious one – if not occasionally, off-hand.
He was, reportedly, to be found sporting a pair of gloves with the legend 'England's No6' embossed on them as various rivals leap-frogged over him; by and large, those attached to the bigger, more glamorous clubs.
Now, however, and the top goalkeeping gig in the country appears to be his to lose – and with it the chance to force West Ham's hand. Either to grant him the lucrative, long-term deal any new England No1 could command – or else to, potentially, listen to offers.
Last summer and then chief executive Scott Duxbury revealed that there was a “mechanism” in place for the terms of his existing, five-year deal to be reviewed in the summer of 2009. That crossroads has now arrived.
And all with Green – sold by City to the Hammers for ?2 million in the summer of 2006 – holding the career high ground.
West Ham's own financial position following the collapse of Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's Icelandic business empire in the midst of the global financial crisis last autumn will also colour the landscape one way or another.
?I've looked and watched and taken part in on a few occasions with the first-team, and it's a tremendous honour to be there, but it feels like it's an opportunity that's there and ready to be taken,” said the would be England No1 on the eve of his long-awaited World Cup entrance.
?I don't think I've reached my peak. I think there is more to be learned and more to be improved on in my game but there's not a day that goes by that I don't do that.
?That's one of the great things about football, that there's always time to improve.
“So in terms of that, I feel I'm ready to take a challenge but until you take that step up you don't know what you'll need to improve on and that's something I'm ready and willing to learn from.?