I like listening to people try and explain Grant Holt. Pundits always have a good line, it seems you aren’t allowed to work in television unless when the topic of Grant Holt comes up you use the words “old fashioned” or “target man”. This does him a disservice, these phrases don’t tell the entire story, they might cover some of the man, but they don’t paint a complete picture. When I talk about Grant Holt I use a single phrase: Grant Holt finishes his dinner.
Grant Holt is a man who loves to finish his dinner. He doesn’t do left-overs. You can tell a lot about a man who likes to finish his dinner, he’s comprehensive, conscientious and often has a sizeable stomach. I first came across the phrase when I was playing FIFA with my friend Matt, upon getting into a good position to score a goal, Matt uttered the now immortal words “can he finish his dinner?”. It’s a brilliant analogy and it sums up the idea of goal scoring perfectly.
There are days when some strikers don’t look hungry, they can have a full plate in front of them for 90 minutes and not have a bite. Grant Holt is always hungry. Grant Holt always finishes his dinner; but Grant Holt is not greedy, this is not a man who steals food from others. Grant Holt can often be found to provide great sustenance to those around him, assisting them with their food before tucking into his own. However, when the food is on his plate, it gets finished.
Sometimes the food is particularly tricky, like in the case of away at Burnley, where it is sat up high, it would take incredible power and technique to finish a meal from that distance, but Grant Holt found a way. Sometimes the meal is fiery, full of the spice of a local rivalry, but Holt is never phased, he goes back for seconds and thirds. Sometimes you have to be brave to finish your dinner, perhaps you are away at Anfield, a kebab is launched into the air and you have to make sure you get to it first, that’s where you really need the hunger so you bash those around you out of the way, making sure that the kebab is yours. Having got to it first, you don’t panic, you’ve had this meal before and you love the taste of it, so you slot it home with class and precision as a crowd of angry scousers jeer at you.
Grant Holt finishes his dinner. He has great technique, he’s a natural finisher, as his goal against Everton showed once again. It doesn’t matter if he’s in a league 2 burger bar or a Premier League Mayfair restaurant Grant Holt finishes his dinner.
Some things need to be made clear, Grant Holt is not a “target man”, he is not Emile Heskey. Grant Holt’s goal scoring record could only be equalled by Heskey on FIFA and he would have to be playing on a very easy difficulty. Grant Holt is not old-fashioned, his work-rate is phenomenal, he closes down and puts defenders under pressure. He has a fantastic first touch, against West Brom he controlled a 60 yard clearance from Rudd with his head and brought it down exquisitely. Grant Holt is not Nat Lofthouse, he doesn’t charge the keeper into the goal with the ball; but he can head the ball, his job is to score goals, if there are goals to be had from headers, that’s a meal Grant Holt wants to eat.
Grant Holt finishes his dinner. He is a great goal scorer and a scorer of great goals. He might not be the most expensive thing on the menu, he might not come with the fancy new sauce that’s in fashion right now, he might even remind you of a meal your grandparents used to make, but none of that matters because he always hits the spot.