‘He’s certainly different’ - Norwood’s latest antics are a reminder of what we already knew... and he’s a vital piece of Town’s puzzle
PUBLISHED: 17:14 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:44 24 January 2020
It quickly became clear that Ipswich Town striker James Norwood is far from your average footballer.
He's produced on the pitch of course. He may be the joker of the pack but he knows when the laughter needs to stop and when a business head is needed, with his first season at League One level so far yielding 10 goals.
Not too shabby when you consider he's also had to deal with the operation to deal with a troublesome groin problem.
But before the former Tranmere man put-pen-to-paper on his Blues contract we heard about him 'getting absolutely bevvied' to celebrate promotion with Rovers before being slapped with a parking ticket during his former club's civic celebrations.
We already knew he had bought himself a peerage following a conversation in Pizza Express as 'Lord Norwood' was born, while images also emerged of him having team-mates' initials tattooed on his leg during a group trip to Magaluf.
Since his arrival his early-season hot streak and accompanying goal GIFs saw him attract worldwide attention from the WWE and The Rock and his busy social media accounts have seen him repeatedly try to scare team-mates, constantly rib the club chef at the training ground or hunt down cyber criminals in the Philippines after his accounts were hacked.
There's the hair transplant, the incident where he came crashing off his bike in Germany and the pictures of him having a beer with Joey Barton in London. Too much to mention.
His prominence on social media was in evidence this week as the striker locked himself out of both his house and car before putting a rock through the window of the latter, ensuring he wasn't late for training and avoided a fine.
And of course it was all documented online.
Manager Paul Lambert was unaware of the incident when asked about it earlier today but, such is Norwood's character, he didn't seem overly surprised when the story was told to him.
"He's different... he's certainly different," Lambert said of his striker.
"Every player has their own personality. Some are different, some are level-headed but you need that, you definitely need different characters.
"As long as they perform on a Saturday and do things right in training then that's all you can ask.
"I don't have a problem with any of the guys. They have their moments but they're human."
Here's Norwood's recollection of events, as told to BBC Sport: "I put the battery on to defrost my window, closed the door and it locked," he said.
"The first rock hit the window and bounced off.
"I'd been locked out for half an hour in minus 87 and when I tried to throw harder I couldn't feel my hands and released late and got my door, severely denting it."
He will be hoping to be more accurate this weekend when the Blues take on Lincoln City at Portman Road.
The 29-year-old was left on the bench for his side's game against former club Tranmere Rovers last weekend but made a real impact in the second half as, not long after being introduced, he played a beautiful through-ball to tee up striker partner Kayden Jackson's winning goal.
Jackson had started alongside Keane, with Lambert's three frontline strikers being paired together in all three combinations in the last three games.
It remains to be seen which duo the Town boss opts to use this weekend.
Norwood, in his own self-depricating manner, is the first to admit he should have taken more chances than he has this season but, as we head towards the business end of the campaign, you have to feel he has a major role to play in the club's bid for promotion.
He has, after all, made something of a habit of producing in the biggest moments in recent years.