Robert Snodgrass deserved to bask in the glow of a vital Premier League win over West Ham more than most within Norwich City's dressing room.
The Scot appeared to have been singled out for special treatment from a portion of the terrace population as the visible representation of all that was wrong with the Canaries in a season of debilitating peaks and troughs.
A wonderfully precise free kick whipped up and over the Hammers' wall and past a stranded Jussi Jaaskelainen set Norwich on the way to a 3-1 win which cured some of the ills ahead of the latest international break.
- Robert Snodgrass: We're all to blame
One hoped it also marked a watershed moment for the likeable Scot, who raced away with his hands cupped to his ears in a gesture that the majority inside a raucous Carrow Road will have understood. Snodgrass speaks with the same honest endeavour he approaches his craft up and down Norwich's right flank.
He knows better than anyone that a debut season both with his club and in the Premier League that saw him finish second-top scorer behind Grant Holt, plus runner-up in the supporters' player of the year voting had started to seem a distant memory. Snodgrass had not sought to dismiss or downplay the perception that his personal form, much like the Canaries', has been maddeningly inconsistent. But there is no doubt when he embellishes the prodigious work-rate with such set-piece precision as he produced at Carrow Road on Saturday he is vital to Chris Hughton.
Snodgrass' biggest issue at times during the most testing recent periods seems to be that he is not Nathan Redmond or Josh Murphy -- two prodigiously talented but inexperienced young alternatives. Many supporters have demanded to see more of Redmond following some eye-catching cameos along with one of their own in Murphy, who announced his arrival in stunning fashion with a sublime goal on his senior debut in the Capital One Cup comeback win at Watford earlier this season.
Hughton remained steadfast in his belief that Snodgrass is the best option. You can understand the manager's logic. City were languishing in the lowest reaches of the Premier League before that weekend win over the Hammers, while Hughton's own future has been a recurring theme in most of his media commitments of late. Norwich's boss requires experienced campaigners to help steer the Canaries into less choppy waters.
Snodgrass' goal celebration illustrated he is not immune to the taunts and the criticism, but the only tangible way to answer his detractors is by replicating the quality of his latest shift in Canary yellow.
His commitment to the cause should not be in doubt. Against Manchester United in the cup recently he left the Old Trafford pitch on a stretcher with his head in a protective brace after being knocked out in attempting to score. Against West Ham last weekend he finished with facial damage and a bloody nose in a fresh show of defiance that underlined his desire to prove many wrong and his manager right.
Some great tweets on here about my swollen nose , cheers for the sympathy for getting kicked in the face pic.twitter.com/IGAuhI1K3I— Robert snodgrass (@robsnodgrass7) November 10, 2013
Norwich City's support may have cause to cherish such commitment over the course of an arduous campaign.