It's only when he goes to work that he feels as though he's taking on the Himalayas. A couple of months ago, the seemingly endless upward trajectory of Snodgrass' career – Craig Levein described him as a "slow burner" yesterday – took him from the Yorkshire hills to the Norfolk Broads, from Leeds United in the Championship to Norwich City in the Barclays Premier League. After four years with Leeds, many would have expected Snodgrass to have pretty much seen it all in English football. Instead, ascending to the elite division brought a shock.
Had he noticed anything different between playing in the Championship and doing so in the Premier League? "In physical terms yes, I have," he said yesterday. "Physically everybody is like a man mountain, it's unbelievable how big the lads are. But I have tasted a bit of it now and can't wait for the next week to come really, to taste a bit more and see how well I can do."
So far he has done perfectly fine. He has started all three of Norwich's games and at the weekend scored their 85th-minute equaliser against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. He was impressive, too, when used on the right side of Scotland's midfield in last month's 3-1 friendly win over Australia. Levein has a choice between him or Celtic's James Forrest for that position against Serbia on Saturday.
Snodgrass has a quiet, unflinching steeliness about him. He's 6ft tall and reasonably well-built, but it's his upbringing around Glasgow's Gallowgate that provided the required psychological strength to handle whatever might come his way. There's only so far a player can go the back of being tough, of course. How could he cope against these man-mountain opponents if he was physically inferior?
"Bit by bit I'm trying to build up the athleticism side of things. Sometimes you can get yourself too big, but the power, speed and strength of these lads is unbelievable. It is not just about being big and strong, you need to have the technical side as well. I'm sure that most of the lads who have played in the English Premier League will tell you that mostly everyone is an athlete. That's the difference between the Premier League and the Championship. When it comes to ability, it is the best league in the world.
"All the lads are on different [training] programmes . . . you just have to focus on the fitness and nutrition side of things. The technology gets you up to speed quickly. I am buying into that massively at Norwich to see what their thoughts and plans are and what methods they use."
There was no point regretting that he had not worked more on the physical aspect of his development at an earlier point of his career because, when he started with Livingston, the requisite sports science technology and advice was unavailable. "At Leeds I was watching some of the under 11s and under 12s coming in and doing weights. It was unbelievable. At 11 and 12 we [in Glasgow] did not really know what any of that stuff was. It was Happy Meals for us at that stage."
Snodgrass was one of 11 Premier League players included in Levein's initial squad for the Serbia and Macedonia double-header compared to eight from the Championship (and only three from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League). He could tell that the number of top-flight representatives was increasing and the number of Championship ones decreasing, one of several factors which contributed to his willingness to leave Leeds United for Norwich in a £3m deal.
"There were certain stages when I had thought about playing at a higher level," he said. "I saw some of the players playing in the SPL and higher and I don't know if they were getting judged the same as those from the Championship. There were not that many players in squads from the Championship, so from a personal point of view even to get in the Premier League and to get that opportunity was great."
He returned to his old school, St Mungo's Academy, yesterday to help launch an initiative from the SFA and team sponsor Vauxhall Motors aimed at increasing football participation levels among 12-18-year-olds. Snodgrass was pleased to have been invited back. "It is not often you get a lad from the East End pushing through. I was never inside the classroom, I was always in the corridor. I have some fantastic memories from school and I made some friends for life.
"There are only a handful of players that get that chance and I am very fortunate. At school, the only thing I had in my mind was to play football. If that didn't turn out, I wouldn't have a lot of things to fall back on."
Today, on the eve of his 25th birthday, he continues to enjoy the rewards which stem from being bold enough to leave Livingston for Leeds United at the age of 20. What had that done for him? "You start to develop and learn. You start to become a man, really. You realise what it is all about and you realise it fast, especially when you move down south and you don't have your friends and family round about you."
There are some big units in the Serb team, but not one of them will look down on him.
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