Ruddy plays down England chances
Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy may have pulled off a heroic display at Arsenal, but he still feels his chances of an England call-up are slim.
The 25-year-old looked set for a long afternoon at Emirates Stadium on Saturday when Yossi Benayoun curled the Gunners ahead after just 65 seconds.
However, Norwich - who were already safe from any relegation worries ahead of their final two games - rallied and equalised when Wes Hoolahan's shot was spilled by Wojciech Szczesny before a deflected effort from Grant Holt gave the visitors a deserved half-time lead.
While it was a much-improved display by Arsenal, chasing third place in the Premier League, after the break and they eventually went back ahead through a brace from Robin van Persie, Wales striker Steve Morison levelled things up again on the break with five minutes left.
The Gunners piled on the pressure during those closing stages, with Ruddy producing a couple of telling blocks - including one at point-blank range from Kieran Gibbs.
Ruddy, though, feels the fact he has picked the ball out of the net far too often this season - Norwich's goal difference stands at minus 16 - could go against his hopes of international recognition under new England boss Roy Hodgson.
"If I am in (the squad) then it will be a fantastic honour, if I am not, then I will make sure I am ready for next season," Ruddy told reporters.
"If you had told me before that now people would be touting me for an England call-up, then I guess that would mean I had a decent season.
"Ultimately, though, we [keepers] are judged on clean sheets, like strikers are judged on goals
"I have only kept two this year, although we have deserved more, I think that has ended my chances somewhat.
"If it happens, I will be absolutely over the moon, but if it doesn't I have got a wedding to look forward to and then I will make sure I am in tip-top shape for next season."
The former Everton stopper admitted he knew little about his save from Gibbs.
"I was just trying to make myself as big as I could, and it has hit me right in the face, so I will take one of those every game if it means holding on and getting a point," Ruddy said.
"Everyone was exceptional, right across the back.
"This sums up what we are about, people have questioned us over the last few games, that we had taken our foot of the pedal, but our spirit, especially after going 1-0 down so early, was there for all to see."
Canaries boss Paul Lambert felt Saturday's display was the best he had witnessed in what has been a solid return to the top flight for the Norfolk club.
While Arsenal can point to the failure of referee Anthony Taylor to miss a clear shove by Kyle Naughton in the back of Van Persie as he looked to tap in at the far post which would have made it 4-3, Norwich can also feel somewhat hard done by following some poor decisions by the officials in the first half.
On another day, Benayoun could well have seen red for kicking out at Russell Martin, while a trip by Francis Coquelin on Hoolahan and a shirt pull by Laurent Koscielny on Martin should have both been penalties.
When Lambert took over at Carrow Road in August 2009, competing with the elite of English football was nothing more than a pipedream.
"You have got to remember the magnitude of where we have come from because two years ago the club was bottom of League One - then all of a sudden you are asked to come to places like the Emirates and compete with the resources they have and everything else which goes against you," the former Colchester boss said.
"I am proud as anything of the team. They have been brilliant.
" They have been like this for the last two years and as long as they can keep their hunger, they will be fine."