I hope Scrabble superstar Ricky van Wolfswinkel proves good value for Norwich City
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Ricky van Wolfswinkel is certainly a big name signing.
Assuming he has a double digit squad number, I estimate it would cost £27 to get his magnificent name in its full glory printed on the back of a replica shirt.
Imagine if there was a Canary Scrabble?
How many points would the frontman secure you? Surely enough to win the league in any season!
There can be very few arrivals at Carrow Road in City’s 111-year history whose moniker has caused such a stir.
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Adams, Bond, Cross, Davies, Eagle, Fox... I could go on. They all trip off the Canary tongue when doing a Norwich A-Z but in themselves haven’t got the X Factor of RVW.
Having six syllables in itself is mighty impressive – and Gary Holt can only boast two more letters than that.
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Lots has already been said and written about the Dutchman and I have heard nothing but great excitement about him coming in the summer.
Someone will tell me if I’m wrong, but I can’t remember a player who has been agreed and signed so far in advance of his arrival.
It’s a fact that he is by a long way the most expensive capture in the club’s history.
So many deals now are “undisclosed” but the figure of £8.5m seems to be accepted as right.
Bassong is thought to have cost around £4m, Ashton may have been a bit more than that with the add ons, Earnshaw arrived for about £3.5m and there is talk of about £3-3.5m for Ryan Bennett,
It seems fairly safe to say that RVW is going to cost about double the amount of anyone else.
That is a pretty staggering fact.
Unless we lose at Wigan on Saturday and then go on a pretty disastrous run between now and May 19, Premier League safety seems fairly secure.
But it isn’t certain.
Combine the very early capture of the striker, the size of the fee and the boldness to push the boat out so far to catch the Wolf and I really feel this signals a watershed in the history of Norwich City Football Club.
We can all remember moments which were huge in their own ways.
Reaching the top flight on the various occasions, winning the league cups, getting in to Europe, finishing in the higher reaches of the Premier League, getting Hucks and Crouch on loan.... they were all hugely significant landmarks.
I’m not saying in any way this is a reckless move for a 24-year-old striker who the vast majority of us have not seen play.
However, is this the moment where ambition has climbed above prudence in the outlook of the top brass at Carrow Road?
In an article in a Dutch magazine, RVW suggests Norwich are also looking for two wide players and an attacking midfielder.
There is growing talk about City looking at his highly promising compatriot Marco Van Ginkel.
If you haven’t seen footage of the 20-year-old Vitesse Arnhem midfielder on Youtube then make sure you do. Wow.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that the success we are enjoying has come from hard, hard graft, really honest and true professionals and giving the chance to lads from the lower leagues who are hungry for success.
But there is no reason why this can’t be blended with bringing in big names from big clubs.
So far from this season potentially drifting away in to dullsville, I sense this news will be a catalyst for real optimism.
• A COMMENTATOR’S NIGHTMARE – AND IT’S NO DREAM TEAM
I’m always very grateful to you for your help in contributing some of the flippant parts of my column each fortnight.
I know that a tweet or a Facebook message asking for suggestions to develop a Norwich City theme will get an instant response from the yellow and green army out there.
It never ceases to amaze me how so many supporters have encylopaedic knowledge of all things Canary.
And you also enjoy having a bit of fun – and getting in to the spirit of some slightly mad ideas.
Two weeks ago I was inundated with suggestions for a Norwich City Wildlife XI.
At that stage we didn’t know about the capture of the Wolf, but of course he would have leapt (or whatever wolves do) straight in to that team.
This week’s City team has him at the very heart of it and is dedicated to him.
My old mate Chris Goreham and his colleagues at BBC Radio Norfolk who do such a great job in commentating on the Canaries would not thank me for developing this squad.
The side would mean extra staff being taken on at the club shop to stick all those letters on the back of shirts.
So, here we go with the Norwich City Long Names XI. (And yes I know, it wouldn’t win too much silverware).
In goal – Arran Lee-Barrett (boo now for the ITFC man)
Back four – Troy Archibald-Henville, Erik Fuglestad, Paul Heckingbottom, Samuel Wolstenholme (okay, he did play a year or two ago)
Midfield – Jean-Yves De Blasiis, Mark Fotheringham, Owain Tudur Jones
Strikers – Gaetano Giallanza, Paul Peschisolido. And of course the man himself – captain of the team, Mr Ricky van Wolfswinkel
• Hero of the week: I don’t know who pulled the strings to bring RVW in to Carrow Road – but I would assume Messrs McNally and Hughton were pretty fundamental to it. Both have their critics and doubters but the signing is a great coup and they need massive credit for making it happen.
• Villain of the week: I really can’t see how they can still get away with it. I’m talking about those numb-skulled Montenegro fans who booed the black England players during Tuesday’s match. They share the bad boy gong with the toothless UEFA/FIFA officials who punish a player more for showing off advertising on his pants than they do countries whose fans continue to be racist.
• Highlight of the week: There has been a good debate recently about the pros and cons of having your squad packed with international players. Clearly it is good for kudos and shows you have quality in the club. But there are obvious risks of injuries – and so Wes (who I feel will be a key player on Saturday) missing out on a match for Eire on Wednesday was great news for us (if not for him).
• Funniest moment of the week: If you are on Twitter and you don’t follow Canary Call (@01603617321) then you must. It is always great value and cleverly done. My favourite tweet of the week was to David McNally and said: “HI BUH, I GOT A VUVUZELA FOR CHRISTMAS, CAN I BRING IT TO THE NEXT HUMM GAME? I’LL SIT DOWN I PROMISE.”
• Prediction of the week: And so we are back to where it all began in August 2011 when the latest Premier League adventure began at Wigan. I remember I was playing cricket that day and it was a lovely summer’s day as I tried to keep tabs on the goings on at the DW. I will get no meteorology degree to say the temperatures will be slightly lower this Saturday. However, I will hope for some plaudits if my prediction of a 2-1 victory including a Wes winner is true.