One goal is all it would take to burst van Wolfswinkel’s dam

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton knows the difficulty of pairing Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hoope

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton knows the difficulty of pairing Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper up top. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

I had fully expected Ricky van Wolfswinkel to be the talk of the fans as his debut season in English football takes shape.

Jenny Tullis and Eveline Clarke with the New York Canaries

Jenny Tullis and Eveline Clarke with the New York Canaries - Credit: Archant

What I hadn’t predicted was a sizeable number of supporters already questioning that the £8.5m Dutch summer signing should be a definite starter week in, week out.

Last year the 24-year-old hitman bagged 18 goals in 22 games for Sporting Lisbon. In 2011/12 he was similarly prolific, netting 20 times in 28 starts.

The year before – when he was in his homeland – RVW had a very respectable record of a goal every two matches.

Seven league games in to his City career and the hitman has a single goal to his name – that header in the season opener against Everton.


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He’s had 12 shots – two of which have been on target.

I have done a little survey this week among fellow Norwich fans.

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I’m not pretending it was scientific and I’m in no way the boss of Mori.

But it does give an interesting insight to the current thinking among a cross section of supporters.

About half are in the “leave it as it is” camp when it comes to RVW.

The pro-Ricky brigade urges more patience with the star striker.

“He needs more time to get used to the system and the others need more time to get used to him,” is the common thread emerging.

I really, really hope they are right - and if he can get anywhere near replicating his goal scoring exploits it would see the Canaries rocket up the table.

I thought he had his best game so far on Sunday. He seemed more at home, his workrate had been stepped up and the header back for Pilkington’s goal was excellent.

The doubters point to the difficulties he has had fitting in to the team and the Premier League style of football.

A good number of City fans believe Hooper is currently best placed to hit the ground running and get those badly needed goals.

CH has made it pretty clear he won’t play both the multi-million pound summer arrivals together for now (and there is something very important in those latter two words) – so it seems like it needs to be a toss up between the two (at the moment).

RVW is obviously a class act and we have not seen his full potential flourish.

He is never going to be a Holty type striker who charges around and bashes in to defenders. He will thrive on opportunism and making those clever runs.

I sense there may be a flood of goals building and once the dam is broken we will see him in full flow.

I still predict Hooper will be top scorer this season and I honestly feel that before too long we will see the pair in tandem, probably with Hooper playing behind RVW.

Meanwhile, where did you watch the excellent win at Stoke?

Maybe you were lucky enough to have been part of the vocal travelling army in the Potteries, or perhaps you were in the local pub or, like me, you were enjoying the triumph in the comfort of a living room.

My mum and sister – both Carrow Road season ticket holders – were thousands of miles away in the Big Apple and joined members of the New York Canaries in getting up early to tune in at the Football Factory.

They had a fantastic time and I want to say a big thanks to James and Mark and their fellow yellow and green New Yorkers who made them feel so welcome.

Norwich may not have the global appeal of the Man Uniteds and Liverpool of this world – but there are Canaries dotted across the globe and it is great to know there are cheers (and sometimes jeers) during every game.

FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Nine minutes to go, 1-1, raucous crowd, live on TV. Olsson turned in the box and pulled the trigger. Time for a dramatic winner? Er, no and unfortunately his comedy air kick provided footage which will certainly turn up on one of those Saturday night gaffes shows.

HERO OF THE WEEK: If I got a pound for every time I have heard Chris Hughton criticised for not being ambitious enough, I would have amassed enough quids to pay for my season ticket. On Sunday he showed admirable boldness and I salute him, despite the defeat.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: I’ve seen countless games at Carrow Road, experiencing every imaginable emotion. Twice before I have been lucky enough to play on the lush surface but thought at 43 I wouldn’t again. However, it’s been confirmed that thanks to some mates I’ll be back in action and am so excited.

PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: I know only seven games have gone in the campaign. It is very, very early days. However, I have seen enough of Leroy Fer already to stick my neck out at the start of October and say he will be player of the season. Congratulations to him for his call up to the Dutch squad and it is richly deserved.

VILLAIN OF THE WEEK: I don’t generally like ref bashing and am not using it as an excuse for Sunday’s defeat. It was the cruelty of football which sealed our fate. I have to mention Neil Swarbrick, though. He managed to alienate everyone in the ground and if he was being assessed for his performance, I sense we won’t see him again in a hurry. Poor, poor, poor.

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