Ricky van Wolfswinkel slams Norwich City’s ‘kick and rush’ style during his sour Carrow Road stint
- Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd
Ricky van Wolfswinkel admits Norwich City’s ‘kick and rush’ style was the toughest spell of his career.
The Dutch forward sealed a move to Champions League hopefuls Basel earlier this summer after a prolific stint back in his homeland at Vitesse Arnhem following his release from the Canaries in July 2016.
The 28-year-old endured a wretched time at Carrow Road, scoring twice in 28 senior outings, following a then club-record switch from Sporting Lisbon in July 2013.
Van Wolfswinkel, speaking to Swiss online magazine Watson.ch, revealed he felt let down by former Norwich boss Chris Hughton when he was sidelined just months into his debut campaign after scoring on the opening day against Everton.
“Look, I’ve always dreamed of playing in the Premier League. That was the league which I pursued most closely as a boy. And then came Norwich’s offer,” he said. “Of course I could have waited for a bigger club. But at a Chelsea - or whomever - I would probably have landed on the bench. So I chose a smaller team. It was not possible.
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“They promised me to play football in Norwich. At least, the coach Chris Hughton said at the time. And they bought quite a few new players. But it did not work. In December, Hughton asked me to go to his office and said, ‘we have to present ourselves differently (on the pitch).
“Kick and rush. Long balls and go forward. That was the end for me. It did not work, either for me or Norwich. I was loaned out for the first time at the end of that season. In the winter of my first season they brought in two new strikers. And in the following summer, two more. Year after year I was loaned. In the summer I would come back, take almost two months of preparation, and I had to look at training games and 11 versus 11. As a person that was really hard.”
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Basel have won the Swiss League for the past eight seasons, but sporting director and former international striker Marco Strellar believes van Wolfswinkel can help FCB make a splash in Europe.
“We were looking for a striker with a certain experience and who proved in the past that he is dangerous,” said Strellar. “Those type of players are difficult to find and quickly become invaluable. My colleagues and I have observed Ricky very closely - and all of them came to the same conclusion independently.
“I knew him when I played with Basel against him while he was at Sporting Lisbon. You can simply see the incredible quality that he brings with him. He finished second in the Eredivisie scoring list and recently won the Dutch Cup final. I am really happy.”