Feed the Wolf and he will score!

Sunday 13th April 2014 13:47

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel: Has really struggled for goals this season

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel: Has really struggled for goals this season

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Norwich FanZoner Oliver Baines is backing under-fire striker Ricky Van Wolfswinkel to come good despite now going over 20 hours without a goal.

In light of the Fulham game, new Norwich City boss, Neil Adams seemed to have won the hearts of the Norwich faithful before his side had even kicked a ball. Hughton's reign was over and in the past. Yet, his legacy lives on as the Norfolk side were left land sliding towards the torrid relegation zone.

In spite of the managerial change, it seemed to be the same old story for the Canaries as they bowed out to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers, Fulham. However, the consensus among City fans seems to be positive in wake of the full time whistle. The yellow army cannot qualm the style of football Adams had his side playing at times; deploying a differing formation to his predecessor Hughton, it was clear the former Norwich City midfielder was happy doing things his way.

However, one thing that Adams was unable to amend was City's fortunes in front of goal. Once again Norwich were left wondering what could have been as a trio of golden opportunities were scorned before half-time. Most notably was that of Ricky Van Wolfswinkel's instinctive effort which was miraculously saved by Fulham stopper, David Stockdale; a moment that summed up his entire season thus far.

Van Wolfswinkel has been on the name on Norwich City fans lips, but maybe for the wrong reasons. His solitary goal on the opening day of the season has long been forgotten as the Dutch striker has gone over twenty-hours without a goal.

The £8.5million pound question...why?

Looking through the archives it's clear that he is a natural goal scorer when you look at his history in Portugal; but like all strikers will know, confidence is the key. Something, "the wolf" is having to constantly remind himself of. As a striker who thrives on playing off the shoulder of the last defender; it's frustrating to see the twenty-five-year-old popping up on the half way line, just to get a feel of the ball.

For Adams, it's picking a lesser of two evils, does he sacrifice a striker partner for Van Wolfswinkel, to pack out the midfield or risk losing the battle in the middle to play two up top; unfortunately the latter has rarely been implemented. Adopting a 4-5-1 formation and moulding it into a fashionable 4-3-3 set up with two wide attackers has been a common strategy for Norwich, yet it has proven ineffective for the frustrated Van Wolfswinkel.

The consolation that Adams and Van Wolfswinkel can both work with is the fact that he is getting into the right areas a striker needs to attack the box. If a striker isn't there, he won't score. End of. Pundits will point the finger and say, "he isn't good enough" - personally, I feel he has been desperately unlucky. RVW alone has been on the receiving end of numerous saves of the season by Premier League shot-stoppers; with David Stockdale being added to the lengthy list this week. With every shot saved, it seems to leave the striker looking to the skies in agony. I sympathise for Ricky, he wears his heart on his sleeve and has given everything for our club. However, Adams is again faced with a dilemma. Do you continually start a striker who doesn't score, with the hope that he will? Or, do you leave him on the bench to give an opportunity to someone else?

Neil Adams will be left to ponder the role of Van Wolfswinkel before Liverpool arrive at Carrow Road next Saturday.

Fans may jump on the back of players, but, as Elliot Bennett tweeted, "names on shirts aren't everything, footballers are humans. There are four games to go this is not the end. #believe".

He is right. Footballers are humans.

Including Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, the burden of his price tag seems to be weighing him down at the moment. Hopefully it won't be too long before we hear the Barclay stand singing...

"Feed the Wolf...and he will score."

You can follow Ollie on Twitter here and don't forget you can follow @FanZone too.



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