Poll: Would you start birthday boys Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper up front together for Norwich City against Newcastle United?

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel of Norwich has a shot on goal during the 1-0 win against Hull City at Carrow Road, with strike partner Gary Hooper watching on. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd. Ricky Van Wolfswinkel of Norwich has a shot on goal during the 1-0 win against Hull City at Carrow Road, with strike partner Gary Hooper watching on. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

Monday, January 27, 2014
11:04 AM

Ricky van Wolfswinkel celebrates his 25th birthday today – and there are no prizes for guessing the present he is hoping for most, a Norwich City goal.

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The £8m marque signing is still stuck on one goal, his opening-day header during the 2-2 draw against Everton at Carrow Road which City fans hoped would be the first of many.

But a toe muscle problem badly disrupted the Dutchman’s debut Premier League season and he has had to start afresh.

Will Chris Hughton start van Wolfswinkel again when the Canaries host Newcastle United tomorrow night?

Will the City boss pair the former Sporting Lisbon man with top scorer Gary Hooper - who also celebrated his birthday yesterday, turning 26 - for the third league match in succession?

Can Norwich win successive league matches for the first time this season?

Following the vital 1-0 home win against Hull City, the potential of a silver lining to the grey cloud hovering over Carrow Road has emerged for the first time since a nightmare festive period of eight games without a win began.

The Magpies sit eighth in the Premier League table and have looked a stylish outfit at times this season, but have lost four of their last five matches.

If City can prove their determined performance against Hull was not a false dawn and get a win against the Magpies, then Saturday’s trip to struggling Cardiff City will suddenly look very winnable.

The road to Premier League safety would look much clearer and the yellow glow the future held in pre-season could once again return.

Win and few City fans will care who has scored the goal, they will just be grateful, as Ryan Bennett found with his late header to finish off Hull.

But a goal for van Wolfswinkel would really stoke the Carrow Road flames. That goal would be celebrated like a birthday present for all Canaries supporters.

Would you start van Wolfwinkel alongside Hooper though? Or would another option such as Wes Hoolahan just behind one of the strikers be a better option? Cast your vote in the poll above.

Related links

Iwan Roberts: Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel must work hard to create a productive partnership for Norwich City

Chris Hughton urges Ricky van Wolfswinkel to be more selfish for Norwich City

Ricky van Wolfswinkel admits mistakes after his toe torment at Norwich City

67 comments

  • Are you getting flustered, Pa?

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • At least we will not be facing Cabaye now, he has just gone for £20 million.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Strange Karma there, James Dougall! I mentioned Ted Mc(Dougall), then Pilks, Tettey and Fer in the same context as you did (without having seen your post). But you prefer one up front. Repeating what Tim Sherwood said at Spurs recently, maybe it`s more about players than formations. I just pray we win; `back-to-backs` would be a tremendous boost to morale and our survival chances. Mattias`s posting has been `disappeared`! What`s that about??

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Closest were gonna get to someone like Teddy Sheringham at Norwich is my old fake name Canary Call txts like Teddy from Sheringham & Grant from Holt.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I wonder why they cant delete multiple posts as well. Seems daft to me.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I always liked the diamond. Hoop and rvw up top with hoola behind and fer , howson ( if fit ) if not Johnson I guess, and tettey In front of defence. Control the midfield battle and let the full backs provide width , not that we ever put many crosses in or have anyone in the box to get on end of them. If it fails at half time revert to our normal pile of sh i t e. .or whatever it is Houghton calls it

    Report this comment

    kingpin

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • MikelSA - I think the idea of right-footed wingers crossing from the left wing (and vice-versa) is that if such a player crosses from the "correct" side the tendency of the ball is to swing away from the goal, whereas if he does so from the "wrong" side, it will bend towards the goal - like Beckham's free kicks from the right used to. This is supposed to make life more difficult for defenders and goalkeepers, though I doubt if it does much any more since they will now be coached to deal with the situation.

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Rvw starting to look quality, his touch will come, he has started getting in the right place and on the end things. Feed the wolf.

    Report this comment

    Jarroldr82

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Which one is the target man, and which one plays off? Are they side by side, or one holds back? I have no sense of how they are developing as a partnership or where it should go. Is the main focus going to be ball-to-head or ball-to-feet? (Feet-to-head not recommended unless all else fails... and ball-to-ball too painful to contemplate as a strategy...)

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I always liked the diamond. Hoop and rvw up top with hoola behind and fer , howson ( if fit ) if not Johnson I guess yen tettey In front of defence. Control the midfield battle and let the full backs provide width , no that we ever put many crosses in or have anyone in the box to get on end of them. If it fails at half time revert to our normal pile of sh i t e. .

    Report this comment

    kingpin

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • The last 10 minutes against Hull showed the BecchioHooper combination showed promise to give them a start with RvW as impact sub.Hughton could set up for draw though, with 3 in central midfield,Tettey back in front of the back 4, and 1 striker,likely to be Hooper.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Anyone who has scored a goal this season should be playing, those who havn't stay on the bench.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Well can you blame wes for how he has been treated by hughton, he always gives his all for us, and guarantee if he played tomorrow he would give his best out of respect to the fans because the fans want him to stay and it's as simple as that,

    Report this comment

    hooley14

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Hi! el dingo olah! How can I get Flustered, I'm a Pheasant Plucker. plucking pheasants as a way of life. Don't talk with a plum in my mouth. Nearest I ever got to Eton, was that place on Eaton Road, or as BP would say, just before you got to 'Crunglefud' on the 95 bus..

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Hate to say it Hooley but I think there is little point on playing Wes at the moment. Heart's not in it. Hopefully Tettey will be back so we can use him to allow Fer to go and get more creative?

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Hello Brew!. I saw my name mentioned so I thought I'd add my 4p once again.

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Put the Murphy twins in, sure they could do the job just as good as these over paid so called strikers

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Normally I might say yes at home but Newcastle are a good side who will pack the midfield. 2 up top would mean surrendering a lot of possession and with the likes of Pilkington and Tettey being back I would have 1 up top with Fer being the link in the center.

    Report this comment

    James Dougall

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I agree with you mjc75 no Wes = no one that can pass a ball.Like your comment on RVW you never know but he may consider taking up ballet ( female parst of course ).

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • It`s the Archant IT system that causes multiple postings, sharky. It also displays a form of even-handedness by `disappearing` others without trace. It`s about time we had a refresher course on "Pa`s Chevron". ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Bill , that is absolutely priceless . But how will they fit your name on the shirt ;-)))

    Report this comment

    mjc75

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Some people believe players give a s**t who they play for. Like most workers they go where they can make the most dosh and have the best prospects. In their opinion that is.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • JD is right. Play two up front at your peril. Support the front man and dont leave spaces between the lines. OTBC

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Forget about Wolfswinkel. He is out of his depth at this level.Plays more like a winkle than a wolf.P45 to the scout who recommended him.

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Two upfront, hooper just behind rvw. I have watched Hoolahan since he joined and he has been great but the same as Holt, he is no longer good enough, he is too easy for premier league players to play against, 1 good game every 5, costs us more goals than he creates.

    Report this comment

    Jarroldr82

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Wes in the middle of a five in a W formation for me every time. IMHO

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Yes I would, however if its not working I would quickly swap him with Becchio.after 45 - 50 mins

    Report this comment

    kevin

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Jarrold82 I think you've been at the special mushrooms mate .

    Report this comment

    mjc75

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Aaah, the halcyon days of Cross and Bone, when we wondered if the club would complete the set by signing a Skullan. David Cross`s daughter is playing cricket for England Women in Oz at the moment - she`s a bowler. Oh, BillPbp, memories of Don Heath and pressure stewed cabbage. They were indeed the good old days-my mother`s cooking was diabolical; I used to try escape to Auntie Annie`s or Auntie Beattie`s to get some decent grub. School dinners were somewhere between.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Anybody remember Ron Ashman-Haugh?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Plus Snodgrass ;-)

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Is my in box going to be FULL tonight!

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I wrote something pithy on the Twiiter account article. Archie not only rejected it.....he deleted the entire article. Touchy! Meanwhile Brewer gets 90% of his 2nd post duplicated (turning it into a Reith Memorial Lecture), and Mattias gets 50% of his Twitter comment rejected. I've just pinched myself. Phew! It was just a bad nightmare. Wide awake now. Agree with Sharky. Wes in the middle of a W for me. Pilks left, Redmond right, Fer and Tettey holding midfield, Martin and Olsson full backs. If the W shape goes pear shaped, bring on Hoops for Hoola at half time, Snoddy for Pilks and Johnson for Fer. Gutierrez can stay in the directors' dining room chatting to his old mates and Elmander can polish the spare boots. Sorted.

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Indeed MJC75, but he's not the only one, look at Stew's posting, there's more in them there statins than meets the eye, but the contributor of the day award has to go to Pa, who must have been at the keyboard all day, and whose posts are almost perfect. The only error I witnessed was the reference to the 95 going to Cringlefud, and Pa, I'm terribly sorry to have to tell you that the correct answer was the '90' all those many years ago when some of us were young men, and even women, and it cost two bob in the River End to see Alan Black kick it out of the ground and Don Heath get caught in possession for the forty fifth time and school dinners were boiled to death by Mrs Aldous and Mrs Leamon hit the roof when I asked if long division was anything like square root, and no I haven't swallowed anything illicit, even though I'd rather see Becchio up front with Hoops, cos RVW couldn't even get hired as a recreational vehicle Wolkswagen if he tried cos he can't even tie up a shoelace, and actually, if I can find my boot polish, I'll get out the old hob nails and do the job myself. Who said diamonds were a girl's best friend. Oh right, it was Wes.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • 4-5-1 with Hoolahan or Elmander (I prefer the former against a team like Newcastle) behind RvW or GH (I prefer the latter on current form). I too am curious about the right footed winger on the left and vice versa. I have no sensible theory to explain it. Despite what people think, 2 up-front is not necessarily a more attacking formation. 5 in midfield gives the fullbacks the freedom to get forward, and we will always need two holding midfielders in our team (even Chelski do that).

    Report this comment

    MikelSA

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Oh no MJC, the best laid plans of mice and men... I know, they can just write 'The Bill' so that I can police the left wing, er mm, unless his nibs plays me on the other wing

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • For those unfamiliar with the ' Chevron ', let me try and clarify. We have ONE up front, supported by a winger on each side, their correct sides, none of this PLAYING INSIDE OUT!

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Sorting the mystery of postings vanishing should be high up on Archants to do list. Bit like getting yellow goal nets should be high on NCFC agenda. ;)

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Mad Brewer... I agree with you that Becchio behind Hooper may be the answer for some matches... to me Becchio looks like he wants to play a bit like Teddy Sheringham (only not so good) linking the play up front and winning the ball in the air.... Elmander is better in the air but doesn't seem to be able to pass.... RVW will be better than Becchio once he finds his feet, but in the meantime we need to try out Becchio with Hooper too, especially in the second half if RVW is misfiring.

    Report this comment

    jops

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I'd start with Houghton and Calderclown up front. Let them find out what it's like playing in a system that makes forwards redundant!

    Report this comment

    john doe

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • There seems little alternative. Becchio does not exist (fact) and Elmander has had a good run. People tell me that the best fit for this pairing is RvW up front with Hooper tucked in behind. I don`t know, but Hooper has been the only one to show any likelihood of getting a reasonable goals tally this season. Maybe better with Hooper up front with Becchio tucked in behind? Oops, forgot. Becchio does not exist. Then there`s still the small matter of providing a supply line to the strikers.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I would play Hooper for 90 plus Van Wolf OR Becchio partnering him. As Kevin says, if the Wolf isn't cutting it after 45 minutes, give Becchio a fair crack. 15 mins at the end of a game is not that. I believe there is pressure to play RVW to justify his price tag but he has had a fair chance to prove himself and Becchio has not.

    Report this comment

    Johny

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • It really doesn't matter who plays up front - they won't get any decent service. Can't say how much I'm looking forward to leaving my lovely new woodburner tomorrow night:(

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • The Clueless clot will play 5 4 1... hope for a point and say Newcastle are a quality side, and we played well.

    Report this comment

    OLDYELLA

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • jops, yes - Becchio does seem a bit Sheringham-esque (from what little we`ve seen of him). If he changed his name to Sheringham, he might enjoy as much success as Holt. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I give up! after 4 attempts.Seems only the regulars or those that work on site are the only ones required

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Please, please, please Mr Hughton, please play the wide players so they can cross the ball with their strongest feet. If not, there's no point playing two wide players and two up front. If you want to play Snodgrass and Remond on the wrong side, they need to play in a 3 up front so they are playing inside the width of the area, so they can each shoot with their stronger foot. What we have been playing is the worst of both worlds, wide players who can't cross and strikers with no service.

    Report this comment

    Double D

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • wivenhoebudgie

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Took me a while to work that out Brew. I had The real Ron Ashman visit me in 1966.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Had 5 'DUPLICATES' in my INBOX up to 8pm. Can someone at Archant tell me what has happened to the 'ORIGINALS'. ?

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • …..Crab... I feel sure that most Premiership clubs are coached to deal with right and wrong footed crosses....but our wrong footed players must be told beforehand, that they are not on there to provide crosses...but cut inside every time and attempt a shot on goal ...I feel sure that most Premiership clubs are coached to deal with that also...and are having a great deal of success at it....Our players are being coached to sit silently on the bench, and look interested!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Their is only one name i want to see on that team sheet and that name is Wes Hoolahan, i mean come on we struggled to beat hull and got lucky from a corner, if wes would have played he would of sat in the pocket and ripped hull apart, he's are best player and makes me so angry that he doesn't get played by such a defensive manager with no imagination and that goes for the coaching staff as well, all they do is concentrate on defense, and that goes well doesn't it,

    Report this comment

    hooley14

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • My plan: start Mike Bailey upfront on the Pink'Un site with NBC providing the live feed....OTBC

    Report this comment

    atlanta canary

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Ha, welcome to my world. Im use to my inbox having 100 emails a day from archant saying my post wasnt accepted as it was a duplicate. Wouldn't be so bad if it actually published the post in question.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • What's the problem Archant? I come on here once in a Blue Moon, and get sent into space! Do you want comments or not???

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I'd go for Hooper and Wes just behind , with Becchio on the bench should he be required . RVW can sit in the stands and ponder about how many opportunities he's missed and what he's going to do to improve his so far terrible goal record . Redmond on the right and Pilks on the left with Tettey and Fer in the middle . But we all know what CH will do , so get ready for Elmander up front on his own :-(

    Report this comment

    mjc75

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I suppose it makes a change from "Club-record signing.....", Mattias! Poor Wolfie needs to get himself started. 25 is OK - he should be in his prime, but things have not worked out for him so far. If he fails to be selected for the Netherlands` World Cup squad, he`ll be 29 when the next one comes around. He will be 29 if he IS selected anyway, I suppose! What a surge of optimism there would be if these two could gel into a new "Boyer-McDougall" partnership. I could join the Happy People. Get Redmond on the right and Snods on the left (or Pilks) and get some supplies to these guys. Josh as a sub. We do miss Howson but with Tettey back (,I suppose it makes a change from "Club-record signing.....", Mattias! Poor Wolfie needs to get himself started. 25 is OK - he should be in his prime, but things have not worked out for him so far. If he fails to be selected for the Netherlands` World Cup squad, he`ll be 29 when the next one comes around. He will be 29 if he IS selected anyway, I suppose! What a surge of optimism there would be if these two could gel into a new "Boyer-McDougall" partnership. I could join the Happy People. Get Redmond on the right and Snods on the left (or Pilks) and get some supplies to these guys. Josh as a sub. We do miss Howson but with Tettey back (?), maybe Fer can push up a bit more. He must have World Cup ambitions too.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Hooley14 keep the faith, Ive got a strange feeling a certain Mr hoolahan will either shockingly start tomorrow despite all the talk about him lately or he will at least come on and be involved or score the winner. Will be just typical of us for that to happen after so many simply washed there hands of him the minute talk of wanting away came out. Yes Mad Brewer, Just noticed my post has disapered. How odd. I only said "it was Hoopers birthday over the weekend if were deciding on the line up on a birthday related basis" or something like that. Sarky comments regarding the purpose of a article are allowed right? Oddly another article I commented on about a popular twitter account vanished from the site. Knew something was up when I was posted about it and only half the post would show up. Vanished totally now.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Absolutely right BP it was the 90. single decker, went as far as Thorpe Station, then turned round and went back home. Had to use the 89 myself ,from Wall Road to Judges Walk or SPA. Then had to walk from Unthank Road through to Eaton Road,where Mr Jackson and others tried to squeeze a bit of common sense into my empty head! Unsuccessfully I might add! Thinking of moving to Lincs where they don't get rejected for duplication and can have 5 cracks of the whip at will .and Yellow firebird I think Church played on the left wing with Les Eyre close by, before the days of Bobby Brennen and Jimmy Hill.

    Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Hooper it is then...

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    GossVolley

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I would play Hooper & Wes,with Wes in we would have somebody to pick out a pass

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I am sure the manager will set the team out however he thinks gives us the best chance of winning. He is doing a great job and everyone should be thanking him not criticising him. Very few managers would have kept us up last year - certainly we will score more goals than you would have got us relegated. Hooper and rvw look to be getting used to each other so give them a chance at home but 4-5-1 (4-3-3) is the best way in the prem.

    Report this comment

    Jarroldr82

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • …..If Wes was in the middle of a 'W' formation ...that would make him Centre Striker...so maybe we should look at an 'M'. in effect playing behind two up front, and having 2 wingers cum midfield cum fullbacks on either side...or we could play the inverted 'T' translated into 7-1-1-1...thats more Chrissy's style!....I somehow think my favourite would be the '0 ' ahead of the 'X' and there we have, starting at the back, cos that's were Chrissy always starts after he's sorted his bench out, a 4-2-1-2-1 with Wes in the middle....Crumbs ! I think that sounds a bit like Pa' s 'Chevron' don't it Brew?...Ah well great minds think alike!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • if both play then our midfield might get over worked,then again we need 3 points so its a tricky one to call.maybe hoops on his own with fer in the hole and tettey and johnson holding.would be nice to see the wingers swapping sides now and then for a change.Redmond to start with either pilks or snods.Rvw and becchio on the bench to come on if needed.Defence picks itself.

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • 4-5-1 with Hoolahan or Elmander (I prefer the former against a team like Newcastle) behind RvW or GH (I prefer the latter on current form). I too am curious about the right footed winger on the left and vice versa. I have no sensible theory to explain it. Despite what people think, 2 up-front is not necessarily a more attacking formation. 5 in midfield gives the fullbacks the freedom to get forward, and we will always need two holding midfielders in our team (even Chelski do that).

    Report this comment

    MikelSA

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Ahh, all this reminiscing! Makes me wonder what the price for a couple like David Cross and Jimmy Bone would fetch. Whoever gets the nod, and yes I think Becchio deserves his chance alongside Hooper, they need a Kenny Foggo on the wing. Can´t remember him playing on the left.

    Report this comment

    Yellowfirebird

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • We desperately need to score goals. We need to win games. They're our two top strikers. Of course I'd start with them against Newcastle. OTBC

    Report this comment

    Powers1902

    Monday, January 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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