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

Ricky van Wolfswinkel rues a missed chance at Sunderland on his Premier League return. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ricky van Wolfswinkel rues a missed chance at Sunderland on his Premier League return. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
8:25 AM

It seems strange some have doubted the character and desire of Ricky van Wolfswinkel in recent weeks. A few minutes in his company at Norwich City’s Colney Training Ground on Monday, and the notion felt ridiculous.

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The Canaries’ record signing picked up a toe injury in mid-September’s home defeat to Aston Villa. He played at Stoke and against Chelsea in the following weeks – and even eked out a brief substitute appearance against Cardiff at the end of October.

All of which was a noble effort and something that should speak volumes of his desire to play a part. But ultimately, it only made matters worse.

Not even the words of his girlfriend’s father, a certain Dutch legend by the name of Johan Neeskens, could ensure Ricky played the long game with his toe.

“Of course he has a lot of experience all around the world and he understands football,” said RVW. “And with my injury, it was really frustrating and I talked with him, and he told me to take my time and recover well.

“And to be honest, I didn’t really listen to anyone. I started too quick because I wanted to come back.

“The Cardiff game, I wanted to play because I saw the team wasn’t playing well and I was frustrated. It’s just a toe – that’s what you think. I tried to play against Cardiff a bit but I found I really couldn’t, and I needed to take my time.

“It’s such a small injury and every morning you wake up and start to feel it being better.

“The people here guided me very well. I wasn’t really listening to them sometimes and I made some mistakes, some wrong choices. For example, to play against Cardiff was my call and they said it’s better you don’t. But I wanted to, and it didn’t work out. After that, I had to be honest and take my time, take my rest, because the next thing would’ve been an operation and you don’t want to go there.

“It feels really good now. It took a while, but now it’s feeling great.”

Having had to battle for fitness, Van Wolfswinkel now faces a battle to break into the team after City’s success with Johan Elmander and Gary Hooper leading the line – not that RVW is concerned.

“Actually, it’s the last thing I’ll worry about,” said smiled. “The main thing is I’m back on the pitch training, playing, available to be in the first 11 or to come off the bench. I’m just happy to be there.

“And of course, Hoops has made some great goals and that’s what we need. So I’m really happy for him, for us, and Johan’s playing well too, for me. So they’re a good couple – I’ll need to work hard to get back in.”

While his biggest summer outlay may be yet to bear most fruit, Chris Hughton is clearly excited at having his full, reinvented strike force properly available for the first time since putting it together.

“When we brought Ricky in, it was our first big signing ,” said the City boss. “When we brought Gary in, there was no guarantee or anything written that the two of them would play together. That’s the competition you want. What is good is that in what’s been a decent run for us, we want to keep that going and we’re able to bring someone of Ricky’s calibre. That’s very much a plus for us.

“We’ve been delighted with Ricky, with what he’s given us, because he works very hard for the team and even in the period where he came on at Sunderland, he came on with a specific role and did it very well.

“The injury came at a difficult time for him. Sometimes when you’re a striker you’ll hit it off straight away with goals, sometimes it takes a little longer to get into that stride. The period he’s been out might have been the period where he got into that stride and scored those goals.

“He’s very good to have around, a good character. It’s been a difficult time with the injury but we’re very much looking forward to what he can give us.”

13 comments

  • Would be great to see City set up for all out attach against Fulham with Hooper & RVW up front together. OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Agree with Trevor that RvW should start on the bench and come on earlier than many substitutions this season. An interesting dilemma, at home in particular, is how to play RvW and Hooper together, possibly in a 4 4 1 1 formation. There are plenty of support player options, with Hoolahan a good choice against Fulham. I wonder if a quality centre half will be purchased in January.

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    Capri

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Cheer up Ricky things will get better. You have already chosen the right team As I said to one chap who was singing the praises of a famous team in red and another in blue but was undecided who to support... ... "Your looking everywhere for a team thats fine and fair With fans beyond compare But there are lots of teams in red and lots of teams in blue But only one team in yellow and green and thats the team for you".

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    mardler

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • I would start with the same line up as last week but would like to see RVW and Wes introduced with at least half an hour to go. Elmander is the obvious one to come off for RVW and for me it would tend to be Redmond for Wes. The team could then form a 4,3,1,2 formation with Fer to the right, Johnson in the centre and Snodgrass to the right of a central midfield set up.

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    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Never wanted a player to come good so much for City - not just because of the price tag, it's just obvious there's a quality forward waiting to smash it.

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    JimBob

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Steely, how lovely of you to send me the box set, I've put it on the mantlepiece with the one I already have, we particularly enjoy listening to FM, no static at all, and of course, 'Here at the Western world'. Also welcome is 'The denizens of Bohemian London, and how best to avoid Camden market'. Keep an eye out for a Christmas song about Fulham, that I'm about to pen.

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • I suspect RVW needs a bit more time to get fully match fit so coming off the bench with 30 minutes to go against Fulham will do nicely. Still time to score a goal or two that is for sure.

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    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Steely, thanks you very much, very thoughtful. Gunny's book would be particularly welcome. I would imagine it must contain pages and pages of Gunny telling the world how marvellous he is so I will probably use it as a coffee table. The underwear is always useful when you support a football team whose manager appears to doubt his and his teams' ability. I suspect Hoots wears four or five pairs most of the week then doubles up on matchdays. Happy Christmas.

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    waclor

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Well Waclor ! I can't think of ANY Norwich player that's getting in a scoring position at the moment. So we might as build around Hooolahan. At Least he has the knack to create for others. Something sadly missing with our present set up. Finished plucking fo a while now, so will wish you all A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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    Pa Snipps

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • RVW and Hoops could make a great strikeforce. Let's hope so and for January 2014 to show as big an upturn as last January's downturn in the team's fortunes.

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    waclor

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Can't disagree TK and Capri, no point is rushing him and risking another injury through tiredness. I always thought RVW would be good in the Wes role. He has already proved he can set up a scoring chance for others and take chances set up for him. For me Wes, although an excellent player doesn't get into goal scoring positions or get enough goals. Centre half? Sure. I was sorry Curtis Davies went to Hull. Thought the Hoots link would entice him here or is Hoots after somebody better? Who will be leaving in January?

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    waclor

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Sadly Pa there's some truth in what you say at the moment but I don't think that building a team around Wes is going to happen any time soon. Like Vaughan, Holt and Fox, Wes does not appear to be a Hughton man and those who Hoots has not chosen don't get a game.

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    waclor

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • I know its silly and at this time of year most of you have better things to do (except me) but here are some of my comment(ors) xmas presents. Obviously there will be many pairs of underpants from the Chris Hughton Macro collection. These will go to Stew, Trevor, Norman, Waclor (he also gets a second hand copy of Gunny's book), Lobbo, Timbo, Pa, Old Timer and many others. Steady On NCFC Boy will get a copy of Dale Carnegie's 'How to win friends and influence people'. My mate Bill Punton will get a guide to Bohemian London and a Steely Dan boxed set. Slovenia will get a favourable reception from the European Bank when his country brings out the begging bowl. Dubai ,I don't know ,he seems to have everything, perhaps his own tankard in the Velocity Bar. Happy Christmas to all on the comment boards.

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    Steely Dan

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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

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