Norwich City cries Wolf
As Norwich City look to limp over the line with a series of draws, what has been evident this season is the vast improvement of the Canaries' defence, but what can't be ignored is their impotency up front. 2013 has seen City score just seven goals in the Premier League, and the club has acted with the signing of Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel; who arrives at Carrow Road in the summer.
April 12th, 2013
Taking advantage of Sporting’s dire financial situation, and agreeing to buy the Dutch international now for a good deal less than was quoted by the Portuguese club back in the January transfer window represents an excellent piece of business. Although the striker won’t sign for the club until July the Canaries appear to have stolen a march on their rivals – Newcastle and Liverpool have previously been linked with Van Wolfswinkel – by enabling Sporting to pay their staff in exchange for one of the hottest properties in Europe.
Given their top flight status and the sky-high figures involved in big name transfers these days, Robert Earnshaw’s status as City’s record signing for £3.5m in 2006 was never going to last – but what have the Canaries got in a player that cost more than double the club’s previous record signing? Since arriving in Portugal in 2011 Van Wolfswinkel has scored 43 goals in 83 games but more relevant to City’s current shot-shy attack is the statistic that in 2013 he has scored seven goals – the same amount as the whole of the team he is joining in a few months.
There are fears amongst the Yellow Army that a clause exists in Van Wolfswinkel’s contract that enables him to pull out of the deal should the club fail to avoid relegation in the final six games, but those at Carrow Road have stated that he will be a Norwich City player next season regardless of the division they find themselves in. Having said that, if the worst was to happen then I can’t imagine it will be too long after trips to the likes of Elland Road and Bloomfield Road before Ricky is on the phone to his agent.
Whilst Norwich City have been grinding out the points, being difficult to beat has also made them difficult to watch. Chris Hughton’s job this season is to ensure Premier League survival, and if that is achieved by approaching games in a cautious manner then so be it. Come 6pm on Sunday, May 19 and Norwich City find themselves sitting 17th or higher then it’s ‘job done’. However, City fans won’t accept this style of play next season, and hopefully signings like Ricky van Wolfswinkel, along with the attacking midfielder and two wide players that he was quoted were also coming to the club (which was quickly denied by Hughton) means they won’t have to.