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Indy_Bones

RVW Article

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Hi guys,I''m sure many of you expected me to be flooding the boards last night with posts about RVW etc, but I''ve written an article instead, detailing his time here, my views on the whole transfer and a few things inbetween.Let me know your thoughts, but I do think it''s a relatively fair article, with only a hint of bias [;)][url]http://indybonestruth.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/ricky-van-wolfswinkel-journey-of-wolf.html[/url]

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All this boils down to is ''it''s everyone elses fault.''

Hughton didn''t play him right

Snodgrass took a penalty off him

The midfielders didn''t give him the service

St Ettiene didn''t play him right

St Ettiene didn''t sign him

Alex Neil wouldn''t play him right

Betis didn''t play him right

Betis preferred another player

At some point surely we''ve got to look at all of that and ask WHY? Why did none of the three teams want to adapt to suit him better? Why did he struggle unless played in one highly specific style? Why did nobody think ''this is a player we want to invest our time and money in.''

There is no mention of his weaknesses, no mention that he might possibly have played some part in his own fall from grace and no attempt to see it from the POV of the managers/teams in question.

He was a terrible signing- not because he''s a terrible player but because he was a terrible fit for us and for English football in general. No amount of goals in the Dutch league will change the fact he was a terrible flop for us.

But I reckon you knew my thoughts already.

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Snodgrass took the penalty because he had more self belief...

BUT also

Because the players knew from what they saw of RVW in training that he wasn''t good enough.

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Still amazed that you think Alex Neil should have changed our entire system and way of playing to shoehorn a player in that has scored 7 league goals in three seasons.

On the other hand, Ross McCormack has 66 in three seasons - over 9 times as many. Hopefully he''ll be playing up front for us next season.

Put simply, if the Wolf was good enough then one of our post Hughton managers would have given him a go. Some are just trotting out excuse after excuse for a player who was simply not good enough for Norwich City.

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[quote user="Hoola Han Solo"]Still amazed that you think Alex Neil should have changed our entire system and way of playing to shoehorn a player in that has scored 7 league goals in three seasons.[/quote]Three seasons where his total playing time equated to virtually a single full season of 38 games in terms of minutes played.Let''s ignore that over a full season in France he''d have been in double figures for goals (and nearly that for assists), let''s ignore that he was given just 600 minutes at Betis who were never going to drop their main striker in Castro especially when Castro was in great goalscoring form, and let''s ignore the apalling lack of supply and negative setup he got over here, apparently all that is irrelevant...As for ''changing our entire system'', do you genuinely believe it''s THAT hard to ask the midfielders to play certain types of balls instead of others in order to get the best out of a player? You only have to look at the crossing stats from the 13/14 season to see that we were TERRIBLE in this respect, with only THREE players managing at least 1 accurate cross per game (with 7, 5 and 3 inaccurate ones for each accurate one from those 3 players, and when even Simon Lappin used to manage that under Lambert!), and where only Snoddy managed to get a corner on target at least once per game.Let''s also ignore that we managed just 0.1 successful through balls per game that season, and that ALL of our strikers struggled for goals due to the dismal level of supply they were receiving in such a negative and slow system.Maybe a world class striker like Aguero or Ibrahimovic can make magic happen with that sort of limited ammunition, but NONE of our strikers were at that level, and trying to make them perform so far beyond their natural ability and preferred roles was simply a recipe for disaster that not only could we all see happening from week to week, we all complained about it happening, yet now it appears that Hughton can get off scot free despite being THE man responsible for setting us up like that, and instead the blame is being shifted on RvW somehow!The only reason RvW wasn''t selected by either Adams or AN is because the classic goalpoacher isn''t favoured these days, and neither wanted to play outside of the most commonly accepted tactical setup in the modern game, even though both RvW and Hooper would likely have benefitted tremendously from it, it was a diversion from the norm that they were just unwilling to risk, particularly if the decision hadn''t have paid off and they''d potentially both be getting a load of stick for even trying it rather than the established choice.Maybe he simply isn''t suited to the English game, maybe even if we had changed things to accomodate he''d have still failed to deliver the goods, but when so many things conspired against the guy and when so much was setup to play in almost the exact opposite way as to how he''d played for both Utrecht and Lisbon, then I think it''s completely unfair to write the guy off when he was NEVER given the supply here to prove otherwise (and when he did get slightly better supply at St.Etienne, lo and behold he scored more goals!).

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Agree with GJP Snodgrass took the pen as he believed in himself and lacked belief in Van Wolfswinkel. I don''t recall him putting up much of a fight either when it happened. He just looked bemusedly at the bench. It was similar with the runs he was making. Where as they were good I don''t think the players believed he could do anything if they played him in due to the lack of pace, first touch and strength. I think that too much blame is placed on others for his failings. He knew what he was being signed to do and he said himself at the first press conference that he believed he could do it. We obviously now know otherwise.

I would also suggest that Hughtons tactics weren''t totally negative at the start of the season but they became more and more so as he realised he didn''t have the strikers to score enough goals to win games if we conceded. This then snowballed into what we saw near the end of his reign which was a more rigid approach than we were used to particularly in contrast to what we had seen previously under Lambert. I think that contrast also makes it seem worse than it was for the previous year of Hughtons reign as we had had lots of swashbuckling attacking for three years and any approach that was more balanced seemed negative in comparison.

Also his "serious ankle injury" was a toe sprain wasn''t it?

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Dead Canary - you say that rvw knew what he was being signed to do but surely the manager knew what he wanted him to do as well, so, as he was so unsuited to that role why did he sign him.

Neither RvW or Hooper were suited to Hughton''s style of play yet he spent over £12M on the two.

There lies the biggest blame.

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Ultimately a player who had several good seasons before moving to Norwich but who never fitted into English football. Not the first striker it has happened to, and certainly won''t be the last. The summer RvW signed Fulham bought Mitroglu and Southampton bought Osvaldo - out of those three Norwich did the best but that isn''t saying much.

Whether the one poor season ruined Ricky''s mentality and confidence, or the successful season were anomalies we will never really know. Although poor form and low confidence should really last for 2/3 seasons.

Norwich did the right thing in looking for loan moves for him until they could sell up as he was never going to justify his wages and freeing those up allowed other players to come into the team - primarily Cameron Jerome who fired Norwich back into the Prem by scoring 21 goals.

I really hope RvW can start scoring again and salvage his career in Holland - he comes across a nice guy and is certainly popular among the other players. He also never kicked off while at Norwich or bad mouthed the club when I''m sure he had 100s of opportunities to do so.

I suspect the reason so many people love him is the excitement they felt when Norwich announced the signing, it felt like a real step-change at the club.

I don''t understand fans who get angry or feel the need to insult players who are performing as well as they can, even if it falls short of what is required. As long as they put 100% in, which Ricky certainly did, then you can''t fault them.

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Sure yellow wall he got it wrong too, as did the scouting and whoever was advising. My gripe here isn''t about who made the mistake but in the way a very narrow view is being portrayed by the blame being everyone''s but Rickys. He could have turned down the move too if he didn''t think he would be suited to the style he was being asked to play. I am just glad he''s gone and hopefully we can all forget about him until the next "worst premier league strikers" list comes about and I can hopefully look back and laugh about it because we are a premier league club with a half decent striker.

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Excellent article. There''s a saying in football about trying to make a system fit the players, as opposed to trying to make the players fit a system. I think RVW was a victim of the latter, and it makes me wonder exactly how much say Hughton had in his arrival at Norwich.

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Ricky was Hughton''s pick, 100%. He''d already tried to sign him while at Newcastle.

I fully believe CH wanted to change Norwich''s system in that season.

The Everton game he played Benno, Redmond and Hoolahan and Norwich really went for it. However, a bit like AN, he decided that more defensive, controlled, system was the best bet to avoid relegation.

I think, like last season, had Hughton stuck to his more attacking intentions Norwich would have survived but we will obviously never knew and it could have been even worse.

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To be fair to Hughton he struggled to get his first team all fit at once.

I remember, the one game I saw where you could actually see what he wanted to do was West Ham away. For a good 75 minutes we dominated- we had Hooper upfront with Fer, Redmond and Snodgrass interchanging behind him. We created chance after chance (which we missed) before Hughton''s natural conservatism seemed to kick in and he made two terrible substitutions that allowed West Ham to take control. We lost 2-0. Seemed to sum up that season.

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[quote user="king canary"]To be fair to Hughton he struggled to get his first team all fit at once.

I remember, the one game I saw where you could actually see what he wanted to do was West Ham away. For a good 75 minutes we dominated- we had Hooper upfront with Fer, Redmond and Snodgrass interchanging behind him. We created chance after chance (which we missed) before Hughton''s natural conservatism seemed to kick in and he made two terrible substitutions that allowed West Ham to take control. We lost 2-0. Seemed to sum up that season.[/quote]

Aah yes, only Hughton could have believed Elamander (who couldn''t hold the ball) on for Hooper would make us defensively more solid. Ball just kept bouncing off Elmander!

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Yep, Elmander on for Hooper and Pilkington (just back from injury) for Redmond. I remember my West Ham supporting friend after the game mentioning how relieved he was that we''d taken Redmond off as he was having a stormer.

Totally summed up Hughton''s cowardice as a manager really.

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Good effort to try to analyse what went wrong. After two good seasons in the prem we tried to upgrade but it turned into a disaster.

Similar thing hapenned on January. We have got to avoid making the same mistakes and stop blaming individual players.

Otherwise we will always at best, be bouncing between the two divisions.

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[quote user="Felixfan"]He was so good that for many games defenders stopped marking him.[/quote]Which makes perfect sense.If we''re not going to pass the guy any sort of decent ball to work with, why should the defenders bother marking him.Game after game we saw RvW making some great runs, and all that happened was either Snoddy ignored him and instead focused on slowing the play down and trying to beat his man for the 5th time in a row, or the other players sent over balls that even Peter Crouch wouldn''t have been able to get on the end of...No supply = No Threat = No Point In Marking

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I understand the point Indy is making and to be fair, midway through his first season here I was making similar cases for him, but to do it now is bordering on the insane, in my opinion.
Rather than my pointed jibes at RvW, i''ll be genuine for a second and when he first signed what I saw was:
1) A guy with little pace or strength, but a willingness to work hard up front.
2) A player who made intelligent runs which created a bit of space, but was rarely fed the ball in those situations.
3) Someone that could pass the ball short distances to players around him but didn''t really link anything up.
Other than that, it was quite clear he was exceptionally weak for a striker - there''s plenty of small strikers i''ve seen that are stronger than him, even as recently as Curo and Jackson - i''ve also seen smaller players hold onto the ball better than him - Hoolahan being a good example of that. He may have been a good finisher but we never saw it - one header doesn''t say anything either way (although no-one can deny it was a good finish, intentional or not) and can easily be countered by that Cardiff game at home where RvW had several chances and squandered them all.
It also became clear he wasn''t particularly quick. Big, tall defenders didn''t have to worry about him running in behind as it was quite easy to catch up with him, put a bit of pressure on him and take the ball away. 
He also didn''t seem the natural goalscorer people thought he was - nothing was really based on instinct and on several occasions he spent too much time thinking about what he was going to do rathe than doing it and getting caught out.
Then there was the Snodgrass penalty incident. People blamed Snodgrass but the key thing for me was no other players seemed to want Ricky to take it - no-one came to his defence and throughout the season you got the feeling that the players around RvW didn''t really think too much of him as a player. It was also clear at that point, to me, that RvW didn''t have the balls to assert himself anyway. A record-signing striker letting a scottish winger take a pen ahead of him? 
At the end of the season some excused RvW for Hughton''s style of play. If that didn''t work as an excuse then it was Snodgrass'' fault, even though he was our only relatively effective player that year and has done far more for NCFC at much less of a cost than RvW - but there we go.
St Etienne was his next move and 5 league goals for his campaign. Nothing special and after playing him for the first part of the season he ended up on the bench - deemed not good enough for them and no purchase came.
Real Betis a similar story but less goals, less minutes, and even less wanted.
So, we''ve got be a bit logical here and is it that:
- Hughton
- Hughtons backroom staff
- Neil Adams
- Alex Neil
- Alex Neil''s backroom staff
- St Etienne
- St Etienne Manager & Staff
- Real Betis
- Real Betis Manager & Staff
are all in the wrong, or is it that:
- Ricky Van Wolfswinkel
is in the wrong? Numbers alone are a great suggestion for probability but the fact we''re talking professional managers, coaches and scouts here holds an even bigger weight.
The truth, really, is that Ricky is a striker who has no pace, no exemplary ball control, no strength, no particular skill and seems to lack the mental strength too to ever be a good striker in England.

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First let me start with a thank you for such a well reasoned response Hog, and now onto my response [:)][quote user="hogesar"]Rather than my pointed jibes at RvW, i''ll be genuine for a second and when he first signed what I saw was:
1) A guy with little pace or strength, but a willingness to work hard up front.
2) A player who made intelligent runs which created a bit of space, but was rarely fed the ball in those situations.
3) Someone that could pass the ball short distances to players around him but didn''t really link anything up.[/quote]I wouldn''t disagree with ANY of that.In fact, RvW is a bit of an anomaly in the modern game in that he almost one and only job is to stick the ball in the net. These types of players have been on the decline for the past decade (and more), very few teams can afford to carry a player like that, and even fewer of those are outside of Europe''s elite (not to say that they''re not there, but they really are few and far between). But it should have been clear from day one (assuming the scouts were even vaguely competent) that this is exactly the type of player we were buying, and that this sort of player simply can''t be shoehorned into a totally different system and expect everything to be ok - it won''t/
[quote]Other than that, it was quite clear he was exceptionally weak for a striker - there''s plenty of small strikers i''ve seen that are stronger than him, even as recently as Curo and Jackson - i''ve also seen smaller players hold onto the ball better than him - Hoolahan being a good example of that. He may have been a good finisher but we never saw it - one header doesn''t say anything either way (although no-one can deny it was a good finish, intentional or not) and can easily be countered by that Cardiff game at home where RvW had several chances and squandered them all.[/quote]Again, a lot of sense here, and again it ties in completely with my previous point, RvW is a pure out and out goalpoacher, nothing more, nothing less. He doesn''t want time to be able to dither with the ball before shooting, he doesn''t want to be having to dribble past 2 men before slotting one in the corner, he simply wants a good ball into him so that he can instinctively hit it and chances are it''ll likely go in far more than it misses.It''s a VERY limited role, in fact many would say that it''s simply TOO limited for the modern game, and certainly for the way we play over here, but again, we knew what we were getting from the start and still made the transfer.
It also became clear he wasn''t particularly quick. Big, tall defenders didn''t have to worry about him running in behind as it was quite easy to catch up with him, put a bit of pressure on him and take the ball away. 
[quote]He also didn''t seem the natural goalscorer people thought he was - nothing was really based on instinct and on several occasions he spent too much time thinking about what he was going to do rathe than doing it and getting caught out.[/quote]Being fair, there really were very few opportunities where it was handed to him on a plate and he utterly screwed it up. I''m not saying he didn''t have some bad misses, and it''s not all the teams fault either, but it was actually pretty rare to see him being supplied with the type of balls he''d previously thrived on at both Lisbon and Utrecht (quality of leagues accepted), so how can we really assess this part of his game fairly when the supply genuinely was utterly garbage the majority of the time (let''s not forget that ALL of our strikers struggled with this as well).
[quote]Then there was the Snodgrass penalty incident. People blamed Snodgrass but the key thing for me was no other players seemed to want Ricky to take it - no-one came to his defence and throughout the season you got the feeling that the players around RvW didn''t really think too much of him as a player. It was also clear at that point, to me, that RvW didn''t have the balls to assert himself anyway. A record-signing striker letting a scottish winger take a pen ahead of him? [/quote]Hughton stated afterwards that RvW was the appointed penalty taker, that he should have taken the pen, and that in truth he wasn''t overly impressed with Snoddy for doing what he did. Regardless of whether or not his teammates rated him that much, his penalty scoring record was fantastic, and what''s more - the manager had clearly stated that pens should have been taken by RvW so WTF was Snoddy thinking acting how he did? As for asserting himself, I think RvW isn''t an overly assertive player, and he was probably in a bit of both shock and surprise in seeing a teammate virtually shove him off the pen despite the managers instructions, which is why he looked towards the bench as if to say "WTF is going on here boss - sort it out", sadly it didn''t get sorted out and Snoddy then f**ked the pen up (or Guzan made a great save depending on your perspective [:)])
[quote]At the end of the season some excused RvW for Hughton''s style of play. If that didn''t work as an excuse then it was Snodgrass'' fault, even though he was our only relatively effective player that year and has done far more for NCFC at much less of a cost than RvW - but there we go.[/quote]It''s hard not to be the most effective player when virtually all the teams attacks are filtered through you, and you ''hog'' the ball unnecessarily too often when a good pass is on instead. That''s not to say that Snoddy was a bad player - far from it, but he slowed play down massively, rarely gave any of the forwards the supply that really suited and frequently spent too much time pi$$ing around with the ball on the wing. On the flip side he was one of the few at times who seemed to give his all, took a mean free kick, was often frequently vocal and although there was a tad too much diving for my liking, I can''t deny that it was often effective!
[quote]St Etienne was his next move and 5 league goals for his campaign. Nothing special and after playing him for the first part of the season he ended up on the bench - deemed not good enough for them and no purchase came.[/quote]What''s interesting is that the player who''d been rotating with him over the season (Erdinc), also only managed 3 goals from the time RvW was dropped towards the end of Feb, right through to the end of the season, and apart from Gradel, Erdinc and RvW, there wasn''t a single player in the St.Etienne squad that managed more than 4 league goals all season.But as I''ve mentioned a couple of times previously, based on his minutes to goal ratio, had RvW not been benched and had he continued with the ratios that he''d had in the first half of the season, he''d have finished with approx 11 goals and 8/9 assists, not exactly too shabby (if nothing amazing either).
[quote]Real Betis a similar story but less goals, less minutes, and even less wanted.[/quote]Yep, a very strange move by Betis, who clearly had ZERO intention of dropping Castro at virtually any point over the season, which left RvW and Molina fighting over the backup striker role and I simply don''t think RvW was ever given a fair crack of the whip, and certainly he was only given a full 90 minutes TWICE in the whole season. Now maybe this is because Pepe Mel didn''t rate what he saw in training, maybe it''s simply because Castro was on good form and there was simply no good reason to justify changing him, or maybe it was something else entirely, we simply don''t know, but it''s almost impossible to fairly judge a players performance when they only start 5 games all season, when most of their other apps are limited to 30 mins or less, and when they never get to play more than 4 games on the trot to build up momentum and fully get on their teammates wavelength.
[quote]So, we''ve got be a bit logical here and is it that:
- Hughton
- Hughtons backroom staff
- Neil Adams
- Alex Neil
- Alex Neil''s backroom staff
- St Etienne
- St Etienne Manager & Staff
- Real Betis
- Real Betis Manager & Staff
are all in the wrong, or is it that:
- Ricky Van Wolfswinkel
is in the wrong? Numbers alone are a great suggestion for probability but the fact we''re talking professional managers, coaches and scouts here holds an even bigger weight.[/quote]Here''s how I see it:
Hughton - So wrong it''s not funny, knew exactly what RvW was about, then played him the exact opposite way in a horribly defensive and negative setup. In fact, it''s difficult for me to convey just exactly how wrong I think Hughton was here.
Hughtons backroom staff - Wrong, they should have pointed out to CH that he was utterly mis-using their record signing and told him to sort his life out
Neil Adams - neither, just didn''t feel RvW suited the system
Alex Neil - as with NA
Alex Neil''s backroom staff - as above
St Etienne - Decent job, but enough to justify a near 5mil transfer - maybe not, so somewhat understandable
St Etienne Manager & Staff - As above
Real Betis - Utterly clueless, clearly no intention of playing him anywhere near regularly, was probably just seen as a decent striker to fill a backup slot, and never likely to have been signed (unless Castro broke his leg in game 1 and RvW then carried them for much of the season)
Real Betis Manager & Staff - As aboveRicky Van Wolfswinkel - A very limited striker who''s physique was never quite a match for the English game, but who did the best he could despite being totally mis-played, given little to no supply by his teammates, and then shuffled around for the following 2 seasons. RvW absolutely does have to accept some responsibility as clearly he took a big hit to his confidence and I don''t think he''s ever fully recovered which clearly had a big impact on his play (and probably explains that god awful ''ghost'' pass at Fulham), but remained professional throughout and I firmly believe that if he''s used correctly at Vitesse (and yes, the league IS clearly much weaker than the Prem/Ligue 1/La Liga), he''ll soon regain that confidence and goalscoring, and thus possibly be securing a ''last chance saloon'' move to another relatively large club - assuming they''re willing to accept all the downsides and simply play to his 1 or 2 genuine key strengths.
[quote]The truth, really, is that Ricky is a striker who has no pace, no exemplary ball control, no strength, no particular skill and seems to lack the mental strength too to ever be a good striker in England.[/quote]Again, I''d probably agree with almost all of that, but I just wish we''d given him a decent level of supply on a consistent basis so that he could genuinely demonstrate his goalscoring ability and instinct, at which point the majority of us would likely have been happy to overlook his obvious weaknesses because he''d potentially have been banging them in for fun making the rest somewhat irrelevant.At the end of the day, I''m not blind, nor am I some blinkered clown who''s unwilling to see a players faults, but in RvW''s case, I genuinely believe that very little of what transpired (certainly in that first season) was actually his fault, that instead it was Hughton who utterly f**ked up with his dire brand of football that did NOTHING to provide RvW with the supply he absolutely needed to even vaguely perform, and this was after he''d supposedly had his eye on the player for quite some time, but somehow thought he''d be a good fit as a target man instead of the naturally limited goalpoacher he is. He then repeated the same error with Hooper, but as Hooper was slightly more well rounded a player than RvW he was able to adapt a tad better, but it was still a shocking misuse of both players, and Hughton HAS to take the blame for that.

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Good posts Hog and Indy. In truth, the only thing that stopped RVW and Hooper from scoring more was the limited chances created by the team.  I blame Snodgrass for a lot of the slow team play - but then you could blame Hughton for not being strong enough with him.  So few chances being created by a slow build up play taken to the nth degree by a selfish winger.   As said, Snodgrass was the key man that season  - but he made himself so and although he scored a few welcome goals, there were countles times match, after match, after match, where he simply ran into dead ends time after time after time.  Predictable, restricting for the other players in the team, particularly the forwards - and ultimately cost the team points through his attempt at being the one man show he wanted to be at the expense of others - the penalty incident being a prime example.  Harsh, maybe, but selfishness has a place in football if the player being selfish is being successful for the team.  Snodgrass achieved some success, but the cost of that success was relegation. The combination of manager and players was just all wrong that season, ultimately Hughton was responsible for that, but the players and Snodgrass in particular did not help him.  RVW tried to play his natural game and when that failed he had no fall back position, but then you have to take into account that Johnson was playing in central midfield for a large part of the season due to injuries to Howson Tettey and Fer at various times and Redmond was rarely effective enough.  Just an appalling season all round and RVW was just a part of that. He will probably score quite a few goals at Vitesse where he is known and where he spent his youth.  He will be played in his natural position, find plenty of space in the lesser league and will likely return to his best.  Now he is gone from Norwich, the last relics of that awful season are nearly gone and we can surely move on now.

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Snodgrass was guilty of slowing play down (and also guilty of not tracking back that well).

But I would much rather see him play for Norwich again than RVW or Hooper.

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[quote user="GJP"]Snodgrass was guilty of slowing play down (and also guilty of not tracking back that well).

But I would much rather see him play for Norwich again than RVW or Hooper.[/quote]

Hear,Hear.

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Absolutely. I find it odd that people still try and blame RVWs shortcomings on players that DID perform for us.

He was a flop, a dud and despite being the signing that excited us most never, ever looked like similarly exciting us on the pitch.

He was crap. We move on.

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[quote user="DDD In The Fine City"]this whole thread sums up this message board, if only hitler wanted to gas stupid people it might have caught on[/quote]The answer is simple if you don''t like this messageboard don''t read it as there are alternatives around but mind you a post like yours Ben would have been deleted that is for sure. Of course there are like minded people around who post elsewhere and sarcastically refer to the Pink Un as '' the intellectual arm of our fan base '' . Funny how they just cannot help reading it though !

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