Elko Born takes a closer look at Norwich’s record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel. Where did he come from, and will he make it in the Premier League?
It must be difficult to be one of the Eredivisie’s top goalscorers. Especially if you’re dreaming of a move to the Premier League. Imagine this: You go to bed, stare at the ceiling, you think about the cheering crowds and getting goal of the month on Match Of The Day. Then, after finally falling asleep, you suddenly wake up, shocked and drenched in sweat. After a minute of pure confusion, you discern a greyish, translucent figure hovering over you.
It’s the ghost of Afonso Alves. He’s coming to haunt your dreams.
‘What have you ever accomplished?’ he shouts, as the hapless front man tries to hide under the duvet and think about Ruud van Nistelrooy. ‘The Eredivisie is ridiculously bad. It’s easy to score goals there!’
Yet despite all this, a move to the Premier League is everything most young, Dutch footballers want – strikers especially – because England is close by, the language barrier is easy to overcome, but first and foremost because, according to myth, goals scored in England are the best goals there are.
In England, the crowds cheer louder when the ball hits the net, young Dutch boys think. And besides that, a goal scored in England is by definition spectacular. In England, strikers score insane backwards headers and 40 yard belters. They don’t have to drop back to midfield and pass all too often, the defenders will just hoof the ball to you wherever you are. Continue reading