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

Iwan Roberts celebrates with Craig Bellamy after the latter scored against Birmingham City in 1998.

Iwan Roberts celebrates with Craig Bellamy after the latter scored against Birmingham City in 1998. Picture: Keith Whitmore

The defeats against Everton and Fulham mean Norwich City have now failed to win in their last eight games, hovering only two points above the dreaded drop zone and falling at the first hurdle in the FA Cup.

For the ninth time in the Premier League this season the team failed to find the back of the net at Goodison and that will be a huge concern for everybody. In 21 Premier League games the Canaries have scored just 17 goals.

Only Stoke, Cardiff, and Crystal Palace have scored less goals than City this season, and it's something that's going to have to be sorted out if the club is to retain its top flight status.

To be fair Chris did start with both Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel against Everton and there were signs the partnership could blossom. If I were them I'd spend as much time together in order to get to know one another as well as they can. They should be living in each other's pockets to try and develop a strong partnership.

I look back to all the good strike partners I've played with: Phil Starbuck at Huddersfield, David Speedie at Leicester, and of course Bellers here at Norwich. We worked so hard on the training pitch to get an understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses which would see fruition on a Saturday afternoon.


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I had a great relationship with the three players I've mentioned, but we had to work hard at it, apart from perhaps with Craig where we hit it off straight away. It's like anything in life: if you want to be successful you have to work hard at it, and if you do you will eventually get your just rewards.

The first player to be brought to the club this transfer window is Argentinia international Jonas Gutierrez. The Newcastle midfielder has been brought to the club on loan until the end of the season.

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I have to admit it didn't fill me with too much excitement when I saw that he had joined the club. To be honest I'm not sure where his best position is. I've seen him play at left-back, left midfield and in the centre of midfield, but his most natural position is wide left.

Chris will know him well from his time at Newcastle, but I'm just not convinced he's the answer to the lack of creativity and goals that the clubs has had this season. His record of 18 goals in 403 career appearances is poor considering he's played as a midfielder for the best part of his career.

Mind you, he has represented his native Argentina on 22 occasions, and they do have some real quality to chose from.

Nonetheless, there are other positions in the team that needed strengthening more urgently as Chris had decent options in that wide left area before Gutierrez was brought in.

Another player who moved clubs this week was Grant Holt, with his former manager Paul Lambert, pictured together inset, taking him on loan to Aston Villa from Wigan.

Holty hasn't had the best of times since he left the club, only scoring twice in 16 games, so I have to say I was a bit surprised that Villa have taken him until the end of the season.

However, if anyone can get the best out of Grant it's Paul Lambert, and it wouldn't surprise me to see Holty scoring vital goals for Villa.

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