Its official the one dimensional striker is dead. Who needs a goal hanger in their First XI if you want to win the biggest prizes? Owen, Defoe, do you want these type of players to play against the best in the world?
If you do, you obviously do not want to win the biggest prizes in the biggest competitions. I can understand your doubt, but let us look at the facts. To start, can you name one team who have won the league Championship having a poacher in the strongest line-up, in the strongest leagues, e.g. Spain, Italy, England? How about winning the Champions league? To keep it current you can go back as far as six years.
Why six years, well we would have just seen Cristiano Ronaldo for example, so a lot has happened since then. I hear you say Samuel Eto’o and Ruud Van Nistlerooy for example. The difference is that these two were centre forwards in the sense that the ball can be played up to them and it sticks. Effectively they can play with their backs to goal and bring others into play.
The players I am speaking of are the players who specialise in running in behind defences and breaking the offside line, they are not the commodity they used to be. If we take Micheal Owens’ career as an example, let me tell you what you get. Owen is a great goal poacher, who apparently only needs ‘one chance’. Throughout his Liverpool career as number 1 striker he never contributed 20 goals in a Premier league season, that may have contributed to the fact that Liverpool never even came close to winning the league in his time there or winning the Champions League. He then moved to Real Madrid as an impact substitute and won nothing. He then moved to Newcastle, but by now he is blighted with injury and promptly gets relegated. And now he is a substitute striker for Manchester United. He scored goals for England where he was the main man, and again England didn’t win anything. If the team revolves around him they do not tend to win the biggest prizes.
Do I even have to go there with Jermain Defoe? His Champions medals cabinet at home must be as clean as the day he was born. It does not mean that these type of players will not win anything or make an impact, it is just that if you look at the best teams regardless of formation, international or club, the fox in the box is nowhere to be seen. My problem is that for in the majority of cases, during 80mins of football they are quite anonymous, and occasionally they will poach a goal in the last ten minutes.
If you want top level success you do not hope for a goal, but instead seek to create one with 11 players, and not 10 plus 1. But they do have a place in the game just in case for the last 10mins, (fresh legs can work wonders). There you have it, the slow death of the one- dimensional, goal poaching, goal hanging striker in the new game. By the way did you manage to find a poacher in a winning team starting line up in the last six years? Maybe two, three? International? Club? I thought not.