Where have all the goal scorers gone?

by Ashleigh Rose

Friday, April 10th, 2009

A good striker these days is hard to find

The premise to this beautiful game we love is simple, score more goals than your opposition and you’ll win. Obviously we all know it’s much more complexed than that once you’re on a footy field but your chances of getting on the score sheet are much better if you have something that’s becoming a rarity in today’s game – a bonafied twenty goal a season striker. Having seen first hand my own QPR team drop another two points last weekend with another 0-0 draw I know what difference having a striker in your team who knows how to put the ball in the back on the net could make – we’d certainly be a top six team if we did. So I’m even more baffled when a see a team like West Brom, who were promoted last season rooted to the bottom of the Premier League because despite playing some good football they struggle to score goals. And looking at their rag-tag bunch of strikers it’s easy to see why.

It shocks me though, that managers like Tony Mowbray get promoted into the top-flight and fail to recruit what I would deem a necessity at this level – a natural goalscorer. I know you don’t find these types of players growing on trees and they don’t come cheap but they could really be the difference between relegation and seventieth place. History will tell us that clubs like Ipswich stayed up thanks to a season of Marcus Stewart goals, or Sunderland thanks to the exploits of Kevin Phillips and even Stoke this season addressed this issue in January and made a wise move bringing in James Beattie. Who has of course, rewarded Stoke with six goals in his first ten games.. West Brom however are looking like they heading straight back to the Championship cos’ their entertaining football has lacked an end product with Ishmal Miller, Luke Moore and Roman Bednar being not good enough at this level, which for two of them at least is something most of us already knew. How the sale of Kevin Phillips last summer is looking foolish now and the failure to replace him even more so.

The Championship is no different and is just yet further evidence of what a difference a decent striker can make. The leagues player of the year rightly went to Wolves forward Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who should be playing Premier League football next season with Wanderers, while the other contenders Reading and Birmingham have had the luxury of Kevin Doyle and Kevin Phillips to call on if they need a goal.

I’m not saying this in an exact science and splashing out on a big striker will always guarantee reward but it definitely gives you more a fighting chance, after all as the cliché goes goals wins games – so managers take note.

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  • Stevie

    the days od Robbie Fowler, Henry, & Van Mistletoe scoring points point points in fantasy league teams are well gone. Who is the PL’s top scorer this season? ANelka? He has 14 goals!

    West Brom should of signed Beatie and they didnt, Stoke will stay up and will continue winning games by playing horrible football

  • Martin Tibbetts

    Its a good point you make. My boys, the Foxes are going up (it appears), mainly because for the first time in decades we have a 20 goal a season man in Fryatt (29 so far). Will he perform in the Championship, I don’t know, he failed to last time, but it accentuates the necessity of that role.

    England haven’t got one, not least because there are barely any English poachers getting a game in the premiership. Where have all the Clive Allens gone?

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