stealthpapesYou see, part of me thinks the strikers are an issue (after all, they aren’t scoring). But having thought about it, how many times have “poor strikers” gone on to be successful elsewhere? Grabban is class for Forest and was for Sunderland, couldn’t score for us. Vydra for Derby was scoring for fun, couldn’t score for us. Sharp has scored goals for fun everywhere, couldn’t score for us. Even Murray wasn’t great for us but in his defence, he did notch quite a few. For all our good play in the second half against Swansea, we still created minimal chances
We have tended, recently, to buy strikers and throw them in without seeming to take into account how they played and the systems they were in previously. Vydra, Sharp, Murray are all very different styles of strikers, so you're going to have to set up differently around them to get the best out of them. The only one that really stands out is Martin but I'm confident that's due to ... ahem .. personal issues.
Grabban is a slightly different case. We brought him in and made him play behind the central striker (Kermorgant) - its really noticeable in the play off final that his job was to try and hold the ball up between the Huddersfield penalty area and the halfway line. This might have been related to Kermorgant's rapidly decreasing mobility, tbh. When he moved to Villa a short while later, they had him playing as a like for like replacement for the injured Kodija.
As a counter example, think back to 2011-12, with Roberts, Hunt, Church and Le Fondre. There was a clear plan about how they would be used, with Hunt and Roberts typically initial terrier and battering ram combo but different substitutions to suit different match situations.
Good post. I saw something today with Martin, said he was playing through with an injury for some of his time here. May have explained his attitude
It’s always good for strikers to have clear roles. I’m not sure asking Puscas to hold the ball up is the greatest idea. As I’ve said many times before, play a player to their strengths and they’ll succeed. Don’t try and shoehorn them in the way you want to play because most probably it won’t work