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Discussion Starter #1
After a season of complaining about our strikers not being clinical enough, I'd like to .. disagree! There are types of strikers, some are hard workers with not so much end product (i.e. Smith). Some are clinical but with little work to do aside from that (arguebly Ruud, Henry and Van Persie). And some are a mix of both, and our strikers fall under that category.

I'll use last season (2006/07) as an example. First half, Rooney was playing off Saha then off Larsson, he did so much work in midfield but had very little end product. Towards the end of the season when Larsson left and Saha got injured, he was asked to play the lone role, obliged to hold the line and not track back and what happened ? He was absolutely clinical towards the end of the season.

Raul falls under the same category I believe. A very hard working forward with a clinical touch. Last year he went through a dry spell, was working hard to come out of it. so hard that he forgot that he should be in and around the box. In fact, he was chasing shadows back in his own half. This year, with the arrival of Sneijder and the new 4-3-1-2 formation, Raul was mostly in and around the box at all time. Thus, was in the mental state to have one of his best seasons for a while.

The arrival of Tevez rurther strengthened my belief that a striker can be absolutely clinical, but when he works too hard, he simply doesnt have that calmness about him to put the ball in the back of the net regularly. People blame him for missing easy chances, and rightly so since its his job, but the guy works TOO hard in the middle third that he simply isnt in the best of shape once he gets the ball inside the penalty box.

Proven goal scorers like Ruud, Henry, Ronaldo, Crespo and co might work for the team but not as hard as the above mentioned. They know that their job is to score goals whereas Rooney and Tevez want to take part in the build up play, want to chase back and stuff. Whoever has seen Tevez in his early years knows what am talking about. One on ones were absolute goals for him, you;d bet your house on it. He was that calm and confident in front of goal.

Drogba is a perfect example. In his first season he did so much for Chelsea, worked hard at creating openings for his teammates but didnt score that much himself. But when he started playing on top on his own, parking himself in the final third, we saw how deadly he really is. Teams might be gaining something when their forwards do so much work defensively, but they lose more IMO. When Rooney chases someone 80 yards back then sprints 80 yards forward and gets a chance believe me, he wont score.

I believe our strikers are clinical enough but at the moment they are just working too hard for the team. I've been trying to find reasons to why Ronaldo has been pushed up front on alot of occasions and I believe this is one of them. He always seems to have that freshness and calmness about him in the final third. He might not do that much for the team defensively, but 42 goals speak for themselves. And I believe the amount of work Rooney and Tevez do compared to Ronaldo's and when you look at the amount of goals they scored compared to him, is no coencidence.
 

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well maybe so, but if you take tevez's work ethic away you dont have the true carlos tevez, so i'd rather him not have those 5-10 tap ins and have his work rate and team play instead and the same for rooney, but i do get your point
 

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Hey,

That's some amazing analysis. Would have to look at stats from players who have scored big but the examples of Raul and Ronaldo does make your theory spot on.

Cheers,
Shanky
 

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both tevez and rooney will continue to work like that, goals scoring record does not bother them or me as long as they put in performances after performances in games. u need not score a bunch of goals to be excellent, tevez and rooney are not penalty box players, they will contribute much less if they stay in the box and not involved in the build up play. so as long as they can keep up the work, and keep improving, i dont think we shld be too concerned.
 

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I'm not agree Henry was not a squad player..However there are a lot of type of strikers. Rooney and Tevez are fantastic but I don't think that if they stays in the penalty box they can scores like Ruud or other great forwards. For me the best parternship is a skillfull and hard worker (like Wazza or Tevez) and a clinical finisher (like Ruud or Huntelaar).

In Man Utd there is Ronaldo that is a winger but come on..he defends never (typical behaviour of a striker) so we can play well using two 'defensive' forwards (Roo and Tev).

I think that without Ronaldo, our capacity of scoring is halfed (I don't know if this is the right word :) ) I hope you can undertand me ;) so wee need the hunteeeer
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not debating wether its good or bad for a team to have such strikers. I'm merely saying that to the people who suggest that we buy a 'clinical' striker cause ours arent clinical enough, it wouldnt make much of a difference.

Its the formation that we play in thats determining how our forwards play. Like I said, Ronaldo only stared scoring goals for fun when we started to play with deep laying forwards which allowed him to spend more time in the final third. And whenever he didnt play, like Arsenal in the cup or Villa away, we saw a different Wayne Rooney basically.

This system seems to be working for us perfectly. When people say that we need a clinical striker, that would call for a change of formation and if we're gonna do that, Wayne and Tevez would flourish anyway cause they are clinical enough.


@ Shanky : Such stats are difficult to find mate cause it involves calculating the amount of ground a forward covers/ the amount of time the forward spends in the final third which is not recorded. But you rarely see someone like Crespo tracks back do you ? But, you rarely see someone like Crespo miss a good chance. Its just an observation, it isnt factual enough.
 

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good job keano's , good analysis. but we have to take into consideration ronaldo's leaving. and with him gone , i think we need a clinical stiker very much.

i think buying a clinical striker is " just in case" ronaldo leaves. and even if he stays , fergie can try different tactics and see if they work.
and also...lets say we need to score a goal and there are only 5 minutes to play , then a clinical one would be just fine. so i think eitheer way , its not a bad deal.
 

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The bottom line is that Saha is gone and we will need an accomplished striker. And while I agree with the analysis below, I think that a good target man would give us the ability to offer differing 'looks' to the opposition, making us even more difficult to defend.
 

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This does not explain a player's finishing!

Raul and Drogba would put the ball away when in a one-on-one situation with a goalkeeper.

Rooney and Tevez have had some terrible misses.

Your arguments would explain the lack of goals, but not the lack of accuracy.

With Rooney, he had many, many gilt-edged chances that he simply did not put away.

Rooney and Tevez working hard outside the box explains why they didn't get as many chances as they should have it does NOT explain why they did not put them away.

I suspect the answer is of a more psychological nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Would you be so confident in Drogba putting a chance away after he's ran 70 yards to win the ball back and start the move then making himself available to finish it ?

I did mention that the way I see it, if a player is chasing opponents for 70 minutes all over the pitch, much like Tevez and Rooney do, when he gets a chance in the 80th minute he wouldnt be able to score cause he's mentally unprepared. Tiredness come into effect here. When someone doesnt run as often as these two gets a chance, he'd have more calmness about him to put it away.

The players as professional and hard trainers as they are, arents robots. They cant be in their top condition at all times. When a striker doesnt do much running and chasing, he has more of a chance to score cause he's fine mentally. But when a striker covers so much ground, he'd be mentally and physically exhausted which is the point Im trying to make.
 

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Great post KF, and an interesting point of view indeed.
I hadn't really thought about it like that before, so it has definitely given
us some food for thought. I see where you are coming from, but being
exhausted cant be the whole factor. We see Tevez adn Rooney chasing
about like mad men for 90 minutes, so surely they wouldn't be too exhausted
if they ran the 70 yards in the first 10 minutes or so.

From playing myself, I know how hard it is to execute a finish if I have been
chasing all around the pitch for the ball. Basically I'm too knackered to even
kick the poxy ball, but I'm not a professional......

so shouldn't they be slightly more clinical in these situations?
or are you just looking for excuses for their poor finishing (at times)?

Jusrt throwing a few questions out there, but I have to say, I generally
agree with everything you have written, and it's certainly not something
I have thought about before, so thanks for bringing it to my attention :)

I still think we need a 'clinical' striker to play ahead of one of them,
but I'd be just as happy having Tevez & Rooney starting games next season.

In terms of goals neither of them got to the 20 mark, but in terms of what they
gave the team, they are priceless.

Good thread Abby ;-)
 

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Its certainly true in terms of Rooney anyway.

He works his bum :)p) off for the team and creates an untold amount of chances as
well as bagging a few himself, although someone of his quality should be getting
more.

Ronaldo wouldn't have hit anywhere the 40 goal mark this season had Wazza
been more selfish.

The team work is great to watch and its lovely to see the free flowing style of
play.

My view is more on Rooney then the team.

Call the thread, Rooney effort = less goals



I hope Wayne reasserts himself and we'll see the best of him next season
because he owes himself a great season and if that means shooting rather then
squaring then so be it. I have never criticised a Rooney effort on goal because he's
capable of so much and its that tiny part of his game, the "....I'm through, but I'll
lay it off for Ronnie or Carlos...." attitude of his that limits his chances and
therefore cant really hit any sort of momentum....
 

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Keano's fan said:
Would you be so confident in Drogba putting a chance away after he's ran 70 yards to win the ball back and start the move then making himself available to finish it ?

I did mention that the way I see it, if a player is chasing opponents for 70 minutes all over the pitch, much like Tevez and Rooney do, when he gets a chance in the 80th minute he wouldnt be able to score cause he's mentally unprepared. Tiredness come into effect here. When someone doesnt run as often as these two gets a chance, he'd have more calmness about him to put it away.

The players as professional and hard trainers as they are, arents robots. They cant be in their top condition at all times. When a striker doesnt do much running and chasing, he has more of a chance to score cause he's fine mentally. But when a striker covers so much ground, he'd be mentally and physically exhausted which is the point Im trying to make.
And what is your excuse for when he gets the chance in the first half of the match?
 

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I think the thing with Rooney is that he is a 'confidence' striker. We've seen him when he goes on those scoring runs where whenever he touches the ball it goes in, bbut then we have also miss chance after chance. Usually with Wayne once he scores in back to back matches he will go on a little scoring run, no matter how much team work he does. Altough this season his finishing has been particularly bad.

I seem to remembr Fergie sayin earlier in the season that Wayne needs to stop tracking back, but then its in his nature to do so as he is not an out and out striker.

I partly agree with the thread starter, excpet sometimes i think some people aren't a good finisher, Tevez for example, same with Saha, anyone remember at the start of the 06/07 season when Saha missed all those 1 on 1's?

It just depends on the individual sometimes. In the early days of RVN'd carrer he did a lot of work, yet he still scored every chance he got, it was the same in the later stage of his time with us, only his work ethic had been lost because he lost the bit of pace that he had due to injuries, age etc.

We need a balance, someone who will work hard for the team, but also a player that has a decent ratio in terms of chances - to - goals.
 

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Very interesting and highly contentious thread indeed, K'sF. Good material for good debate and a totally fresh angle of looking at things too.

I believe that both Rooney's and Tevez's inputs are sometimes easily overlooked and underrated because we always conciously remember them as strikers. So much so that when their goal tallies are not as great as they should be, we tend to unconciously 'feel' they may have perhaps underperformed their key role as a striker.

True though by numbers, I do suspect. I don't have the necessary statistics so I may still be wrong but at least for Rooney, and probably Tevez too, I am pretty sure the conversion ratio must not be looking too pretty at all. Even now at this very moment, I can already recall some glaring and unbelievable misses.

However, their inputs and hard work were really critical for us in this Double-winning season. There were many instances in the season when we were not on top of our game and we really appreciated what they put in the game just to help us to avoid defeats or to weather some storms and eventually emerged as victors. They ran up and down the field, hassled the keepers and defenders, tracked back incessantly throughout the game to help out in the defensive works (Rooney even had to cover the defenders on few occasions) and at the same time, pulled the strings moving forward when we turned offensive.

Coming back to their fundamental role as strikers.

Perhaps running 80 yards up and down is indeed a bit too much to expect them to next put the chances away. A key point here, however, is they are good as link-up men, coming in from deep. But yes, they DO need a good finisher or target man to play off to be more effective and devastating in the department of scoring goals. Rooney was excellent when he first bursted into the England scene playing off Owen but faded into obscurity when he played as a lone forward. He was also seemingly better when he first played off RVN in our colours. In contrast, playing him in some United games as a winger was distinctively disastrous offensively although it helped us in containing some threats down the wings. I suspect the same for Tevez.

Unfortunately, with the persistent injury of Saha, we were really down to the bare bone of having only Rooney and Tevez, both in similar vein, as our only strikers. While they did their part as linkup men and worked extraordinarily hard to cover us defensively too, they were just not being effective in the department of scoring goals without someone else to play off.

RFR does have a point though. Not converting the chances itself is indeed a separate issue and a valid concern no doubt. And I also suspect it is not because they are woeful strikers but rather a psychological one BECAUSE of all other works they put in the game for us as aforementioned, perhaps they unconciously do not 'feel' sharp like a striker in the game itself and along the way lost some composure, confidence and sharpness in front of goal. And having both together just accentuated the problem.

Having a target man like Manucho or some proven goal scorer would make a vast difference to how they 'feel' on the pitch. They will just not be providers of opportunities to their team mates but they will also receive some knockdowns or some return passes into their paths for them to 'regain' their sense of scoring respoonsibilites, and would most likely be more involved around the box rather than running 80 yards up and down, and then linked up offensive moves again, looking to feed some team mates.

Just my hypothesis. But I won't be surprised if they come alive when we have some upfront man for them to play off.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
RedForceRising said:
And what is your excuse for when he gets the chance in the first half of the match?
Who said anything about trying to find excuses for them ? Both of them have missed absolute sitters, but so have all the clinical strikers we are linked with. They just score more than they miss and exhaustion plays a part in that I believe.


I talked about Tevez more than Rooney because I've seen how clinical he was in brazil and with Boca. He is in no way a poor finisher and neither is Rooney or Drogba. Take a look back at Rooney's goal against Reading, or his second goal against Milan last season. Absolute clinical finishes and he scored a few tap ins that only goal poachers score.

@ Jazz : I dont like making unfounded excuses for our players but tbh neither were in their top physical condition at any time during the season. Rooney looked great in pre season and then he broke his foot. He gradually got back to his best shape and went into that good scoring patch and then he got injured again and so on. Tevez on the other hand has been playing non stop football for almost two and a half years. What Im trying to say is, the unproductive season they just had has more to do with their current state and shape and the formation we've chosen than their actual ability.
 

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Keano's fan said:
@ Jazz : I dont like making unfounded excuses for our players but tbh neither were in their top physical condition at any time during the season. Rooney looked great in pre season and then he broke his foot. He gradually got back to his best shape and went into that good scoring patch and then he got injured again and so on. Tevez on the other hand has been playing non stop football for almost two and a half years. What Im trying to say is, the unproductive season they just had has more to do with their current state and shape and the formation we've chosen than their actual ability.
I think people are forgetting that fact, I have seen Tevez play for Boca and he was much more clinical and MUCH quicker than he has been this season.
wait 'til he gets a few weeks rest and we'll see the proper Tevez.

Next season we will see the tevez-rooney partnership grow and be what it has the potential to be, injuries and fatigue have prevented both of them from letting there partnership blossom.
 

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Some decent posts above^^^^good work......

Just throwing this out there......regarding Tevez and Rooney.
Would you the members actually swap them for anyone?
They are 2 of my favourite players and obviously crowd favourites
but I'd hate to see either of them replaced.
Sure there are players like Torres, Eto'o, Berbatov and Drogba who
are more clinical or lethal than them, but would you guys trade them?
 
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