What is the striking formula for Manchester City?

tevez_mancityDuring the summer Man City looked to be interested in any and every striker that was playing professional football. If you had boots and had played at a decent level, you were probably linked with a multi million pound move to City. By the time the transfer window closed Mark Hughes had added Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz to a strike force that already boasted Craig Bellamy, Valeri Boijinov, Felipe Caicedo, Jo, Benjani Mwaruwari and Robinho. With Boijinov, Caicedo and Jo all out loan and Santa Cruz injured the two front positions were left to be filled.

Each of the remaining strikers had reason to be picked; Adebayor immediately staked his claim scoring 3 in his opening 3 games. Robinho was an automatic pick last season and his magic truly lights up the Man City side, so when he fully gets over his ankle injury expect to see him back in contention. Bellamy proved his worth last season grabbing 5 goals in 9 appearances and carried this on this season with 5 more including a spectacular solo effort against Arsenal and a blinder against United in the Manchester derby in which he scored 2. Santa Cruz is an effective striker in England and Hughes ended a yearlong chase for the Paraguayan striker when he finally secured his services.

This leaves Carlos Tevez. The Argentinean striker left Old Trafford in July and when asked by journalists why he hadn’t done more to sign him, United boss Ferguson replied “as a striker he is not worth £25m” and with all due respect I don’t think he is either.

The Argentine striker has a work rate that is phenomenal but that does not merit a starting position. He doesn’t score enough goals especially for a player that cost £25m but he can still do an important job.

As seen at Old Trafford, Tevez is effective coming into a game when tiredness begins to settle in, his dogged spirit and determination can force errors from players which he and his team mates can then capitalise on, evident in City’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool where he played a major part in City’s second.

Last night he scored a tremendous goal against Arsenal in the Carling Cup but would he be able to consistantly score across a 38 game season? That’s disputable.

I feel City would be better suited playing Bellamy and Adebayor up front, Bellamy has the pace to put the frighteners into players and he chips in with his fare share of goals whilst Adebayor for me would be a cert and provides a constant threat.

This would leave Robinho to drift in off the wing and create havoc and Tevez to be introduced into games in the latter stages whilst Santa Cruz slowly gets back to form after injury.

Obviously somebody will not be happy as there aren’t enough spaces on the field to accommodate all the strikers but rather than look at this as a negative, the competition for a place in the team should keep them all on their toes as they will know if they aren’t performing there are players waiting in the wings to take over. Also with a number of quality forwards he has the option of rotating players in order to keep them all fresh over the long season, making Hughes the envy of many Premier League managers.