The Premier League is littered with examples of strikers that work hard – but offer little in terms of goals. The classic examples are Emile Heskey, Dirk Kuyt and Kevin Davies, it’s probably fair to say that all of those players have shown glimpses of class and ability at times that has led to the suggestion they are half-decent strikers. But none of them have proved to be able to score more than 14 goals in a single Premier League season. Yet, they have all played in the Premier League for years and are highly respected.
Now call me old fashioned but I believe a striker should hit the back of the net on a regular basis or they are simply not doing their job. Two players that have done that on a regular basis throughout their respected careers are Darren Bent and Dimitar Berbatov, but both these players have their critics and they are often considered lazy. However, surely the goals they score tell their own story and should be more than enough to answer any critics?
Whenever Heskey, Kuyt or Davies is criticised we hear about the amount of ground they cover or the overall work they do for the team. It was this sort of thinking that resulted in Emile Heskey going to the World Cup with England. Isn’t it time we started to praise the strikers that score the goals and do the job and criticise the ones that don’t?
Managers must see something in training that I don’t – because I would never pick a forward with a high work rate but poor goal return and leave my prolific marksman on the bench. It makes no sense to me when football is all about scoring goals to win games. But maybe I am missing the point and the value of the likes of Kuyt, Heskey and Davies.
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