Striker Emmanuel Adebayor’s all-round skill makes him desirable to other clubs and that’s why he is crucial in Arsenal’s trophy hunt.
42 goals was always going to be hard to replicate this year, even 30 goals was to be a steep mountain to climb. And with the number of natural goalscorers always decreasing, a ratio of 1 goal nearly every two games is a good return for the men in question. Cristiano Ronaldo leads the goalscoring charts with 26 goals in 51 games, Adebayor has 16 in 37 and Torres 16 goals in one less game.
Ronaldo is set to win the “Golden Boot” for the second year running which signals a change in forward thinking. The Portuguese winger is built like a forward; tall, quick and great ability with his feet and in the air. Their system of fluidity and interchangeability highlighting increased requirement of forwards and also the midfielders around them.
England manager Fabio Capello has lamented the dearth of a quality centre-forwards in modern times and with the increased fitness levels of players and the constant battle for space, scoring duties must be shared. “Only [Spain’s Fernando] Torres is a big striker in this moment in the world,” said Capello. “[As for] the others, Italy [are] so-so, Germany [are] so-so, Portugal [have nothing]. Also the French, you didn’t see anything. It’s a big problem now because the teams defend very well. It’s a problem everywhere. You have to play in a different style – the other players they have to score more goals.”
Universal goalscoring has been a criticism leveled at Arsenal, especially for a team playing such a fluid system. But with the type of personnel up front the Gunners have, such type of football surely could not be a possibility. The array of skills at Adebayor’s or Van Persie’s disposal means more chances can be created, and by anyone.
Strikers have evolved and are now expected to do more; to use their intelligence to drop off into space and play in team mates while also being able to make runs to stretch opposition. It all makes the quest for space much easier; a defender will much prefer to face a traditional “goalpoacher” as the skills in their locker is likely to be less therefore the defender should (theoretically) come out trumps. (A Micheal Owen would be difficult to field in a team of lesser quality as less chances will generally be created.)
However if things are not going the sides way, a more direct approach would be suffice and in that case, a goalscorer will likely be more beneficial. But rather than being at a handicap from the start, a striker who can score, play in team mates and make runs to stretch the defence should ensure things go right the first time.
With Emmanuel Adebayor, a lot can be improved such as his hold up play and his tactical discipline but a striker who has scored 46 goals in the past two seasons, when there is a perceived lack of quality, can’t be all that useless. Those that are sniffing around him are not stupid; they know what the virtues are of having a player with the skills of a traditional goalscorer and a battering ram rolled in at once can bring.