The evolution of the striker means Adebayor is crucial to Arsenal’s trophy hunt

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.


4 thoughts on “The evolution of the striker means Adebayor is crucial to Arsenal’s trophy hunt

  1. All well and good but the fact is that Ade doesn’t give a damn anymore. His greatest asset long before his 30-goal season was his workrate, his boundless energy. Now he doesn’t even try to hassle defenders, he doesn’t try to learn the offside rule, he doesn’t show any kind of effort at all. He doesn’t give a damn and is clearly more interested in money than anything else.

    So I don’t think your article applies at all to a player whose head is elsewhere and doesn’t care to try. Even Wenger acknowledged there’s a problem when he was benched against Chelsea (and he wasn’t injured or tired.)

    1. It seems his head has been turned amid all the speculation and he may have a problem with interest when Arsenal are not playing well but surely this is temporary?

      If the Gunners can bring back the fluidity and flexibility, then expect Adebayor to come to the fore and bring his array of skills. He still is a work in progress however but there is no doubt he has defenders frightened.

      I would like to see RVP and Eduardo partner each other one day however. Thanks for the comment.

  2. When some of stupid fans say replace Ade with a 5ft 9 striker in a team that already short in terms of height balance. Straight away u know they are stupid.

    We cant afford our level of player turnover and expect trophies just look @ Man Utd, bulk of their players have been in place now for 4yrs thus why i hate Flamoney & Hleb so much

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