Firing blanks: A tale of four strikers

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So that’s two more blank weekends in the goals scored column. Against Spurs, you can’t say it wasn’t for the lack of trying. With Gomes performing heroics in the Spurs goal and a shoot on sight policy albeit with the sights being aimed firmly in the North Stand in the first half, we certainly gave it a go.

Against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as you’d expect, opportunities were few and far between but the last twenty minutes saw both teams going for it somewhat and with a bit more luck, something may have dropped for us.

But who is going to get us the goals to keep us in this division? Let’s have a quick rundown.

Hugo Rodallega is still the main man and top goal scorer. I don’t see it as a big deal when he plays wide as he is hardly a conventional centre forward anyway and not likely to cause problems to a man mountain like Michael Dawson when it comes to winning the high balls. He is unpredictable and by all accounts does some stunning stuff in training and is often coveted by top clubs. However, his head goes down easily and he sometimes seems a little bit away with the fairies. It’s fair to say that he is our main goal threat though so dropping him would be folly in the run in.

I can’t help feeling that if Franco Di Santo got one goal, he’d get a few even though his track record suggests otherwise and too often when he has found himself with the goal at his mercy he’s resembled the proverbial giraffe in roller skates. I’m still not sure whether he could have got to that late cross that skimmed the goalmouth against Spurs so to decide I always ask myself the ‘What would Bobby Campbell have done?’ question. The answer of course would be to diving head it in!

Similarly against Chelsea, it’s easy to say when you’re watching Match of the Day “Why didn’t he just whack that header in the other corner?” For me it’s as much about attitude and when he joined, in those initial games, he had great skill, an amazing work rate, pace, power and energy but NO GOALS. As this season has gone on, those qualities have diminished and we are now left with a player who’s key attribute is NO GOALS. He may still come good but it’s looking ever more likely that he’ll bugger off and be scoring NO GOALS for someone else next season.

Conor Sammon is quickly forging a reputation as a cult hero even though he has spurned two great opportunities to get off the mark, first at City and then on Saturday. As we like to put it, he’s a big raw boy, a real handful and when he gets that first goal, the roof is going to come off the DW, although a goal at Blackpool or Sunderland would be even better as we hopefully we won’t have to wait as long as our next home game to see it!

And let’s not omit the forgotten man Mauro Boselli who is rumoured to be returning from Genoa, it all appears to have turned a bit sour regarding a signing we all got excited about last summer. He may come back and might even come good but otherwise it’s a case of file alongside Julius Aghahowa, Jason Koumas, Jason Scotland and Marlon King as those players who just didn’t cut it for whatever reason.

Nevertheless, whoever plays up front the bottom line is that in the Roberto Martinez system there is only one outright striker out of eleven players on the pitch and it is always going to rely on attacking midfielders getting forward and chipping in with the goals as well. The likes of N’Zogbia, Cleverley, Watson, McCarthy and over time Moses and McManaman are all capable in this respect and the support they give to the lone front man is key to getting that goals scored column up between now and the end of the season.

Blackpool may have an arguably worse defence than ours but they do score goals, indeed they haven’t failed to score in a game at home since August 2009, so it’s a fair assumption to make to say that we’ll need to go there and score at least two whilst continuing our strong defensive work (United at home aside) since the turn of the year.

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