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  • Ricky Y Ricky Y Feb 16, 2006 11:08 Flag

    How Much do our strikers worth?

    With hindsight, we have definitely over-paid Cisse, but as I said, that is with the benefit of hindsight. I can still remember the excitment of landing him to Liverpool and seeing him scoring for us in the first match. Don't forget, before he joined us, he was the top scorer in France. May be the injury has taken its toll on Cisse, or may be it is the EPL style of play.

    As with Morientes, I never really like him, he is too slow to be of any real threat to opponent's defense. I just cannot bear watching him spoiling our chances every week.

    I don't think we have over-paid for Crouch. For just 7m, which is peanuts, he poses threats to defense by his sheer presence. He just needs to bring a compass with him to find where the goal is. But I am pleased with his contribution to the team - just because he is not scoring does not make him bad, he has been creating enough chances for our other strikers to pop up for the knockdowns.

    As for Fowler, what can I say? He is free, he has a good track record in the EPL. He just needs to be fit again. Can't wait to see him completing a full round in partnership with Crouch.

    As for next season, I maintain my view to sell Cisse and Morientes, buy Kuyt and Defoe. Then I think we will have a complete team to challenge for the crown.

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    • Although some may want to drop Crouch, I have different opinion. Ricky is right that Crouch can provide enough thread to the defence to score direct or to provide other strikers to score. Unfortunately, his striking partners are good enough to finish off. For the rest of this season, the first choice partnership should be Crouch and Fowler.

      It seems to be a common view that Cisse and Morientes must go this summer. The concern is whom to buy to replace them.

      Defoe has good experience in English football, with a similar playing style as Fowler and Baros, or even Owen. To rank these four, Owen is definitely the best. However, 16m is far far too much. Since Baros' pricetag was 6.5m, it is justified to pay 7m for Defoe.

      Kuyt is a good buy if he can maintain his scoring rate with Liverpool. The risk is whether his playing style suit our existing pattern.

      If the new recruit is Defoe only, he may have to fight for his place with Fowler. Crouch may still be the first choice.

      If Both Kuyt and Defoe are bought, then it will be Crouch/Fowler versus Kuyt/Defoe. I like this kind of partnership style.

      For example, Rooney was supposed to team up with Van Nisteroy, but now Saha performs much better with Rooney instead.

      How to set up this kind of partnership will be a good test on Rafa's coaching skills.

    • Well said Ricky. With Morientes and Cisse as twin strikers we might as well put Hyppia and Carrager up front with better results. At least they would tightly mark the opposing defence. Kuyt and Defoe would be good buys. Andy Johnson would be another possibility, he played very well for Palace as a lone striker and was second highest scorer in the league. Not bad for a team that got relegated. He is fast, clinical and not bad in the air either.

      If we were to go to Rafa's motherland, David Villa of Valencia once our rumoured target is also a very decent striker. Has done very well this season as a lone striker, is deadly in the box, heads the ball well and recently scored from more than 40 yards. We could do worse.

      • 1 Reply to mel n
      • I like Andy Johnson. He is a striker with maturity. He is better than Defoe. He would be cheaper than Defoe. I guess Johnson will be less than 5 million, Defoe will be double of it, Kuyt will be in between.

        If Owen stays injured for most part of this season, Newcastle will surely come to the market for strikers as well, especially since Shearer will retire this summer. After Souness, they may not bid up the price by too much.