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Are strikers the main need ?


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Do the top teams rely on strikers as the only success in scoring goals, 

We are in big trouble because of the lack of goals in attack, I don't want to knock players , but how many goals from Howson the last four seasons, can Tavernier get ten goals , Can Fry get five or six, Jones ?, My point is it's all over the team where on average goals are non existent , and it's been the problem for too long, forget spending a fortune on three strikers , another problem is set plays ,the delivery is awfully , even Flint as got six for Cardiff this seeson, we need to look at the real needs , and it's not one area.

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I'll put it into more context.  You can always do with more goals from other positions, I don't think anyone would disagree with that.  But by and large it's strikers who score the majority of goals,

Maybe he gets it from from a Ouija Board.  "Spirits please guide me in my team selection, who should I play up front to end our goal scoring woes?". "Whoaa the glass is moving Chris, let's s

I do wonder whether this bad run of form is getting people a bit carried away when I read stuff like this and comments calling our situation as horrible. It feels like we need to get a bit of per

42 minutes ago, kentucky said:

Do the top teams rely on strikers as the only success in scoring goals, 

We are in big trouble because of the lack of goals in attack, I don't want to knock players , but how many goals from Howson the last four seasons, can Tavernier get ten goals , Can Fry get five or six, Jones ?, My point is it's all over the team where on average goals are non existent , and it's been the problem for too long, forget spending a fortune on three strikers , another problem is set plays ,the delivery is awfully , even Flint as got six for Cardiff this seeson, we need to look at the real needs , and it's not one area.

I'll put it into more context.  You can always do with more goals from other positions, I don't think anyone would disagree with that.  But by and large it's strikers who score the majority of goals, or the wide attacking players, who would usually play either side of the striker of course.  We don't play with wide attacking players so that avenue is not open to us.  We do play with two strikers however, which a lot of clubs don't bother with so much, so it stands to reason that we need those two players to score the bulk of the goals. 

When Sheff Utd got promoted under Wilder, they scored 78 goals, which is 25 more goals than we currently have.  Billy Sharp got 23, David McGoldrick got 15, so about half of their goals were scored by those two players.  Their next highest scorer had 6, and no other player got more than 4.  You're right to say that Flint got six for Cardiff this season but then he is also their top scorer so that's not necessarily a good thing!  McNair has five for us this season, which is obviously comparable, and he is one of the top scoring defenders in the league, behind Flint.  Crooks is also one of the top scoring midfielders as it goes.  Our strikers however are nowhere near the top scorers in their positions, which is why we are only 14th in goals this season.

I think if we can get regular scoring strikers that we might actually get more goals from other positions anyway but if we're relying on Howson, Bola, Jones, Tavernier etc for goals then we are not going to get where we want to be.  I'd like to think Jones can get a few more goals although he doesn't seem a natural in front of goal, he always looks a bit hesitant to me like he's not sure what type of shot to take.  Tavernier's biggest weakness is probably his lack of composure in front of goal, we saw that again on Saturday albeit with his weaker foot I suppose.  Howson has barely scored a goal for us since he signed, Bola can hit a decent shot but it's every now and again.  If he was playing as an orthodox left back it would be less of an issue but in this system both he and Jones obviously have a bit more to do when we are attacking.  Dijksteel doesn't seem like much of a goal threat, Fry should get a few more than he does but every team we play puts their biggest guy on him from set pieces, and that's not something we've been all that good at anyway.  Even if we got more goals out of some of these players, we'd still need another 15/20 from the strikers.

We don't need to reinvent the wheel here, we just need strikers who can put the ball in the back of the net more regularly than the current lot.

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Very important, but I think a goalkeeper, progressing holding midfielder and wing backs are on equal levels of importance. For instance, I don't think you'd see a massive difference on goal return just by changing the strikers we have at the club and absolutely nothing else, it's an issue throughout the team.

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I think goals from your strikers are a massive part of getting out this league.

Is it a surprise the top 2 scorers in this league are both at the top 2 teams? 

Is it a surprise last seasons 2 top scorers in Pukki and Toney belonged to the two promoted teams. Again probably not.

However, on the flip side people will point out that we got out this league without a really prolific striker 6yrs ago.

I think @Changing Times post is very good. You do need a top marksman BUT i dont think we need a 20 goal man in our set up. It is clear Wilder wants 5 strikers. I think if your main 2 are getting about 30ish and then the other 3 contribute between 15-20 then you are looking very good. So between the 5 you get about 45-50.  

Then the 30-35 goals could be shared I would hope over a season that Crooks, Tav, McGree and Paddy would get at least 5 goals each but Crooks more around the 8 goals mark.

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Not only should our strikers be scoring goals but our current crop are actually abysmal at helping the midfield get goals by holding the ball up and linking play. Not one of them do much of anything in that regard, Sporar had some moments but they were much earlier in the season and few and far between. 

Makes it even more baffling we signed the strikers we did. 

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I reckon a 20 goal striker would have got us 9-12 extra points this season. As would a decent keeper. We haven’t had too many no shows under wilder and we have created plenty of chances in a vast majority of our games in his tenure.

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10 hours ago, Changing Times said:

I'll put it into more context.  You can always do with more goals from other positions, I don't think anyone would disagree with that.  But by and large it's strikers who score the majority of goals, or the wide attacking players, who would usually play either side of the striker of course.  We don't play with wide attacking players so that avenue is not open to us.  We do play with two strikers however, which a lot of clubs don't bother with so much, so it stands to reason that we need those two players to score the bulk of the goals. 

When Sheff Utd got promoted under Wilder, they scored 78 goals, which is 25 more goals than we currently have.  Billy Sharp got 23, David McGoldrick got 15, so about half of their goals were scored by those two players.  Their next highest scorer had 6, and no other player got more than 4.  You're right to say that Flint got six for Cardiff this season but then he is also their top scorer so that's not necessarily a good thing!  McNair has five for us this season, which is obviously comparable, and he is one of the top scoring defenders in the league, behind Flint.  Crooks is also one of the top scoring midfielders as it goes.  Our strikers however are nowhere near the top scorers in their positions, which is why we are only 14th in goals this season.

I think if we can get regular scoring strikers that we might actually get more goals from other positions anyway but if we're relying on Howson, Bola, Jones, Tavernier etc for goals then we are not going to get where we want to be.  I'd like to think Jones can get a few more goals although he doesn't seem a natural in front of goal, he always looks a bit hesitant to me like he's not sure what type of shot to take.  Tavernier's biggest weakness is probably his lack of composure in front of goal, we saw that again on Saturday albeit with his weaker foot I suppose.  Howson has barely scored a goal for us since he signed, Bola can hit a decent shot but it's every now and again.  If he was playing as an orthodox left back it would be less of an issue but in this system both he and Jones obviously have a bit more to do when we are attacking.  Dijksteel doesn't seem like much of a goal threat, Fry should get a few more than he does but every team we play puts their biggest guy on him from set pieces, and that's not something we've been all that good at anyway.  Even if we got more goals out of some of these players, we'd still need another 15/20 from the strikers.

We don't need to reinvent the wheel here, we just need strikers who can put the ball in the back of the net more regularly than the current lot.

This is a good and well researched post but part of me wonders whether Sharp and McGoldrick would score those amounts of goals in our current team. 

Maybe I'm blinded by our current poor form but we don't look like anywhere near creative enough. The other side of the argument is that we were creating more chances until recently and our finishing was poor.

I know you like a stat, how does our number of chances created compare to other teams? 

At the moment we don't know whether the current blip is a result of just poor form or whether teams have worked us out. If that's the case and by stopping Jones stops the team then we need more creativity as well as firepower. 

The Sheff United example is interesting though because I don't think McGoldrick is an out and out striker like we have at the moment. He's an intelligent player who can drop off the front a bit. I've been saying for weeks on here that maybe we need to tweak the system by dropping a striker, maybe he might look for a number 9 in the summer and a McGoldrick type who can link the play and score goals. 

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5 minutes ago, Duvel said:

This is a good and well researched post but part of me wonders whether Sharp and McGoldrick would score those amounts of goals in our current team. 

Maybe I'm blinded by our current poor form but we don't look like anywhere near creative enough. The other side of the argument is that we were creating more chances until recently and our finishing was poor.

I know you like a stat, how does our number of chances created compare to other teams

At the moment we don't know whether the current blip is a result of just poor form or whether teams have worked us out. If that's the case and by stopping Jones stops the team then we need more creativity as well as firepower. 

The Sheff United example is interesting though because I don't think McGoldrick is an out and out striker like we have at the moment. He's an intelligent player who can drop off the front a bit. I've been saying for weeks on here that maybe we need to tweak the system by dropping a striker, maybe he might look for a number 9 in the summer and a McGoldrick type who can link the play and score goals. 

Actually, looking into it, it looks quite bad for us, worse than I thought.

We have the 5th highest expected goals in the league at 1.56 Pg. Across the 43 games that would make 67 goals. We've only scored 53. 

On the other side, we have an expected goals against of 1.17 which over 43 games is just over 50 goals - we've only conceded 45 which would actually suggest maybe we're being a little harsh on our keepers. 

Of course these stats are very limited as they don't tell you who is actually getting this chances and missing them (Tav and crooks for instance seem to miss decent chances on the regular) but it does suggest that were making good enough chances but have a problem putting them away, so a couple of good strikers could actually have been the difference between play offs and no play offs. 

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16 minutes ago, Neverbefore said:

Actually, looking into it, it looks quite bad for us, worse than I thought.

We have the 5th highest expected goals in the league at 1.56 Pg. Across the 43 games that would make 67 goals. We've only scored 53. 

On the other side, we have an expected goals against of 1.17 which over 43 games is just over 50 goals - we've only conceded 45 which would actually suggest maybe we're being a little harsh on our keepers. 

I do think that xg over-estimates the ability to convert chances into goals in the championship. I saw a League table where all but 3 or 4 clubs were under-performing. If xg is an accurate metric then you would expect it to be a bell curve where most clubs are roughly level with their xg.

but

In that league table us and WBA were massively under-performing the xg indicating some sort of relative issue. It also occurs to me that we have had a reasonable number of penalties and scored all but 1 plus a number of own goals. I suspect if you factored those out from across the league that we would do even worse in both absolute and relative terms. Although that's not all on the strikers (I suspect that if you add goals from Tav, Howson and Jones combined it's still not even close to what you would expect from one midfield player) it's painfully clear that we have generated a lot of decent chances—especially since Wilder started—but we simply aren't converting them. One goal in the last 5 matches (and that a massive deflection) tells its own story. Even against Peterborough there was an element of them self-destructing with three of the goals pretty much put on a plate for us and the other one probably being a mis-hit cross by Tav.

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were in a horrible state as far as what we need to put right with aditional players is concerned. yeah we are crying out for a prolific goalscorer, we also need a midfield system that vastly increases in assists and shows much more intent to carry or run with the ball into the attacking third. we are in need of a reliable , safe and quality keeper but finally i think we are missing a tough no nonsense central defender to compliment fry who is lets say more of a cultured defender. i guess youd call that a whole spine of a team thats required. 

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47 minutes ago, Neverbefore said:

Actually, looking into it, it looks quite bad for us, worse than I thought.

We have the 5th highest expected goals in the league at 1.56 Pg. Across the 43 games that would make 67 goals. We've only scored 53. 

On the other side, we have an expected goals against of 1.17 which over 43 games is just over 50 goals - we've only conceded 45 which would actually suggest maybe we're being a little harsh on our keepers. 

Of course these stats are very limited as they don't tell you who is actually getting this chances and missing them (Tav and crooks for instance seem to miss decent chances on the regular) but it does suggest that were making good enough chances but have a problem putting them away, so a couple of good strikers could actually have been the difference between play offs and no play offs. 

Those stats don't paint the whole picture but they do indicate that we miss more chances than our rivals. Obviously a Mitrovic in the team would make things look a lot better but our eyes would tell us that as well. 

Maybe we are better defensively than we give ourselves credit for, to be honest I don't think there's much wrong with the back 3 and I'd happily start next season with them.

I don't know whether those xg stats indicate that Lumley had made a lot of saves or teams have missed a lot of chances against us. But again the eye test tells us that he drops too many clangers.  

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