Tuesday, 3 July 2007

The Striker Conumdrum

Hi Folks,
Mark here.

So, Liverpool seemed to have signed Torres. At £27m and 90K a week, it is a substantial investment in a player. There is no denying that Torres has skill but Liverpool fans should worry about his scoring record.
It would be unfair to include his early years, so lets look at the past 4 years:
Year Apps Goals
06/07 40 15
05/06 40 13
04/05 49 20
03/04 40 21

Goal average: 69/169 = 0.4 goals a game.
On the face of it, it doesn't seem to be bad, but the last 2 seasons were a worrying trend, especially with Athletico doing better in La Liga in that time. His record of 14 goals in 40 games for Spain is hardly remarkable, given that Peter Crouch has 12 goals for England.

Maybe I'm being over-pessimistic here, but the past few years have seen many strikers "ruined" by the Pool, and frankly, I think Torres will find it tough in the Premier League. Benitez has gambled big, I believe failure will cost him his job.

Over at Arsenal, having dumped Henry, signed Brazilian/Croatian Eduardo Da Silva yesterday. The claim of a £16m transfer fee by Dinamo Zagreb would seem to be well wide of the mark, an unsubstantiated claim of 8m is more likely. I think it is a good signing, in theory he is what they need. Briefly watching him play for Croatia, he is an old sytle centre forward, a man who would generally score scrappy goals and is useful in the air. His hat-trick against Israel was impressive, as was his performance against England (Selection of goals here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfXGOGzEAwk), his success will depend on adapting well but he seems to have the talent.

Blackburn have signed Rigters, a guy we bigged up on the last podcast. His performances for Holland in the U21 Euro Championship were excellent, 4 goals in 5 games, including a last gasp overhead kick against England, point to his class. Mark Hughes has again made a canny signing, and is doing very well at Blackburn on a relatively small budget.

What about Forlan, I hear you ask. Well, last week I laughed at the idea of him returning to England, but his move to Athletico Madrid should be good for both parties. Forlan has proven himself in Spain, with 1 goal every 2 games, and his headless chicken style should suit the bottlers at Athletico.



JJ said...

I think the thing to remember with Torres is that he will have time to settle in England as a young player. He can develop his game and within two seasons I see him being a major force with many seasons ahead of him. After years of watching United and Chelsea spend huge amounts I’m delighted Liverpool have made this signing, which I think will send out a decent message of intent for other players thinking of coming in.

On the goalscoring front I don’t see his record as a huge issue, Athletico scored only 46 last season in the league, Torres got slightly less than one in every three goals for them with 14 in total. Compare with Drogba who had a phenomenal season and scored 20 of Chelsea’s 67, again approaching a third. Is one a decent return and the other a bad season? Hardly.

International-wise I don’t really care as plenty of players don’t replicate any sort of league form at that level – hello Mr Rooney.

Da Silva could be excellent, only really read about him yesterday as the England goal was all I knew about him before (a guy called da Silva kinda stands out in a Croatia side, like that Brazilian bloke who plays for Japan). If the rest of the side continues to play ugly and you have that guy and adebayor causing havoc up front then Arse could be very dangerous. Then again that rules out the five man midfield that Wenger has so often favoured in the last 18 months. Decisions, decisions.

mark V said...

fair point on the scoring front, and he was good at the world cup last year. i still think it is a risk though, I'd be suprised if he got 20 goals next season

tyduffy said...


I think you are dead on about Torres.

The youtube link is what I believe to be all of Da Silva's goals for Zagreb last season. Not exactly top opposition but he looks like a deadly accurate finisher with both his head and feet, and he is a confident penalty taker. Finally!

Mal said...

I think that there are a few things to remember about Torres. Firstly the fee is £20m not £27 according to Balague and Hunter. If you subtract the £4.5 for Garcia that makes £15.5m which is less than Nani, Anderson, Hargreaves, Bent and half a Shevchenko. I don't know what wages he's on but Balluge said he's taken a pay cut.

In relation to his atletico scoring record, much of the time he's been playing as a lone forward in a fairly crap team. This season he had to play left wing for a while. Plus he's only just gone 23 so he's young enough and skilled enough to improve. He'll now have better players, service, coaches and will have stability for the first time in his career, unlike at Atletico where the manager changes every season.

Mal said...

Sky confirm the fee is £20m not £27m.

JJ said...

Cheers Mal, I'm parying he doesn't do in his cruciate in training or something.

Parrotbait said...

Multiple reports of United close to signing Tevez......bollocks




Mark V said...

yea, i'm not sure about this tevez thing....i'll wait to see if it does or doesn't happen. Whoever gets him, it will be a good signing, despite the fact that he probably won't score til next march!