Are we being too hard on our strikers?

A familiar sight.....
It’s fair to say that I was not overly impressed with the effort of our strikers at the weekend. The key word in that sentence being ‘effort’.

I’ve read many a harsh word about our current crop of strikers, yet ironically it isn’t their goalscoring that I have a real issue with. I mean we hardly create a lot of chances for them do we? I could perhaps understand the criticism if our strikers had missed a succession of sitters, but they didn’t, so on that count I can’t fault them.

However, what I can fault them for is their sheer lack of effort. At times it’s almost like we have statues up front. There is no movement and no propensity to hold the ball up for any period of time. If the ball gets played up to them, especially Shola who is more of the hold up player you’d think, then you can pretty much guarantee that possession will soon be surrendered and another move will break down.

I mean things must be bad if I’m considering the merits of playing a Nile Ranger and Shefki Kuqi partnership up front. Surely they can’t be any worse than the Shola/Lovekrands combo? At least they’ll make an effort!

It’s pretty god damn obvious that we need a striker in the summer. There is a strong argument for needing two first-choice strikers although I feel we’ve heard enough caveats from Alan Pardew to suggest that Hatem Ben Arfa will be used as our ‘second striker’. Whatever really, but it’s blatantly obvious that our attack needs beefing up.

What do we do with our current strikers though? Well Shefki Kuqi will be off anyway, but if it was up to me I’d probably flog them all aside from Leon Best, who has earned another crack at the Premier League in my view, and Nile Ranger, who I’d loan out. The problem is who would take Ameobi and Lovenkrands?

I’d hazard a guess at nobody.

I’ve stuck up for both Shola and Lovenkrands at times, but if I look deeper and ask myself if they are the long term future, I’d have to say no, and I think they’ve had enough chances to convince us otherwise. They are both getting a run in the team now and neither are really taking the opportunity to prove their point, unlike Leon Best who took his chance with both hands.

We look impotent with our current strikers. We simply don’t threaten and it’s like a freebie for the opposition defence when they see what we have to offer at the minute. Thankfully it seems as though our striker issue will be sorted in the summer. It’s blatantly obvious that something needs done about it anyway!

So in answer to the title: Are we being too hard on our strikers?

No! They deserve the criticism in my opinion.

61 thoughts on “Are we being too hard on our strikers?

  1. Against Liverpool Ameobi & Loverman were woeful. They failed to hold the ball up, they were miles away from midfield & each other and didn’t look anywhere near a partnership. In fairness the service to them was poor be it a pass to feet or creating a chances so it’s not all their fault.

    I have to agree with Pardew that we missed that link between midfield & up front a la Suarez and let’s hope that is what Ben Afra will bring…

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  2. Never liked Lovenkrands he is Championship quality at best. Id keep Shola simply because he can be a handful for any defence on his day

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  3. Josh – Thing is, Shola is paid very handsomely to be on his day every match day, and he just isn’t for me. Yes he can be a handful, but one in ten isn’t good enough in my opinion.

    Why can’t he be at his devastating best nearly every game? 😑

    I understand players have bad games every now and then, and that is fine, fair enough, but when the argument is that he is worth keeping because he can have a good game every so often instead being consistently good and having a bad game every so often I think it kind of makes my point.

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  4. Toonsy – The thing is though i dont think we will sell many strikers. I think Kuqi and xisco will go with Ranger going out on loan. I dont think we will sell Shola and Lovenkrands because i simply dont think we will spend the money needed to replace them.

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  5. I dunno. I see what you’re saying, but I really really can’t see anyone wanting to buy Xisco. Shame really as moving him would free up a load of wages. Same with Smith.

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  6. Probably, but I fear that club will be at a level that wouldn’t be able to afford anywhere near his current wage :mrgreen:

    On a sidenote, putting cufflinks in on a Monday morning is shyte!

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  7. Josh-NUFC said:

    There must be one club in world football that would take him haha

    He’s already at the one club who would take him… πŸ˜‰

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  8. Xisco must have no drive like, its clear that in training he does absolutely nothing to impress as he has been ignored by every manager he has had here.

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  9. Aye but he gets paid handsomely so he must be good as you get what you pay for apparently πŸ˜‰

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  10. Toonsy….”propensity”, wooooo πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

    As I said yesterday doubt Xisco will go anywhere othere than on loan, and why would he? he’s getting double what a Spanish club will pay him and he can go on loan and play for a Spanish club and still get paid a prem wage…must be nice eh?

    I know we didn’t create many chances for the strikers but that isn’t helped with their lack of movement. No movement, no options for the midfield, also when you get few chances you need to make the most of it…ie was Lovenkrands trying to head it on for himself in the box??, had me puzzled, what was wrong with having an effort on goal.
    Speaking of Lovenkrands, I think he’ll defo be off in the summer, I don’t think he’s looked happy since his Dad died and wouldn’t be surprised at a move back to his homeland.

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  11. Toonsy, spot on article, our current strikers are no more than adequate on the odd occassion they get into the game, mind you watching Cardiff last night i couldnt believe how poor Bothroyd was and his team mate Olifinjana was even worse.
    My take on Shola is that he has only played games in short bursts over his career and he is now conditioned to that, any extended run in the team has him on his knees.
    I hear Pardew saying he needs a Ben Arfa type link between midfield and forward, but thats what Lovenkrands is supposed to be isnt it?
    They are the problem at the moment, not many teams play with 2 forwards and as they are not troubling the opposition back 4, we are getting over run in midfield and you an see our creative players struggling as whatever they put forward comes straight back at them.
    Put 5 in midfield for the last 3 games and freshen the team up, there should be no place for non performers.

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  12. Actually I’ve changed my mind 😳

    I’d keep shola and wheel him out twice a season against the mackems. They are shit scared of him. Was read rtg just before the 1-1 at scum City and they genuinely worry about him.

    In the words of Keith lemon; he destroys them :mrgreen:

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  13. So we have something in common with the scum 😯 😯
    ‘cos we genuinely worry about him too πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

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  14. We shouldn’t feel guilty saying these strikers just aren’t good enough. It’s obvious that their not good enough, in fact their not PL class at all. The difference bewteen PL quality and the rest is consistancy and Strolla is just not consistant at all. Lover is consistant but consistantly bad unfortunately.

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  15. Best is the only one I would persevere with. He’s knocked goals in when given a run in the team and needs to be given longer to prove himself.

    I wonder if Ranger would be better on the wing considering he doesn’t seem to have an eye for goal but has blistering pace.

    I’ll have a word with Pards when I see him. He’s probably never considered it. πŸ˜‰

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  16. Ranger can’t cross though. He can hardly strike a ball cleanly from ten yards so a 30 yard pinpoint cross would be out the question. Imo πŸ˜‰

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  17. Do we have anyone who can hit a 30 yard pinpoint cross……apart from Raylor? πŸ˜‰

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  18. @toonsy
    If he can’t strike, can’t cross, is there any point in having him. ? ❓

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  19. Bobby – Yes, because it can be worked on
    its up to Ranger though. I don’t think we’ve seen enough of him to make a firm judgement as a handful of sub appearances is harsh to judge anyone on. He has pace and strength to burn and can hold a ball up. He needs to work on a lot of aspects of his game though.

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  20. The first thing Shola should work on is, at least look like you giving a sh*t about what you are doing…. I think that is the main source of frustration for me… If he busted a gut chasing down defenders, you could give him a E for effort… Lover boy, you can see he is trying to make runs, but we have no one even close to finding one of them with a pass…

    One other question?? Why does Joey have to take every set piece?? God he has been sh*t lately… It’s time to share the load me thinks…

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  21. @toonsy
    I’m of the same opinion that skills can be worked on and crossing the ball is one of them.
    Scoring goals is an art that can’t be taught. You’ve either got it or you haven’t.
    He doesn’t score goals.

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  22. @ Bobby, Scoring goals is an art that can’t be taught. You’ve either got it or you haven’t.

    Thats a load of crap if ever I have heard it.. scoring goals is a confidence thing and it also has to do with attitude. How many great strikers have gone through goal droughts?? Nearly every one of them, and what is missing? (no, it is not their art). Give Ranger time and a few goals, he will show what he is capable of. Coming off the bench and scoring goals is not an easy task even for a seasoned vetran.

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  23. Morning Gentleman,
    Bothroyd and Puncheon on Pardew’s radar ❗ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ

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  24. morning TGS….dunno which gentleman you’re referring to though πŸ˜€

    Don’t want either of them πŸ‘Ώ

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  25. @Aussie
    Thankyou for your abusive thoughts.
    You clearly arent a striker . πŸ˜‰

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  26. @Aussie
    Great strikers become known as great strikers by scoring great and many goals. They do have droughts of course but rarely do they have them at the start of their careers. The strikers who don’t get off the mark are normally binned.
    Ranger is 20 yrs old.
    Owen was scoring goals for his club and England at 18 yrs old.
    Ranger has made 47 appearances over the past 2 seasons, scoring 2 goals in the championship.
    He has acquired the same amount in yellow cards.
    In my recollection he doesn’t really threaten the goal of any significance. He missed a sitter from 2 yds out against Chelsea.
    You’re right about confidence. His must be in his boots but only brought on by himself.
    5 yr contract!!! Unbelievable!

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  27. bobby Carroll was 20 when he scored his first Toon league goal πŸ˜‰ ……..though admittedly he didn’t have the appearances of Ranger.

    whey off oot.later

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  28. BSN9,
    Looking forward to seeing you and Stardy for a pint after the WBA.
    I am currently ironing my old white butchers coat and half mast jeans, then I will be searching the loft for my ox blood astronaut DM’s with yellow laces πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

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  29. @TGS
    ha! I’m wearing 4 scarfs like I did when I was 12 yrs old.
    One roond my heed, one roond my neck and one roond both wrists ! Camo army pants, docs and a punk rock tee shirt and a freshly shaved barnet!

    Thing was, I didn’t look oot of place! 😎

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  30. thanks for proving my point Starbob. Owen was knocking them in for fun when he was younger (confident with a “better than my opposition” attitude)… What has happened now… that’s right, he has lost his art… he is now struggling to score a goal and get a game. All players develop and peak at different ages.. Going by your opinion, if you haven’t made it by 20, you are to cast to the scrap heap.. I know you post mainly to wind people up, but you are wrong on this one …

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  31. @TGS
    I stand oot more noo, with my crop top, skinny jeans and soft canvas slip ons.
    I’ve grown my hair since those days like and sport a new side sweep fringe.
    πŸ˜›

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  32. simply no we arent being harsh , if any striker performed like they did on sunday then they would get slated!! roll on the summer , bye bye sho and loven

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  33. @Aussie
    I don’t normally post to wind people up, I get wound up by people who post ridiculous opinions. All entitled to do so but your view on strikers is another point in question.
    The fact is, you have the knack of scoring goals or you don’t.
    He is 20 yrs old and for me, he hasn’t got it.
    Try him on the wing.

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  34. Regarding Ranger it’s simple, send him out on loan to a ccc side and see how he get’s on.

    Regarding Shola, send him on his way never been good enough and the longer he stays means we continually turn to him. πŸ‘Ώ

    Regarding Loverman, send him on his way with a thank you.

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  35. tony cudnt agree with u more bud!!! ranger needs practise . oven and sho have had plenty of practise and they say it makes perfect but on this occasion thats not the case lol

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  36. can sum1 pplease answer this question!!pardue said ben arfa was pencilled in for the birmingham match!!!!! is this stil happening or is pardue talking absolute f****ing crap again????

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  37. They say luck favors the prepared. NUFC had some bad luck with Liverpool & generally bad luck all season. Not an own goal to Toon favor, no nice bobbles to cash in on, no funky deflections to a strikers feet. This is both bad luck and the lack of an opportunist attitude on the part of the Newcastle team. I think Joey Barton is a high quality footballer, but I think his failure to cash in the last few weeks on balls that came through to him unexpectidley demonstrates my point.

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  38. As i’ve said before-Lovenkrands must go, he simply can’t cut it. Getting the best of Shola however is making sure he isn’t no.1-When he was hungry at the start of the season when he came on as sub/cup matches he was hungry and fit, and I think as he’d be playing second fiddle anyway he’d be worth keeping on those merits. Our strikers did do well against ManUnited and ran their socks off to come back and support the midfield and I was impressed with that, its just a shame they didn’t carry that over to blackpool or liverpool

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  39. Think it’s a tad unfair to say Pardew is talking crap about Ben Arfa. I mean the lad has been out for what, seven months? Of course it’s going to be hard to nail down a return.

    This may come as a shock but……. people do recover at different rates……

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  40. Put HBA away until next season, there is far to much expectation of the poor lad.

    He showed glimpses of what he can do i.e goal at Everton, however against Blackpool and Stoke he was largely ineffective.

    He needs a good pre season behind him before we let him loose,
    no doubt regarding his talent.

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  41. TonyGreenSupreme
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    “Put HBA away until next season, there is far to much expectation of the poor lad.”

    Bingo πŸ˜‰

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  42. Strolla,Ranger, Best, Lovenkrands, Kuqi – would anyone be bothered if all of these were sold in the summer? Hardly the strike force to scare any Premier League sqaud is it? I thought it was weak when we came up (and that included Carroll). Pardew must buy one/ two new strikers in the summer and replace any dead wood listed above if they go – how many goals have this lot scored between them? Ranger for me is shit – I don’t really see any potential there and his attitude is apparently poor – sometimes I think we just fund his wanna be gangster life style!

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