That seems to be the question on the lips of a fair few people as I ferret around the various NUFC fansites and forums.
Interestingly I remember the same debate being had around about this time last year, and we didn’t end up too bad in the scoring department did we?
So in an attempt to try and look at where the goals are going to come from I thought I’d look at the way the team, in my opinion, is likely to be setup and how we are hopefully going to nullify the loss of Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll’s goals. After all, it’s mentioned fairly frequently that we’ve lost our two top goalscorers from last season, yet I don’t see many people trying to come up with a way around it, so here goes.
Demba Ba is obviously going to be our main striker. He will be the man who will be tasked with getting us his fair share of goals as that it his main job – to score goals. He can do it, and he can do it in the Premier League so as long as his fitness holds up (which is a concern until we really see him in action and get a bit of confidence in him) then he should be able to hit the back of net at least ten times this season. In fact he has the potential to hit many more than that given the supply lines that are likely to be carving out opportunities for him.
You can’t just rely on one person though, which is why it’s interesting that we are still in the hunt for a striker. Speculation continues over the potential arrival of Mevlüt Erdinç, but to me the name isn’t important. What is important is the type of striker we are looking at to fill that second spot – a nippy, tricky striker who will, hopefully, chip in with a few goals. Think, attitude aside, Craig Bellamy. That type of player.
The interesting thing for me is the role of Hatem Ben Arfa. During the Kansas match he was indeed the No10 – or Trequartista – playing behind TWO strikers. To me that gives us a fluid attacking trio with plenty of pace and movement combined with the power of Demba Ba which will hopefully result in goals.
If Demba Ba and A.N. Other striker can get ten goals each, with Ben Arfa chipping in with three (or any combination that reaches 23 goals between them) then we’ve just replaced Caroll’s and Nolan’s goals.
Of course much will be made of Hatem Ben Arfa’s injury and questions will be asked of just how often he will be missing due to being too good for certain opposition defenders who will just hack him down, but people forget about Yohan Cabaye if that scenario actually happens. Remember Cabaye used to play in the attacking midfield role for Lille and had his best ever goalscoring season there (15 goals I believe?) so all would not be lost.
Of course much of this depends on getting another striker in that is better than what we have in reserve currently. If we can do that then I don’t think we’ll have a problem in scoring goals, and I think we’ll play some cracking football along the way to boot.
Isn’t that what it’s all about?