Mark Lawrenson is ‘not convinced at all’ that Islam Slimani will score the goals to keep us up this season, suggesting that the likes of Brighton HAVE addressed their goalscoring problems in January (unlike Newcastle) – even though their two new strikers have poorer goal records than the Algerian..
A strange assessment of goalscoring issues down at the bottom here from the BBC pundit, who looks at newly promoted sides Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield here ahead of the relegation run in.
Before I get to why his comments don’t quite add up, here’s what he said:
“I really don’t see goals in Newcastle, although against Crystal Palace they did commit forward however, Palace had all sorts of chances and really could and should have won that game.
“I think they’re scrappy and I look at the three promoted, I know you mentioned Newcastle, but I think you’ve got to lump in Huddersfield, they don’t have many goals in them, but Brighton, obviously they signed Leonardo Ulloa and the boy from PSV, so it looks like Brighton are addressing the problem.
“For the promoted teams, it’s always about getting enough goals to win games, not worrying about getting beat by Man City and Man United by three or four, it’s really about the results against the teams who are in the same position.
“But it’s about goals; goals make the difference in staying in the division and getting relegated and I just look at Newcastle and kind of go, ‘am I convinced Slimani will get loads of goals for Newcastle?’ No I’m not convinced at all.”
Firstly, I can’t disagree with his assessment of the Palace game, but if he watched recent home games against Swansea and Burnley then he’d have seen we had more than enough chances to win both games with a better striker in place. We have that now in Islam Slimani – but he doesn’t seem to rate him.
Now, pundits are allowed their own opinions, that’s what they’re paid for, but I find it odd that he praises Brighton for ‘addressing’ their goalscoring problems by signing Leicester’s Ulloa and PSV’s Locadia.
The former has 7 Premier League goals in his last 50 games and the latter is a striker whose only once got into double figures in the Dutch League – and that was in the 2013/14 season!
Yes they’ve broken their transfer record on Locadia, being their new £14m striker, but just because Slimani was an unused striker at Leicester and one we got on loan doesn’t take away from the fact he’s a £29m striker.
His fitness problems early on haven’t helped, but this is a man who scored 60 goals in little over 100 games in Lisbon, has a 1 in 2 record at international level and 8 goals in 15 starts for Leicester.
Lawrenson is entitled to his opinion, but this one, for me, is not informed and is a little misguided.