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Centre Forwards

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I've been watching a lot of old footage, interviews, highlight reels, and analysis of players recently, strikers in particular and it's got the ol' noggin thinking. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have kind of spoiled us; before those guys came along  centre forwards were percieved as more than unstoppable goal machines. It is hard to get past the statistics of goals these days; looking at freaks scoring 50, 60, 70, + goals a season. 

One guy I've recently been fascinated with is Dimitar Berbatov. First touch, quick feet, acceleration over short distances, and lateral movement; the guy was immensely talented and that can be easy to forget because the bloke never put in effort when it wasn't necessary, especially compared to young Wayne Rooney, and Steven Gerrard whom just bounced around the pitch like dogs chasing the ball. You could put the ball on this bloke's head and he'd gracefully place it into the net as if he were using his feet. 

Another is Robbie Keane, like Berbatov not blessed with pace buy had acceleration over a short sprint. Watching his goals, the bloke could turn on a dime, a marvelous athlete that would take a first touch with his back to the goal, pivot and strike the ball, in one smooth movement. 

Didier Drogba, a huge man, strong, capable with both feet and his head. He just created space through using his body and dribbling technique to shield, which would let players like Anelka and Lampard room to move unmarked, creating shooting oppurtunities, he could even cross the ball like a winger, but that didnt' happen often. A defensive beast for aerial duels in the Chelsea box. 

What centres do you blokes and blokettes think have underappreciated or forgetton techniques and skills? Hopefully you guys and drudge up memories of players that aren't talked of often. 

Watch Gary Neville's Soccerbox, it's quite a nice programme. 

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9 minutes ago, Spike said:

What centres do you blokes and blokettes think have underappreciated or forgetton techniques and skills? Hopefully you guys and drudge up memories of players that aren't talked of often. 

Jermaine Defoe comes to mind. 

Several caps for England (if I remember correctly) and would regularly bang in goals for the plethora of clubs he paid for - West Ham, Spurs twice, Portsmouth, Sunderland. It begs the question of how many more goals he could have got in an even more successful team in that period of the late 00s/early 10s.

Quite pacy, good finisher and sometimes would love to just smash the ball in. I remember several goals he scored for Spurs where he's so prolific and just smashes them in top corner when other players would perhaps be more cute or precise with their finishes, or just fluff the chance altogether. 

There's that legendary goal against Newcastle as well in the derby. Left foot volley from about 25 yards out. Quality. 

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Despite the fact he played for Tottenham and United I always really liked Berbatov. Such a classy player.

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Ulf Kirsten. Stocky, strong, bullish, absolutely lethal in the box (also in the air, regardless being relatively short), fantastic finishing, great off the ball too.

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Berbatov was kind of like a less dickhead version of Ibrahimovic. Just gifted, with skills for years. Scoring goals the kind of which no others could score. If Berba acted like a wanker every interview perhaps he too would be a legend. Some of the things I've seen him do were sickeningly fantastic. Hard to market a quiet Bulgarian dude who looks like he frequents vans outside playgrounds however. 

 

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Diego Milito was incredibly lethal in front of goal, it was almost shocking when he didn't score. 

Julio Cruz was also a big, bruising goal scorer that maybe folks have forgotten. 

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1 minute ago, Eco said:

Diego Milito was incredibly lethal in front of goal, it was almost shocking when he didn't score. 

Julio Cruz was also a big, bruising goal scorer that maybe folks have forgotten. 

That is exactly what this topic isn't about.

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2 minutes ago, Spike said:

That is exactly what this topic isn't about.

Really? 

You mention skills from CF's that may have been forgotten or not talked about much. 

Milito was fantastic, but I would say he wasn't considered' World Class', but he did however make some of the best runs off the ball I have seen, and I don't think he's mentioned all that much on here. 

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If he weren't such a mercenary we could all be talking about what a great high level Demba Ba was. Confident, athletic, just a gun.

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1 minute ago, Eco said:

Really? 

You mention skills from CF's that may have been forgotten or not talked about much. 

Milito was fantastic, but I would say he wasn't considered' World Class', but he did however make some of the best runs off the ball I have seen, and I don't think he's mentioned all that much on here. 

True. I mostly remember him for his massive fuckin hooter. 

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1 hour ago, Eco said:

Really? 

You mention skills from CF's that may have been forgotten or not talked about much. 

Milito was fantastic, but I would say he wasn't considered' World Class', but he did however make some of the best runs off the ball I have seen, and I don't think he's mentioned all that much on here. 

I know what my own thread is about. xD

Mpre a discussion about players that had more than just goals to their resume. The only thing you mentioned about Milito is that he scored goals. :what: Not that I disagree with you about Milito (luv em), just that you got the message wrong

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8 minutes ago, Spike said:

I know what my own thread is about. xD

Mpre a discussion about players that had more than just goals to their resume. The only thing you mentioned about Milito is that he scored goals. :what:

I never said otherwise...just re-stated what I figured this thread was about. I saw it as more of an appreciation thread for the CFs from our youth since Messi and CR have certainly tainted the scoring statistics with their incredible feats. 

Apologies if I didn't go into more details, but Milito did have some great characteristics outside of just scoring.

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Just now, Eco said:

I never said otherwise...just re-stated what I figured this thread was about. I saw it as more of an appreciation thread for the CFs from our youth since Messi and CR have certainly tainted the scoring statistics with their incredible feats. 

Apologies if I didn't go into more details, but Milito did have some great characteristics outside of just scoring.

Reread my edit

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Not a forward but Matt le Tissier had an unreal shooting technique. I don’t know what he did to the ball but he could just float it through the air like it was gently flying. A bizarre player from all the accounts I’ve heard

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4 hours ago, Spike said:

Not a forward but Matt le Tissier had an unreal shooting technique. I don’t know what he did to the ball but he could just float it through the air like it was gently flying. A bizarre player from all the accounts I’ve heard

Just ask Taibi.

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4 hours ago, Spike said:

Not a forward but Matt le Tissier had an unreal shooting technique. I don’t know what he did to the ball but he could just float it through the air like it was gently flying. A bizarre player from all the accounts I’ve heard

Good shout.

Watching some of the PL Years programmes from early/mid 90s he was so prolific. Was put in the wrong position for England and wasted internationally (although there were other top strikers to compete with).

His penalty record speaks for himself and it was his ability to not only try the audacious stuff but pull it off more than once. Quite good feet for a bulky guy as well. 

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Mark Viduka

For such a big lad, he had unbelievable feet, touch, skill, which along with his sheer physicality and aerial ability, made him an absolute handful.

The amount of deft touches or finesse chips over an on rushing keeper was daft, but he had that in his locker.

Not only that (and this is a little detail that often gets overlooked), he was as strong in either foot. Left or right peg was equal to eachother.

I've seen him torment some of the most 'streetwise' defenders and make them look like chumps. Martin Keown for example, he was a thug of a defender but a bloody good one and I've seen Viduka man handle him like a rag doll.

A prime Mark Viduka could play in the Premier League now for any of the 'Big 6' IMO, such were his all round qualities.

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3 minutes ago, Lucas said:

Mark Viduka

For such a big lad, he had unbelievable feet, touch, skill, which along with his sheer physicality and aerial ability, made him an absolute handful.

The amount of deft touches or finesse chips over an on rushing keeper was daft, but he had that in his locker.

Not only that (and this is a little detail that often gets overlooked), he was as strong in either foot. Left or right peg was equal to eachother.

I've seen him torment some of the most 'streetwise' defenders and make them look like chumps. Martin Keown for example, he was a thug of a defender but a bloody good one and I've seen Viduka man handle him like a rag doll.

A prime Mark Viduka could play in the Premier League now for any of the 'Big 6' IMO, such were his all round qualities.

I saw your name had posted in this thread and then I thought of Viduka but of course you beat me to it :D.

His partnership with Robbie Keane was frightening. 

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14 minutes ago, Stan said:

I saw your name had posted in this thread and then I thought of Viduka but of course you beat me to it :D.

His partnership with Robbie Keane was frightening. 

To be frank, it was more Alan Smith he partnered. Smithy loved playing off him because Viduka would pull defenders away and lay off for the likes of Smith, Kewell or an onrushing Bowyer to go in on goal.

Another Viduka quality that, the assists he got. Not many realised what he brought for others.

Keane had his best moments at Spurs I think. The one thing I would say about Robbie Keane though was his movement. Always on his toes.

He got an unbelievable amount of goals from the runs he made to get into space. Very clever movement.

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Emile Heskey did more than goals (which is probably for the best because he was never as prolific as that one spell in his career with Leicester and earlier on with us). I think he gets a pretty unfair reputation just because he was never the most prolific (and his strike partner with us was definitely prolific). But would Owen have been as prolific without him doing the dirty work? And his debut season for us, he was pretty fucking remarkable and at times unplayable.

He's the butt of a lot of jokes, but you don't have a long career like him in the top flight without having something about your game. I think Rafa would have loved him, and I wish he hadn't left for Birmingham on a free transfer with Milan Baros and Djibril Cisse to lead the line for us, tbh.

For other strikers that had more about their games than just goals, who can forget about two metre Peter. Also not the most prolific (although he was prolific for England), but was this giant stick man with brilliant holdup play and weirdly deft touch for someone who was so gangly and awkward looking.

I was going to mention Mark Viduka as someone with a lot to their game... and who was also prolific... but @Lucas took care of that for me.

I think an obvious one to mention, as well, would be Shearer. Prolific and had a lot to his game. And... it's hard to ignore Thierry Henry (imo, still the best player I've seen in the premier league in terms of skill & longevity) and Denis Bergkamp. Certainly a hell of a lot more to their game than just goals.

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Robin van Persie was a technical freak. He wasn't particularly fast and strong but he could score from outside, inside, volleys, left, right, head, free-kicks, penalties, you name it. He could control a whipped ball with his chest and half-volley it into the net, a beautiful technique, or he'd do this move where he'd fall towards the ground to redirect a hard pass so slighty, not even striking the ball at all really. He could absolutely smash the ball as well, no doubt

A fantastic winger that developed into an elite central player, and it probably would have happened earlier if not for injuries. 

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Shola Ameobi. Over 6ft 3 standing. Always mistimed his jump so by the time the ball reached him he was 4ft. Size 16 boots would regularly trip people up by accident and he would be non the wiser of how it happened. He had the turning circle of a bus and ran like he was dragging a few tyres in a Strongest Man competition. Scored in the Nou Camp.

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Something I've noticed from old videos (particularly in England) was that with the strik partnership, one of the centres would drop off wide or through the middle, chuck in a violent tackle to regain posession and then start a play that leads to a goal. That sort of tenacity is uncommon now, probably because managers want their forwards conserving energy to make runs, rather than come out of position to get in a tackle.

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