Future best center forwards in the game

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Future best center forwards in the game Empty Strikers: Slump in quality or too high expectations?

Post by Art Morte Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:07 am

So, where are we quality and quantity wise in top-class strikers? There are a few ways of looking at this.

Top scorers in the five big leagues last season: Aguero, Meier, Ronaldo, Lacazette, Icardi/Toni.

In the Prem the top-3 is completed by Kane and Costa.
In Bundesliga Lewandowski and Robben share the 2nd place. Robben isn't really a striker, so tied for next place are Aubameyang and Bas Dost.
La Liga is interesting, because no one in the top-4 is an out-and-out striker: Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann and Neymar. The first real striker is Carlos Bacca with 20 goals.
In Ligue 1, Gignac and Zlatan complete the top-3.
Tevez finished 3rd in Serie A.

Is it just me or are there quite a few underwhelming names there?

Quite a few young strikers emerged to the top level this season (Lacazette, Kane, Icardi). Are they talented enough to reach and maintain world-class status?

Obviously we need to mention players like Suarez, Benzema, Higuain, Cavani and maybe Muller, Van persie and Rooney, too, in spite of them not featuring on the above charts. To complete the 'best strikers in the world right now' list.

I also find it intriguing to look at the strikers of some of the biggest national teams.

Spain: Costa, Morata, Pedro, Alcacer, Torres.
Germany: Muller, Kruse, Gomez.
Italy: Err... Immobile and Pelle?
France: Benzema, Lacazette, Giroud, Gignac, Remy.
Brazil: Tardelli, Fred, Damiao, Firmino?
Netherlands: Van Persie, Huntelaar, Dost.
Then there's of course Argentina, who seem to have striker options in silly numbers: Aguero, Higuain, Tevez, Icardi and throw in Dybala, Palacio and Lavezzi for good measure.

That's an even more underwhelming list, imo.

Finally, I might ask who is the best African striker at the moment? Aubameyang? Bony?


Anyway, what do you think of the level of top-class strikers right now?



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Post by ahmad25 Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:50 am

I didnt get the point but football is evolving of course. There is no inzaghi anymore
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Post by Bankz Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:00 am

Quantity wise now is a better time, I mean some guys on there are hitting goals R9, Inzaghi, Raul, Henry, Rvn, Crespo, Vieri, Sheva, Owen, more recently villa and drogba didn't even hit consistently aside their single best seasons..their average was between 25-35 to mostly 20-30 goals a season.
So, the problem I see here isn't quantity, the problem I see is a little bit of quality in the sense that there are no big game strikers anymore. I mean, with guys like R9, you were already sure of being a goal up in a big game and aside that, guys like him had the technique a number 10 would only dream of, thus producing quality moments and feelings in big games on a consistent basis, which is where stars a born. Crespo, inzaghi, sheva, nistelrooy and all night not have had his technique, but they bosses the big games with their movement and positioning making them almost impossible to stop. But, despite their talent, they somehow never stat paded against fodder teams for what ever reason.
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Post by Bankz Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:18 am

Continued..
Now, aside Messi, CR7 and Neymar, 3 absolute superstars, then to a lesser extent aguero, Suarez, benzema but who are downright big game players with some unreal technique to boot these days?, who really are big game strikers? ibra? Cavani? Lacazeth? Higuain? Toni? Fred? Icardi? Pelle? Lacazeth? Bacca? Kane? But then again if you look at just their Numbers, you'll see that it's quite comparable to the big names of times past, so I think the problem isn't about quantity, its mostly about quality (combined with some extraterrestrial abilities to booth I.e technique, ball control, movement) in big games. I mean Neymar probably has his 3rd 40+ goal season and is already already on 250 goals in his career, how many did Inzaghi, Sheva, Owen and crespo have? Even if they equally played low level football or for their own domestic leagues before leaving for Europe (south Americans, Africans etc) how many did they have? In fact what was their best goal scoring season overall? You see Messi and Ronaldo hitting so 50-60+ goals consistently as if it were nothing, you see them hitting 90+ goals in a calendar year which nobody could dream of before now, you see van persie scoring 37 when he was fit, Henry's best tally was 39 ffs, you see Neymar hitting 40+ goals in his second season in Europe without penalties, you see aguero hitting 30+ goals when fit, you see Suarez hitting 30+ when not banned, infact he's even hit 30 league goals once, how many did RVN hit in one season in man utd? Except the one season where he hit 40+ and another 40+ in psv? you see Kane hitting 22 league goals in his debute season. What was owens best tally? What was rauls best tally? It was really mediocre when i saw it then, i mean raul had a couple of 30 goal seasons and the rest were 20+ and that was all, but which European NT striker is a bigger game player than him at club level? Another case was R9, he was an absolute monster but he even only hit one 40+ goal season in europe, he only scored 30+ league goals once and that was in barca otherwise he generally scored 21-25 league goals per season and between 30-31 goals in all competitions. Yet this same R9 won the balon d'or twice and WPOTY multiple times, heck he even win the first ever UEFA best player award playing in the UEFA cup ffs.. Has the biggest individual honours on the surface of the earth like it was nothing, not club and NT wise..
So TLDR, the problem isn't quantity as enough strikers are delivering in that fronnt already but mostly about quality especially in big games..
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Post by rwo power Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:02 pm

In the Bundesliga, you usually don't find a singular target man in a team, which leads to the larger distribution of people who score and also the lower number of goals that specific players score.

This year, Alex Meier became top scorer with 19 goals scored. Last year, Robert Lewandowski won the "Torjägerkanone" with 20 goals. The year before that, Stefan Kießling was the top scorer with 25 goals. Since 1977, no top scorer got more than 30 goals in the Bundesliga, so it is pretty normal here to have low scoring strikers and not a trend. I think it depends on the tactics the coaches employ.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Torsch%C3%BCtzenk%C3%B6nige_der_Fu%C3%9Fball-Bundesliga
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Post by titosantill Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:50 pm

in my opinion, neither. the quality of strikers these days is just as good as it was and expectations; based on what i hear are reasonable. the only reason there's this "slump" perception, in my opinion is, anytime a big striker comes up, a big club comes knocking and they end up signing him. which was different back in the day, when top strikers could turn rebuff moves from real, barca, epl et al.

in fact, most strikers do more than the typical nos 9 used to do back then. even guys we consider as poachers know to develop other aspects of their game. as far as expectations are concerned, fans and pundits seem reasonable enough to NOT expect a forward who isn't (well you know the 2 guys i'm talking about) ; to score 40 goals a season in all competitions. as far as i know, 17-20 goals in the league, and 24-29 goals in all competitions is still a reasonable rate to ask of your striker

anything from 24 league goals to 30 in all comps and above is fantastic and isn't frowned upon. so yes, expectations are still realistic. its just that we are in an age where the likelihood of the top strikers all over the world to be concentrated in 8 european clubs is the reality....whereas it was a lot more varied and distributed years ago.

batistuta at fiorentina for the length of time he spent there, makaay at depor for that length, elber @ bayern for that length, and so on....would have never happened now. but it doesn't mean strikers are worse off, or expectations are too high.

one more thing, you also need to factor change in formations over time. once upon a time 4-4-2 was the norm, so you had your main striker/poacher who could give you the 20-25 league goals, and the support striker who could contribute maybe 17-20 (if u're lucky)....now a lot of teams would rather use the 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, with one center forward, and the other center forward sitting on the bench.

the starting center forward thus is tasked with watching his lines as well as being able to help out every now and again from the creative standpoint, so maybe there are less starting strikers, compared to the last decade, but that doesn't mean less quality. a lot of those strikers morte mentioned are very good footballers (maybe except for luca toni, who is alright but my dislike for him probably clouds my judgement)
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Post by Art Morte Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:34 pm

titosantill wrote:in my opinion, neither.


Yes, well, this might be the truth, I just wanted to go with the same title as in the other thread I made about full-backs.

However, personally I do think there's a lack of top strikers who, err, strike fear in their opponents the way Henry, Drogba, R9, Raul, Nistelrooy and the likes did. There are strikers who put up good scoring numbers, but somehow, at least to me, they still lack the fear factor, they're not quite as good in my eyes as some of the guys in the 90's and 00's.

If you look at the top-10 strikers of today and the top-10 in 2005, I think 2005 wins hands down.

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Post by futbol Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:11 pm

Instead of pure strikers you now have all-around forwards/wide forwards like Robben, Neymar, Cristiano, Messi, Bale, Müller, Alexis often being the main goal source. That wasn't the case in the 90s/00s. Wingers were creator types like Figo, Pires, Nedved, Giggs, Beckham, even Ronaldinho who barely averaged 1 goal every 3 games without penalties and freekicks. But even then I don't see how Lewandowski, Agüero, Suarez, Benzema, Higuain, Tevez, Costa, Ibra, Cavani is a bad list. I'm not convinced the overall forward quality including the aforementioned wide forwards is really worse than the 90s/00s.

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Post by Curtinho Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:42 pm

I think it's a tactical thing as mentioned. Before wide players were more creator types that put in a bit more work off the ball, and now there is a lot of emphasis on wide forwards/inside forwards to score and strikers to have a more all-around game to provide, pressure, score, etc.

Not to mention I think that with more video, training and rigid systemic approach teams are also better at making it harder for individuals to really exploit them as in the past. Adjustments are better, etc.
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Post by The Franchise Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:13 pm



The list of strikers Futbol named;  Lewandowski, Agüero, Suarez, Benzema, Higuain, Tevez, Costa, Ibra, Cavani (and some others) is a fine list...its just not what I consider quite as good as the golden era. The list is not Raul, Romario, Batistuta, Shevchenko, Vieiri, Ronaldo, Shearer, Weah, Del Peiro, Trezeguet, Crespo, Suker...that sort of 95 to 00-01 period was obviously an outlier in time and while not all of these were in their prime in the same year obviously, that kind of period was churning out some incredible strikers which in other 4,5 or 6 year periods most obviously cant match up to. Those guys were just more skilled and just ruthless as forwards.

But I mean, just before that (Van Basten, Klinsmann, Rossi, Muller sort of time) it wasnt quite like that either, nor after it with the likes of Henry, Drogba, Etoo and some others...those generations are more comparable to this one. Its just not going 15-20 striker deep of names of unbelievable forwards.
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Post by BORUSSIA!! Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:38 pm

The Franchise wrote:

The list of strikers Futbol named;  Lewandowski, Agüero, Suarez, Benzema, Higuain, Tevez, Costa, Ibra, Cavani (and some others) is a fine list...its just not what I consider quite as good as the golden era. The list is not Raul, Romario, Batistuta, Shevchenko, Vieiri, Ronaldo, Shearer, Weah, Del Peiro, Trezeguet, Crespo, Suker...that sort of 95 to 00-01 period was obviously an outlier in time and while not all of these were in their prime in the same year obviously, that kind of period was churning out some incredible strikers which in other 4,5 or 6 year periods most obviously cant match up to. Those guys were just more skilled and just ruthless as forwards.

But I mean, just before that (Van Basten, Klinsmann, Rossi, Muller sort of time) it wasnt quite like that either, nor after it with the likes of Henry, Drogba, Etoo and some others...those generations are more comparable to this one. Its just not going 15-20 striker deep of names of unbelievable forwards.


Those two lists are unfairly compared. One list is based of just this season the other list is based off a 7 or 8 year period where in the late 90s or early 20s where all those strikers mentioned had their ups and downs.

The current list could be based off the last few years. Therefore players like Eto'o, Drogba, Torres, Villa, Forlan, Milito, Rooney, RVP, Falcao could be included in the first list. Now the list doesn't look too bad.

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Post by The Franchise Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:44 pm

If you read the line just under it, you can clearly see my explanation surely.

That list starting at Raul, you can consider those names over a 5 year period and group them together.

That list above that starting from Lewandowski is obviously just a list of one season (kinda) but as I also said there are others. Yes, you can include some of those if you like.

However, even so...it pales in comparison to that other list. As I stated, I think that sort of 5 year period is a big outlier in football and you wont see anything like it.

That list there is not to be compared to a list which includes names like Ronaldo and Romario and so on.
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Post by rwo power Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:40 pm

The interesting thing is that except for Gerd Müller (and Dieter Müller once), in the Bundesliga there was never a striker who scored more than 30 goals in a season, and this even though there were pretty well-known guys around (like Jürgen Klinsmann, Jupp Heynckes, Klaus Fischer, Klaus Allofs, Kalle Rummenigge, Rudi Völler, Miro Klose, Luca Toni, Edin Džeko, Mario Gomez, Robert Lewandowski etc.) Of course one has to consider that the BL has only 34 matches and not 38, but still. And you can't say there are fewer goals scored in general - I just checked - the Bundesliga has the highest goals per game average of the top 5 leagues:

Future best center forwards in the game Goals10


Last edited by rwo power on Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Kaladin Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:48 pm

^Its the same with Serie A, in the past 50 years, no went beyond the 30 count bar Luca Toni. The closest has been Cavani and Di Natale with 29 goals respectively. Guys, like Crespo, Batistuta, Totti, Ale, Di Natale, Sheva, MvB, etc did break that barrier. Obviously that doesn't entail their quality, as football isn't just about goals. However, i think one should look at the relationship of strikers to defenders in each era before surmising anything imo
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Post by rwo power Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:57 pm

I just added the goals per game for 2012/13 in the top 5 leagues above as it was the first comparison I found - the fun thing is that in the Bundesliga, we have the highest goals per game ratio despite low scoring top scorers. IMO that means there has to be a difference in tactics here when compared to other leagues where you have top scorers with unusually high output.
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Post by rincon Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:22 pm

Is there a lack of talent in this area? I cant think of many top prospect CF right now, even not so WC prospects.

The best Im thinking are Kane, Morata, Martial and Icardi.
Who else? who is Gomez' replacement in Germany? or a dutch CF? In Italy perhaps Gabbiadini but he needs game time to know. Is Gabriel Jesus a CF?
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Post by Vlad the Impaler Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:31 pm

Paulo Dybala
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Post by Donuts Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:33 pm

rincon wrote:Is Gabriel Jesus a CF?

he's an inside forward,, a crappier version of neymar
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Post by Kebab Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:33 pm

Football is evolved. Strikers must do more. just standing there for tapins remained in the past. No hope for future
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Post by sportsczy Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:34 pm

Nabil Fekir looks like he will transition there soon for Lyon. He's 23 though so he needs to hurry it up lol. Lacazette needs to leave first. Otherwise, he plays the "Griezmann" role.

Jean Kevin Augustin (19) and Marcus Thuram (18) are two of the bright younger prospects at CF for France coming up too.

Ousmane Dembele, although not a CF right now, may develop into a Aubameyang type. We'll see at Dortmund.

Those are the french ones.
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Post by McLewis Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:38 pm

Timely thread, Rincon Thumbs up

I was discussing Germany's lack of a alternate #9 behind Gomez in another thread.

Dybala is probably the one in Serie A that's worthy of the label right now. I don't see too many others.

One that I keep hearing about is Ajax's Richairo Zivkovic. Never seen him play, but I see his name pop up a good deal in discussions like this that I have with friends.

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Post by Claudio84 Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:38 pm

Rashford has a lot potential.

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Post by Lucifer Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:14 pm

Andrea Andolini. Definitely one for future.
19 years old, Italian, fast, good passer, great dribbler and efficient finisher. Plays for Lazio loaned out to Midtjylland football club. Not to mention extremely attractive ( no homo).

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Post by Kaladin Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:18 pm

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Post by rincon Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:42 pm

I don't count Dybala since at Juve he is playing 100% SS. Does so much better playing off Mandzukic that I can't call him a CF for this season. Doesn't get more pure-old-school CF-SS pair as Mandzukic and Dybala at Juve.
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