Friday, 4 July 2014

Is speed up front a must have in the Championship?

Looking at the Cherries's squad we quite a few strikers and while we may pick on one or two for being slightly pedestrian when it comes to pace I wonder how important it is to be quick these days? AFCB used pace to good effect last season with Grabban and Rantie especially among the most rapid players in the Championship. Those on the bench like Pitman may be wondering if he just wasn't pacey enough to fit into Eddie Howe's plans.

Has Eddie Howe got the right balance of
different types of striker at the club?
But is it the same at other clubs? I don't remember Mickie Quinn being quick on his feet in his day and yet he was a top striker. Perhaps things have changed, but then how would you explain the success of Jordan Rhodes or Derby's Chris Martin? They are not among the quickest of sprinters that I have seen and yet they put away plenty of goals. I would say that Eddie Howe has chosen to play in this way deliberately and his next forward buy could be another speed merchant if it turns out to be Callum Wilson - fingers crossed he could join the Cherries today.

Yet, do English clubs put too much importance on speed in their forwards? I would say Yann Kermorgant has shown that touch, skill and accuracy are just as important and maybe even more so. If anything I think it's the change of pace over a few yards that is a danger to defences and quickness of thought more often than not over physical pace. 

This World Cup has been very much about pace and play on the break. Still teams don't just use pace as a constant tactic, like England have so often, but they'll  pick and chose their moments and use the surprise of the unexpected. Perhaps that is a quality that some of the English Championship teams are still short of, but in Yann Kermorgant I can see that the Cherries have a thinking striker who has his radar firmly set on attack even when he may not look the quickest player on the park. The use of Rantie or Wilson playing next to him should give the Cherries a strong cutting-edge in the Championship. But if the Cherries do not pick up Wilson they will surely look for another player with pace to bolster their front line.

1 comment:

  1. I think that within this league you need pace to stretch the oppositions defence. If you look at our attacks last season, we often used Grabban's runs in behind defences to create space for others to play. This was also the case when Rantie came on.

    Next season hopefully Wilson will be more clinical than Grabban, and Rantie will rediscover his scoring touch!