As Evertonians, we have waited a long time for a 20 goal-a-season man.
We tried Bent, Beattie, Johnson, Yakubu, Anichebe, Vaughan, Saha, Jelavic – none of whom were up to the task (although in fairness the Yak & Saha had their moments, but invariably each were struck down by injury).
Romelu Lukaku represents (almost) everything we want from Our Striker - but perhaps the job description is changing.
Everton scored 67 goals last season, 26 of which were from Romelu. The next highest scorer was Barkley (6) followed by Mirallas & Coleman with 4 each.
I have enjoyed Lukaku as much as the next Evertonian but, if he was less selfish, the other players around him would score more goals. Put Dele Alli in our team, would he score nearly the number of goals he does for Tottenham? Or would Son, would Eriksen? Taking another team into consideration, would Pedro or even Hazard?
The selfless running from other teams' front men – Kane and Costa the best examples – create invaluable space for the other attackers to get in behind and through opponents back lines. The way Lukaku plays between the posts is fine if you have a team getting to the byline and whipping in crosses; but not if you have the two flowing inside forwards that Koeman seems to favour. Perhaps this is what Koeman saw Deulofeu providing when he was put up front while Lukaku was injured.
With the flowing inside forwards you need a striker who will make selfless runs to draw defenders, who will drop deep to pull them out of position, as well as finish HIS chances when he gets them. Arguably our best team in the Premier League era was the one with Marcus Bent up front, who would have scored more were he not lacking the finishing skills that would have made him a much more expensive striker.
To quote Moneyball, Everton need to find 26 goals; not a 26-goal striker.
When you think we are requiring 26 goals, it seems much easier to replace the man we trusted to score them. Find a front man with a mixture of power, pace and a footballing brain that will allow the two forwards and three midfielders around him to get 5-10 goals each and the problem is solved.
As always, COYB.
Reader Comments (22)
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1 Posted 16/06/2017 at 18:01:39
It's a matter of opinion, but I don't think the lack of selfless running from Rom is the reason we have no other consistent scorers in the side. I just think it's a lack of goalscoring quality.
2 Posted 16/06/2017 at 18:46:10
86-87 – 76 goals by 17 players, 24 from 4 strikers. Won the league, Cup-Winners Cup, and a hair's breadth from the double.
85-86 – 87 goals from 13 players, 30 from Lineker plus 29 from Sharp & Heath. Won nothing.
Love that statistics prove anything
3 Posted 16/06/2017 at 19:53:06
4 Posted 16/06/2017 at 19:57:39
5 Posted 16/06/2017 at 20:33:56
"Everton scored 67 goals last season, 26 of which were from Romelu. The next highest scorer was Barkley (6) followed by Mirallas & Coleman with 4 each. I have enjoyed Lukaku as much as the next Evertonian but, if he was less selfish, the other players around him would score more goals."
Eh? Complete non sequitur, for me.
Followed by: "Arguably our best team in the Premier League era was the one with Marcus Bent up front, who would have scored more were he not lacking the finishing skills that would have made him a much more expensive striker."
Riggghhhttt.... No, I'll just leave that one hanging there.
Finally you offer:
"To quote Moneyball, Everton need to find 26 goals; not a 26-goal striker. When you think we are requiring 26 goals, it seems much easier to replace the man we trusted to score them. Find a front man with a mixture of power, pace and a footballing brain that will allow the two forwards and three midfielders around him to get 5-10 goals each and the problem is solved."
Phhtt! 'king easy this management and player recruitment lark, innit?
Robert, it is not simply a case of making up for (potentially) losing Lukaku's goals next season. Our net goal tally wasn't anywhere near enough to challenge for those ever higher positions in the Premier League. We need Lukaku's 26 PLUS another 15-20 ON TOP OF THAT!
For the first time in the Premier League era (and beyond), we have a 25 goals a season striker. If Lukaku leaves, that effectively leaves us searching for the player(s) who can provide the bulk of the (now...) 40-50 goal shortfall needed to kick on to the next level.
So, nope! I can't agree with any of your offered premises.
6 Posted 17/06/2017 at 00:59:26
Why waste one of the precious few chances our midfielders and forwards produce on players who are going to lose the ball or sky it into the stands?
7 Posted 17/06/2017 at 01:06:47
The Colombia international certainly shares quite a few characteristics with Lukaku, as both are powerful centre-forwards, strong in the air and surprisingly quick.
According to Sportitalia, Everton intermediaries are in contact with Napoli and laying the groundwork for a bid.
The Partenopei want €20m for the 26-year-old, who spent the last two seasons on loan with Udinese.
This term he scored 11 goals with five assists in 39 competitive games for the Friulani.
8 Posted 17/06/2017 at 06:41:17
I was also trying to allude to the way Koeman plays, and Jay, I agree with your comment but I was trying to say the goals would come from more sources than just one, but if they did and we still had a 25-goal-a-season man, even better!
9 Posted 17/06/2017 at 09:26:56
Let's see how we do without Lukaku. I don't think it will be as bad as some fans think. Everton will play much more as a team and the attacks will not mainly go through one man.
Just my opinion, and I for one will not miss Rom.
10 Posted 17/06/2017 at 14:46:28
All the current top teams have multiple players who score a decent amount of goals, spreading the load.
But.... All except Liverpool have an outstanding striker who gets 20 plus. Liverpool do though have 3 very good forwards who get a decent total each.
A good spread of goals is important.
11 Posted 17/06/2017 at 14:55:47
To quote Moneyball, and centralise a statistical approach, should also be to recognise Lukaku's benefit as a creator in this regard. Obviously he is not supreme in this respect, but his assist record and chance creation stats are up there with some of the best in the league for central strikers.
Notably, Belgium score goals from other positions with Lukaku in the team why isn't he holding their midfield players back? Whilst Lukaku's game has issues, we need to work on improving the attacking players behind him. They are simply not good enough if we want to improve, and there is surely an argument to be made that Lukaku could improve with the likes of Alli and Eriksen behind him, or Silva and De Bryunne, rather than Calvert-Lewin, Barkley and Mirallas...
Lukaku is likely on his way, and although we could find someone who works harder, we will invariably suffer from the absence of his goals. Players who put the ball in the net are in big demand, even those like Higauin who do not work hard for the team.
I feel that the criticisms of Lukaku exaggerate his negatives and downplay his obvious positives, even if they've been motivated by his desire to leave. I've no doubt that a more loyal Lukaku would have more fans on side.
12 Posted 17/06/2017 at 17:42:25
It's been hammered to death by people other than myself that Lukaku is a "flat track bully", he only scores when the game is already won etc etc.
The actual loss to us without Lukaku in raw statistics is 9 points. That's what we need to replace. We've got a better keeper (well we all hope) so that could be another 3 points (Robles and Stekelenburg cost us more than one game so let's be conservative).
Then we only need to find six points. If we sign a centre back that might be another 3 points in shoring up the defence, due to mistakes made by Williams, Funes Mori and Jagielka. Also recall Holgate making a bad one.
Then attacking wise, the supply should be better with Klaassen and whoever else we bring in. Up top we need more width, and with Sandro (who I think will play wide left) and whoever actually replaces Rom in leading the line, should be able to replace the final three points.
But of course Moneyball doesn't apply to football. And you can't just dismiss everything else Rom did. We won games because of him, even where he didn't score the vital goals.
13 Posted 17/06/2017 at 21:35:11
However, I support the club, and my loyalty lies with Evertonians not with the transient owners... With those who eat shit burgers, drink warm beer, and look forward to the new season with insane optimism.
This time it is our turn.
14 Posted 18/06/2017 at 18:20:24
Lukaku's hold up play should be able to bring midfielders forward but mostly it's lost too cheaply. Far too often he has been the easy ball in defence and attack. Especially away from home, you need a selfless man up top to chase lost causes and pin teams back. Then the long ball becomes an option with the press.
The way to catch the top 4 is to win more games away from home not necessarily scoring hat fulls of goals although that would be nice.
Lukaku is not the right man for the job.
15 Posted 18/06/2017 at 21:14:35
16 Posted 19/06/2017 at 16:55:04
Presumably that figure is calculated by cancelling out any goals over and above the ones that put us one goal in front? However, say Lukaku scored two goals in a 2-0 win, I don't think that necessarily equates to a 'wasted' goal. What if that second goal was scored on 80 minutes, meaning a potentially nervy final 10 with the opposition pushing for an equaliser is now a comfortable 10 minutes where the opposition's heads have dropped.
I'm not saying the claims of Lukaku being a 'flat-track bully' are completely false, just that I don't think it's as easy to say 'x' number of his goals were pointless as they weren't the winning goal.
While Lukaku has his limitations, I find it difficult to understand why so many supporters are glad to see the back of him given his excellent scoring record, which none of our other strikers have come close to for over 20 years.
17 Posted 19/06/2017 at 17:22:31
We won the Cup Winners Cup in 1985, mate, plus the league. In 86-87, we won just the league.
18 Posted 19/06/2017 at 17:50:37
While not a striker (although Davey put him their toward the end of his Everton career) that's what Tim Cahill gave us. He would run in toward the two centre-backs, drawing them both toward him. Having fallen for the trap, Cahill would then pass it out to Baines or Coleman for a whipped ball in reply, creating him a more open chance to head it in.
19 Posted 20/06/2017 at 19:13:18
21 Posted 21/06/2017 at 18:15:37
So he's actually just an initially poor lad from nowhere (in his own mind), whatever happened later, and he can only relate to whatever money/fame he can get very quickly. I don't think he really worries to much about playing Champions League this year already, or only the following year (at best, with Everton). He feels that being seen as worth the money from his childhood football team (who are also playing in the Champions League, I'll admit), will prove that he himself has succeeded!
I almost feel sorry for him being so shallow that he don't want to build his own legacy wherever, but I also hope we can sell him for a load of money!
Am I evil, just because I want us to get Champions League qualification, and hope Chelsea messes up to only get Thursday matches next year??? :D
22 Posted 22/06/2017 at 08:14:19
However football is a team game. It doesn't matter who the scores the goals its the total that matters. We need to score more goals and I am sure we will regardless of whether we have Lukaku on the pitch or not.
You can only have 11 players on at the same time so remove Lukaku and he will be replaced with a striker who you could expect to hit 12-14 goals within the number of games that Lukaku played (even if spread across more than one player). And a team that plays well should have several players chipping in with 8 or so a season and I would hope we will be signing a couple of players of this type over the summer (Klassen hopefully is one). This easily makes up the Lukaku shortfall.
But more important than that is how the team plays, the speed of counter attack, the off the ball movement nothing to do with an individual player's ability to score all on their own it's not how it works.
23 Posted 22/06/2017 at 16:39:48
In the following weeks it seems interest in him is waning (unless something is happening in the background) there is a deafening silence from his agent and himself. All the recent stories point towards Chelsea and Man Utd going after other targets and In the meantime we have bought two decent reinforcements and others could be soon on their way in.
I wondered what the thoughts were that if we also sign the other players linked (Sandro, Keane, Sigurdsson) do you think Rom is having 2nd thoughts about leaving. If these players all came in, that would add to the two already bought and some of the really good U23s hopefully coming through.
I have to say I was sick of his mouthing and would have been glad to get rid then, but would 'we' like to keep him, for at least a year, and see him link up with the exciting talent now coming into the Club?
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