From Vardy to Lewandowski, vintage traditional No 9s are thr

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From Vardy to Lewandowski, vintage traditional No 9s are thr Empty From Vardy to Lewandowski, vintage traditional No 9s are thr

Post by myngoc128 22/11/19, 02:22 pm

Ever since Hungary swaggered into Wembley in 1953, deploying Nandor Hidegkuti as a “false nine” and shattering England’s superiority complex, the traditional No 9 has been left a yard off the pace, fighting for a place in the beautiful game. These days strikers have to be fit, hard-working and flexible, often leaving the headlines for those who profit from their efforts. It has been 15 years since an out-and-out striker – Milan’s Andriy Shevchenko – won the Ballon d’Or. That marked the end of a golden age for goalscorers, now endangered in an era of relentless pressing and possession.

That’s the theory – but the numbers tell a different story. Jamie Vardy, Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema and Ciro Immobile of Lazio lead Europe’s scoring charts, plundering 50 goals between them already this season. Immobile is the youngest at 29, Vardy the oldest at 32. Strikers scoring goals should never be a total shock – but these traditional forwards are now flourishing in a game that was leaving them behind.

From Vardy to Lewandowski, vintage traditional No 9s are thr Ole-Gunnar-Solskjaer

The quartet do have common traits. Of the four, only Benzema has spent a decade playing at the highest level. When the Frenchman joined Real Madrid in 2009 Lewandowski was still playing in Poland, Immobile was honing his skills in Italy’s lower leagues and Vardy was a non-league player w88 mobile .

The Leicester forward plays with an intensity that belies his age, too, and has been able to steer clear of niggling injuries.

Vardy took the decision to retire from England duty after last year’s World Cup. Benzema’s four-year international exile was not his choice, but additional rest periods may be crucial to their longevity. Domestic and international schedules have never been more demanding. Last summer there was barely a three-week gap between the Afcon final and the Premier League’s first games.

All four players are also benefiting from domestic stability, with a total of 25 years’ experience at their current clubs. Lewandowski and Benzema have taken on totemic roles with sides in a state of flux, Vardy and Immobile have evolved to stay in tune with their teams, but strikers everywhere are benefiting from broader tactical trends in the European game.

Football has rediscovered its physicality, with Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool marking a watershed moment with their Champions League fightback against Barcelona. Even Pep Guardiola, rarely the centre-forward’s friend, has Manchester City whipping crosses into the mixer. VAR has also played a part. Studies have shown that its introduction has slowed the pace of buildup play and increased uncertainty in defences. All of which is good news for goalscorers w88 line .

Despite these helpful conditions, the modern forward must still adapt to survive. Vardy is the perfect example of this; he helped lead Leicester to the title in 2016 as a spiky, reactive menace, tricky and quick as a winger but with a centre-forward’s ruthless streak. But when Arsenal made an offer for his services that summer, brows were furrowed. How could Vardy’s style work within a team playing on the front foot?

Brendan Rodgers has shown us how. “We’re playing to his strengths, which is to be direct. Jamie’s strength isn’t linking up the game and playing people in – it’s being on the last man,” the Leicester manager said. Operating in more congested penalty areas, Vardy is now creating the extra yard his pace used to give him. Against Arsenal, the forward scored one goal and set up another by peeling away from goal at the end of fluid passing moves.


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