Blackpool - Targetting a Target Man
UK time is: 13:53:47
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Targetting a Target Man

Why does Ian Holloway so desperately want a target man when our game is based on the way that Spain play? The answer is simple: it's his Plan B... his go to plan when we're not playing well/the opposition are sitting deep and we can't break them down/our attackers our being outmuscled by the opposition defence/the playing conditions aren't conducive to a short, high tempo passing game.

Despite the validity of wanting a striker who offers something different to the rest of our attack, some fans still cannot fathom why Ollie is so desperate for a physical presence in the final third. By and large this is because target men in this country are associated with long ball sides who launch high balls into the area for either a target man to knock down or head home.

But target men can be so much more than that. Take a look at Spain: their Plan B (although they rarely utilise it) involves Athletic Bilbao's 6 foot 5 inch striker Fernando Llorente.

Yes, Llorente will attack the ball in the air if it's smashed forward (aimlessly or not), but there's much more to his game than that: a) he can hold the ball up with his back to goal, allowing Spain's mobile midfield to push forward and feed off him; b) his physical presence attracts centre halves to him, creating space for Spain's attacking midfielders to flood into; c) he often drifts out wide, inviting the diagonal crossfield ball that he can either hold up or flick on for someone to run onto (as full backs are generally no match for him either aerially or on the ground).

Sure, he might not be a regular for Spain, but he still has 7 goals in 20 caps - not a bad return at all.

Hell, even Barcelona under Pep Guardiola played with a target man in the shape of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sure, the enigmatic Swede only lasted a season at Camp Nou (despite scoring 16 goals in 29 league games), but it shows that even an manager famed for playing 'tika taka' recognised the value that a target man can bring to a side. Again though, Zlatan wasn't your 'old fashioned target man'; like Llorente he has much more to his game than being good in the air and up for a scrap with the opposition's defence.

Yes, for every Llorente and Zlatan you'll get a Kevin Davies, but the former two illustrate how a target man can work in a system that the Seasiders are looking to replicate.

Last season we had Roman Bednar, and although he struggled with injuries, his performance in the home game against Hull illustrated perfectly the positive impact having an effective target man (both in terms of ability and how he's utilised) could have on us.

Presumably, any target man signed by the Seasiders would have to fit the Llorente/Zlatan (or if you want an English example; Peter Crouch) mould, especially with Ollie being such a fan of the diagonal pass I've written about above.

Billy Paynter - who had his trial with the Seasiders cut short earlier in the week and was sent back to Leeds - clearly wasn't the answer, with reports suggesting that the Seasiders continue to try and entice Emile Heskey to the club. Is Heskey the answer? I genuinely don't know, but there's one thing I do know; that Ollie is dead right to target a target man.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Eamonn Moore  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 5 2012

Time: 5:38PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Could Djeziri be the answer? He is tall, headed the ball down well and attracted Evertons centre halfs to him away from Caton, Ince etc.
seasider91
Report Abuse
05/08/2012 19:15:00

If Olly 'desperately' needs a striker, why hasn't he attempted to sign one? Did you ever think of asking him before you penned the article, or this another shill piece?
Bribaba
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 15:35:00

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Blackpool Articles

Striker Joins From Luton (Wednesday July 1 2015)

Accrington Closes Pre Season (Thursday June 25 2015)

McDonald's Plans Continue Apace (Friday June 19 2015)

Blackpool's Fixtures For 2015-16 (Wednesday June 17 2015)

Archived Blackpool Articles

List All Vital Blackpool Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

Vital Members League (view all)

League Results (view all)

Latest Results

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Barnsley 0 0 0 0 +0 0
2. Blackpool 0 0 0 0 +0 0
3. Bradford 0 0 0 0 +0 0
4. Burton 0 0 0 0 +0 0
5. Bury 0 0 0 0 +0 0
6. Chesterfield 0 0 0 0 +0 0
7. Colchester 0 0 0 0 +0 0

Breaking League News

DRFC Released midfielder joins Blackburn on trial
Doncaster : 05/07/2015 08:00:00
Strikers Join In Pre-Season Training
Port Vale : 04/07/2015 18:51:01
Kidderminster Friendly Arranged
Shrewsbury : 04/07/2015 16:04:00
McNulty Pleased With Tenerife Timing
Rochdale : 04/07/2015 15:59:00
Pragmatic Mowbray Seeks Spurs Link
Coventry : 04/07/2015 14:00:01

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Blackpool v Huddersfield
Suggested By:  Site Staff
Blackpool win 22%
Huddersfield win 64%
Draw 14%