We usually give a run down of the best scorers among Europe’s top leagues, but today will approach the matter from the opposite angle, and highlight five Premier League strikers who are finding it very difficult to find the net this season, very unlike their usual production at this point of the season.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United – 1 Goal
Last season, Wayne Rooney scored 26 goals in 32 league matches and 34 in all competitions for Manchester United. If it wasn’t for his late season injury, United might have been with four consecutive Premier League titles. But he came back, maybe too soon, and it didn’t work out. The World Cup was terrible, for England and for Rooney who failed to score in four matches. In 2010-2011 it’s been more about scandals and injuries than proper football. The feud (or media spin) with Ferguson, the problems with the wife. Rooney is playing again and United are winning, but he’s far from the player who played like the best striker in the world last year during some stretches of the season.
Emmanuel Adebayor, Manchester City – 1 Goal
In the beginning of 2009-2010, Adebayor seemed like the best signing of the season. A hot start on a trendy team. That changed very fast. His actions during that win over Arsenal caused him to get suspended, and he never really came back the same player. Then came the tragedy in Angola when the Togo team bus was attacked and three people were killed. Adebayor, reportedly, wanted to quit. He finished last season with 14 league goals, but this season hasn’t been playing much, due to injuries as well. He has started only 2 games and came six times off the bench. He did score a hat trick in the Europa League against Lech Poznan, becoming the first Manchester City player to score a hat trick in European competition. Still, Adebayor seems like a shadow of his former self. Maybe it’s the number change (from 25 to 9).
Peter Crouch, Tottenham – 1 Goal
It’s not that Crouch scored hordes of goals each season. He netted in 8 last season for Spurs and has only twice scored more than 10 goals in a season while playing for Premier League clubs, but still, 1 goal in 17 league matches on a team flirting with title ambitions isn’t what you want from your target man. Funny thing about Tottenham – despite the open play and flowing style that’s attributed to Redknapp’s squad, they’ve scored only 25 goals in 17 games, just under 1.5 goals per game. Most of them are coming from the midfield (Bale and Van der Vaart). Jermain Defoe, playing only six games so far this season, still hasn’t scored.
Gabriel Agbonlahor and John Carew, Aston Villa – 0 Goals
A lot of potential in that striking tandem for Villa the combines strength and physical presence with acceleration and pace, but it never brought Villa more than a UEFA Cup/Europa League finish. This season, with Martin O’Neill leaving and Villa’s overall struggles, it seems that both players, when playing together or alone, can’t get it right. Villa have Ashley Young and Stewart Downing, luckily for them, but this team isn’t going far if their strikers can’t start netting their chances. Agbonlahor, who has been injured, is managing less than an attempt at goal per game. No wonder Villa have scored only 19 goals in 17 matches.