The role of the new CF

Discussion in 'The Albert - LFC Talk' started by shachart, May 25, 2017.


Best LFC CF in the last 40 years

  1. Ian Rush

  2. Robbie Fowler

  3. Michael Owen

    0 vote(s)
  4. Fernando Torres

  5. Luis Suarez

  6. Daniel Sturridge

    0 vote(s)
  7. Other

    0 vote(s)
  1. shachart

    shachart Our greatest win

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    Since the season is now over, I have reverted to my old habit of watching old clips from the old days, while reading post and comments on the forum.
    It has occurred to me that the CF position has changed dramatically, but I am not sure for the better.
    Take a look at the clubs top CF scorers ( from the 70's ) : Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.
    Compare them to Torres, Suarez and Sturridge. As far as raw talent and ability goes, I think the latter are far more talented. They are probably more all round players, in a sense they are contributing more assists rather than just goals. I Couldn't find the exact number of assists Rushie had ( nobody counted them in the division one era ), but it stands at about 60-70, which is in today standards would be considered embarrassing.
    Having said that, neither Torres, Suarez or Sturridge could match the instinctive talent that Rush, Fowler and to lesser extent Owen had. They just had a sense of where will the ball end up, and they would be there. Add to that the most unearthly ability to stay calm in front of goal.

    Back in those days the system was pretty simple, you have 10 players who just need to get the ball into the opposition box, doesn't matter how or where, the CF will be there. Somewhere along the line CF lost that ability, of simply ( nothing simple about that ) being in the right place at the right time.
    I know I am simplifying things, all the old timers had amazing goals, and the generation have their share of tap ins. But you get the main idea.
  2. SirBillShankly

    SirBillShankly Joe and Holly's dad

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    3,615 a country mile.
  3. Zinedine Biscan

    Zinedine Biscan Trust in Klopp

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    It's Suarez for me... however it was incredibly close imo. It's easy to forget now just how wonderfully devastating Nando was in that first, injury-free season. He had it all, lightning pace, strength, world-class touch, aerial ability, could score tap-ins, screamers and everything in between. The boy had magic in his boots that season, at that point he was the best player I'd seen live. It felt like every time he got the ball, wherever he happened to be on the pitch at the time, it would end with a goal. It often did. He was a rapier to Luis' Tasmanian Devil.

    Luis' last season for us vs Nando's first... damn that is a hard call to make.
  4. OhYaBeauty

    OhYaBeauty Mamadou Sakho Fan Club Chairman

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    I think it's less that they've lost the instinctive ability to be where they need to be for a goal and more that they just have to do so much more nowadays to score. Back in the day the game was a fair bit simpler, tactically speaking. Even into the 80s and 90s (in England especially, before @cardiffpete jumps on me about Ajax or Milan) the 4-4-2 was widespread and tactics weren't really as relevant as having better players in the system. That meant you had a lot of strikers who only really had to figure out how to fill that niche, i.e. how to beat a 4-4-2 and score. So understanding the movement necessary to be in the right place was easier. Meanwhile nowadays there's a whole bunch of different systems ranging from 3-5 men back lines plus the shifting trend towards defensive midfielders who man-mark (often strikers) means the strikers have a less clear-cut direction in terms of finding open spaces. Which leads to players with flair filling the role so they can use dribbling or passing or flicks to find space and scoring opportunities instead of simply running into the gaps they've been working on finding time and again.

    At the same time, there's plenty of players who still fit that fox in the box mold that Rushie and Fowler exemplify. Chicharito stands out immediately, but two of our best strikers of the PL era have been like that. Sure obviously isn't one, but Torres was a goalscorer first who had tremendous movement and only really assisted because Gerrard knew exactly where to be for him. Likewise Sturridge has been that sort of strikers since he's lost his pace.

    That sort of old-school striker definitely still exists. But we as fans prefer the more complete player. Suarez, for example, was so fun to watch in his time here that we crave a player who can create that magic again. We'll settle for a pure goalscorer, sure, but as fans you want excitement and that comes from a player who generally is more flair-oriented than a poacher.

    So there's still plenty of those poacher types, but they're less valued and less common because we like our flair players and we need players able to cope with the myriad of defensive setups they'll come across in the modern game.
    kipland007 and The Elusive 19th like this.
  5. vjcpatriot

    vjcpatriot Well-Known Member

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    In terms of historical significance and what the player accomplished for the club, you have to give it to Rush. 199 career league goals and 427 league appearances for Liverpool. You can't top that.

    Suarez might have been the better talent, but how much did he actually do for Liverpool? Just 4 years with us.
    That's not even an eyelash bat compared to the other legends listed above.
    Libero, Sionach, geebo and 4 others like this.
  6. Iluvatar

    Iluvatar Eru

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    Suarez did it in a very weak team, the rest played with some of the best. Suarez for me any day of the week, he litterally can carry a team on his back, with drive, ability and fight.
    Alright Now and Jase like this.
  7. Zoran

    Zoran Fighting like beavers.

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    Only watched us since Fowler (didn't catch his best days though), so can only imagine Rush through clips... so in that period going back to Fowler, Suarez no doubt. Rush still takes it of course if you're doing an all time LFC XI.

    I'd say Fowler was the best finisher, Owen had the best pace, Torres was the best at leading the line on his own as a proper #9, Sturridge had/has the best technique.

    But Suarez overall takes it. Simply a different animal, very few weak areas and someone who I'd put trust in his mentality and ability in practically every type of game or circumstance, as long as he doesn't bite someone!

    You have to say, for a club that only had relative success in that period going back to Fowler, we can be pretty happy with the strikers we've had. You can also add some other players who were pretty good. Only lately it has gone a bit backwards with some poor signings like Carroll, Balotelli and Benteke.
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  8. indianscouser

    indianscouser Oh ya Beautttty!!

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    Torres. Pure Striker.
    Pace, Finishing, ability to turn the game in an instant.
    Shame that idiot left us(Ill never Forgive him for that, fucker broke everyone's heart including Steve G).
    Him and Suarez would have been stuff of legends here.

    For all time Liverpool XI, no doubt Rush.
  9. Jase

    Jase Well-Known Member

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    Suarez no doubt. One of the few players who actually deserves the label "world class".
    Alright Now likes this.
  10. lfc.eddie

    lfc.eddie "¿Plata... O Plomo?" Valued Member

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    I may like Suarez and a big fan of his, but for me he would come in second or third, definitely behind Ian Rush.
  11. kipland007

    kipland007 TIA Youth Team Valued Member

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    This is a great point, and I think it leads to a really interesting conversation about the tactical changes over the past few years. While I've really only been following the game for the past 10 years, I've definitely seen a serious evolution in the way top coaches set up their teams.

    Torres and Suarez serve as nice examples of the contrast between a traditional CF and a modern one. Torres was just absolutely clinical - one touch to settle and one to score. He'd thrive on being put through behind a defense and having to make a quick finish. He was always on the back shoulder of the defense and waiting for an opportunity to spring.

    Suarez - I always think of this goal () when thinking about his style of play. Seemingly out of control for parts at a time, and no one (possibly including himself) knowing exactly what he was going to do. Suarez was such a special player to watch because of his unbelievable desire to get past his opponent and his ability to try things most people couldn't even imagine. It was sickening to see him go to Barcelona, not just because he wouldn't be playing for us anymore but because he's playing second fiddle to Messi and Neymar now, not leading a line in his own unpredictable style.

    Generally speaking, I think that the future game will always favor players like Suarez over players like Torres. Defenses have improved significantly over the past years and versatility seems to be the number one attribute that coaches look for now. It's must harder to keep out a front three that is constantly rotating (Mane's movement is a good example of this) than a static one. The day of a traditional CF who sits on the shoulder of the defense is becoming a luxury that many teams can't afford, unless you are playing Mourinho-style and camping 10 men behind the ball.
    Alright Now, Jase and OhYaBeauty like this.
  12. geebo

    geebo Bekloppt ! (German for loopy)

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    its hard to compare players from different eras. Thats hard enough. Add to that that the role of a striker has changed over the years. I would say Suarez in style compares more to Dalglish than Rush.
    As a pure, classic striker, you can beat Rush. Noone comes even close. But Suarez is the pick of the modern striker in a front three system.
    melbournered likes this.
  13. OhYaBeauty

    OhYaBeauty Mamadou Sakho Fan Club Chairman

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    Funnily enough, my favorite Suarez goal will always be that one off the long ball from Jose Enrique against Newcastle, and that's about the most Torres-esque goal Suarez ever scored. The other two I always remember are the two long-rangers against Norwich.

    Bringing up Kenny is a really good contrasting point to what @kipland007 and I have been saying above. There have been some more modern, creative type forwards in the 20th century but they were fewer and farther between than they are now. Beardsley is another, and it's noteworthy that both spent a chunk of their careers in midfield.
    geebo, lfc.eddie and kipland007 like this.
  14. liver1

    liver1 Well-Known Member

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    Ian Rush easy. Suarez may have been a bit of a beast but he also use to miss 3 easy chances and score the harder one. He was not quite a pure centre forward.

    Torres had 1 great season the others were blighted by injury. He played in only roughly 23 Premier League games in each of his last 3 seasons and not all of them were starts.

    Ian Rush 346 goals / 660 games was a killer. In Rush's first spell before going to Juventus 207 goals / 331 games including 2 European cups.

    For seven years and 145 matches, when Ian Rush scored Liverpool didn't lose.
    melbournered likes this.
  15. AussieLFC79

    AussieLFC79 TIA Regular

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    I'd take Rush, Aldo, Fowler in that order
  16. Bensud

    Bensud New Member

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    Suarez. Had the lot. Dribble, free kicks, workrate, right foot, left foot headers, heart, could run in behind or have his back to goal. Complete number 9. Michael Owen and rush just miss out for me, goals in big games won us trophies.
  17. shachart

    shachart Our greatest win

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    While I agree we all like CF like Suarez, they are much more eye pleasing.
    The problem is, I think, that managers train the kids to be a suarez, and that is how they develope.
    Lets take Origi for example, He plays CF but allways drifts to the wings to recieve the ball. While Iwon't say never, Rush and Fowler were allways in the middle. They were trained from the age they could kick a ball that a CF place is in the box. All their playing instincts werehoned according to that.
    When we say a striker has a good holding ability we usually mean he is able to recieve a ball 35 yards out, hold it untill the second wave comes. 35 yards out, a CF should recieve the ball facing towards the goal. Back in the days, when you would say a CF has holding abiliity, you meant recieve the ball in the box with his back to the goal, make a turn a score. Fowler was the best I have ever seen in that aspect, even better than Rushie.

    I am the first to admit that Rush and Fowler are miles behind Suarez or even Sturridge when it comes to raw talent ( Ability wise they can play in several positions ). However, If we had a Rush or Fowler in our squad, all our problems against teams who park the bus would have been over. I don't think that Rush or Fowler would have been any less leathal if they were playing today.
    The closest thing to an old time poacher hunter in todays game would probably Aguero.
  18. Ʒan

    Ʒan Well-Known Member

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    I would go Rush as well. Its a shame that Torres' career was brought to its knees by injury because he was my favourite player to watch. It was clear 6 months before he left that he was toast so we dodged a bullet there and have no regrets in terms of he and Suarez never playing together. Suarez was bloody skillful and determined but still preferred Torres' short stint.

    But overall, Rush, no question. He didn't have just a single world class season then jump ship.
  19. eng.amohd

    eng.amohd The false nine

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    Currently most teams play 3 forwards (4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 3-4-3). All consist of a striker and two inside forwards/wingers. This marked a dramatic change in the type of strikers required from poachers; which Rush, Fowler and Owen excelled at to a more Complete Forward. Poachers offer absolutely nothing during build up play, but they time their pacy runs properly to be in the right place at the right time. These kind of players needs a 2 up to work properly (4-4-2, 3-5-2) which less teams use now, preferring wider attackers with a lone striker. If we were to judge our strikers on the "poacher" criteria then our best guys are Rush, Fowler and Owen.

    The modern lone striker role is much more demanding. You need to be quick, intelligent, skilful, hardworking and with an excellent finish. Some one who can drop deep to receive and hold up the ball, and play through balls for his teammates. He is required to be the '2' of the 4-4-2. Torres, Suarez and Firmino are the best ones for us. Suarez nicks it again for his superior desire and workrate. IMO, Firmino if improves his finishing and play with more fire and desire like Suarez, he'd be a real beast for us.
    Zinedine Biscan likes this.
  20. melbournered

    melbournered Member

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    Rush numero uno. Suarez second. Third Torres? Fowler? Owen? Don't feel like splitting hairs.
  21. dxb_red

    dxb_red Well-Known Member

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    Rush was just coming to the end of his Liverpool career when I started watching, so I never got to see him play in his first stint with the club. Fowler was fantastic, as was Owen for a few years BUT for me, in terms of just pure ability, Torres and Suarez were the best strikers I've seen. Torres in his first season was just phenomenal; he had pace and strength, but he was also so graceful and lovely to watch - he was just on a level above any other player in the prem. Suarez didnt make such an immediate impact, but he developed into one of the top 3 or 4 players in the world. The level he was playing at in those last 2 seasons was the best that I've ever seen a Liverpool player reach. I also think he had it harder than Torres as he didnt have prime Gerrard and Alonso playing behind him. Suarez just had a unique ability to make something from nothing and to control the game, and I dont think Torres had that ability. Considering all that, I'd have to say that Suarez is the best striker we've had in my lifetime.
  22. Never Say Never

    Never Say Never FSG are the iluminati

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    I can tell my children that I saw Luis Suarez live (4 times, albeit in a Uruguay shirt) and that's something I'm pretty proud of
  23. hugo the horrible

    hugo the horrible Ridiculously optimistic.

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    Rushie for me,he was great to watch,particularly reading and latching on to a through ball,sent shivers down my back sometimes.
    Reckon the others mentioned were all good,Suarez and Torres in particular,had they stayed would have likely been challenging.
    That didn't happen, so Rushie,all the way.