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FabianJonsson

Relative Importance of Attributes for Strikers

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Introduction

I have been struggling to find strikers that can perform game after game. They tend to go through periods where they score a lot, and dry spells when they can't finish a chance to save their lives. In an attempt to avoid this going forward, I've tried to list all of the attributes I believe can impact a strikers´ performance and judge how important they are relative to each-other. I present it here to get feedback, and to get other people with similar problems thinking about why they struggle in a more constructive way.

 

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Judging from this, and given that i play a rather fast-paced counter-attacking approach, where the main job of the striker is to just finish his =)#"/% chances, I will look to sign someone with high values for:

Consistency - since I want him to be the main goal scorer, and can't afford him to have lots of quiet days

Finishing, Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Off The Ball, Agility - sniff out the chance and hit the back of the net

And, if possible, with decent values in:

Dribbling, Technique, Acceleration, Pace - since we play a counter-attacking style

Injury Proneness, Pressure - since I want him to be reliable throughout the season

 

Now, this is similar to what I have always looked for in a striker, but listing it like I did in the tables above, has made me rethink the relative importance a little bit. I have always looked for players with high pressure and professionalism (ideally players described as "spirited"), but this might not be the most important aspect to get a consistent striker. I have also generally looked a lot on physical attributes (acceleration, pace, primarily), but again, this may be of secondary importance.

 

What do you guys think, am I roughly correct in my descriptions, or have I gotten something horribly wrong?

 

Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so I will have a little look around on the transfer market, and if I find someone matching the description, I will bring him in and see how he fares.

Edited by FabianJonsson

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Any quality striker can score goals in the right system - so you could list virtually every attribute as worthwhile in there potentially. What matters is the right ones for the right system.  I think your core ones are on the money though.

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In my opinion, it depends on the level you are playing. Pace/acceleration/anticipation are the key attributes for a lower league counter attacking striker, but in the premier league, I doubt you’re going to find strikers who are just leaps and bounds faster than the players defending them. Even still, I don’t consider signing any strikers that wouldn’t be considered one of the fastest players in the league they are playing in, regardless of their other stats. Speed kills.

Edited by Ether_mR

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On 21/02/2020 at 23:44, llama3 said:

Any quality striker can score goals in the right system - so you could list virtually every attribute as worthwhile in there potentially. What matters is the right ones for the right system.  I think your core ones are on the money though.

My aim was not to muse about which attributes are most important for strikers, per se. My aim was to try to figure out what the most important attributes are to get a striker to score regularly (avoid slumps). I've had a lot of trouble finding strikers who score week in and week out. Instead I've had players who score 5 in 3, then go 5 without scoring, then back to scoring for fun. In the end they have a decent goal/game ratio, but I still have many games where (despite creating loads of quality chances) we fail to score. 

Or are you saying that there are no attributes that help the striker be consistent?

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1 hour ago, FabianJonsson said:

My aim was to try to figure out what the most important attributes are to get a striker to score regularly (avoid slumps).

First step should be to define "score regularly" and define "slump".

And is this purely focused on goals scored, or goal involvement? For example, if my striker went 3 or 4 games without scoring, but notched up 2 assists over that spell, I wouldn't really be worried about any kind of slump developing.

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3 hours ago, rockpie said:

First step should be to define "score regularly" and define "slump".

And is this purely focused on goals scored, or goal involvement? For example, if my striker went 3 or 4 games without scoring, but notched up 2 assists over that spell, I wouldn't really be worried about any kind of slump developing.

Yes, in this case it was purely the goal return. The reason being, I (consciously) built a tactic where most goals would come from a poacher. So I felt it would be absolutely crucial to get a player there who I could rely on to put away the chances he got. So, in other words, I would rather have a player that scores a goal every other game, than a player who scores a hat-trick every six games... This means I am looking to have consistent performers who don't go through confidence crises, injury crises, play a particular style that only suits certain opposition, etc, etc. 

I know this is a tough ask, but my idea was to figure out what attributes to look for to maximize my chances of finding a regular performer.

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10 hours ago, FabianJonsson said:

My aim was not to muse about which attributes are most important for strikers, per se. My aim was to try to figure out what the most important attributes are to get a striker to score regularly (avoid slumps). I've had a lot of trouble finding strikers who score week in and week out. Instead I've had players who score 5 in 3, then go 5 without scoring, then back to scoring for fun. In the end they have a decent goal/game ratio, but I still have many games where (despite creating loads of quality chances) we fail to score. 

Or are you saying that there are no attributes that help the striker be consistent?

But that depends on how you play and if that suits the forward. If you are creating crossed chances and headers, then jumping, strength, heading etc. are key. If your centre forward is finishing chances  in tight areas in the box, I'd say agility, balance, first touch, finishing might be relevant there. If a striker goes clean through, it's pace, acceleration, composure, finishing. The question has to come back to - are you creating good chances regularly?

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I know. And I have written that in the OP.

But surely you have had strikers going through rough patches? Yes? If so, how do you avoid that? Not entirely, but reduce the risk? THAT is what I'm after. I don't need tactical advice, I don't need to understand how to get a striker scoring. I was just thinking about how to maximize the goal/chance of a poacher over the course of a season. No more, no less.

So.

Quality chances - absolutely. But I employed a poacher that should ONLY sniff out opportunities and finish them. So the tactical bit was sorted, he got a lot of good chances.

Injuries - hard to finish from the stand.

Pressure, Consistency, etc. - always performing at the top of his ability.

Finishing, Decisions, etc. - puts away the chances he gets.

And so on.

Edited by FabianJonsson

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23 hours ago, FabianJonsson said:

Yes, in this case it was purely the goal return. The reason being, I (consciously) built a tactic where most goals would come from a poacher. So I felt it would be absolutely crucial to get a player there who I could rely on to put away the chances he got. So, in other words, I would rather have a player that scores a goal every other game, than a player who scores a hat-trick every six games... This means I am looking to have consistent performers who don't go through confidence crises, injury crises, play a particular style that only suits certain opposition, etc, etc. 

I know this is a tough ask, but my idea was to figure out what attributes to look for to maximize my chances of finding a regular performer.

OK then, in that case:

On 20/02/2020 at 11:16, FabianJonsson said:

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I would say the following attributes are not given enough importance in your rankings:

Technique - Very surprised to see you had this ranked as "low" when it comes to finishing chances. A players with high technique is going to be a much more effective finisher, since his ability to strike the ball cleanly / as intended is a vital aspect of putting chances away. I would rank this as "high" importance, personally.

Aggression & Bravery - Your explanation suggests that these apply more to strikers involve in more aerial duels, but for a Poacher role primarily operating in congested, central areas.. you don't want him pulling out of any kind of duel, in the air or on the ground, and you want him to be aggressively looking to get involved whenever the ball reaches a dangerous area. I would assign both of these "medium" importance.

Concentration - Pretty self-explanatory I think, "medium-high" importance, lowers the chance of a player's performance suffering later in games and minimizes the chance of mistakes / sloppy finishing. Could be the difference between a poacher scoring a late goal to keep his form going, or missing and then going a few games without a goal.

Determination - Similar to Aggression and Bravery, but always of "high" importance for me regardless of role. You want a player who is going to push through any fluctuations in morale and continue performing regardless of what's going on around him.

Balance - "Medium-high" importance I think, easier to score chances and maximize technical attributes if the player is able to maintain his balance as well as possible when attempting to score. Ever tried to do something when off-balance? Always harder.

 

Just a few thoughts anyway.

Edited by rockpie

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Good input. The reason for putting technique to low importance was that I read somewhere that it was mostly tied to "difficult" actions; you know - tricks, flicks and bicycle kicks... But if it is more involved in all actions, then yes, it should probably be more important.

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37 minutes ago, FabianJonsson said:

The reason for putting technique to low importance was that I read somewhere that it was mostly tied to "difficult" actions; you know - tricks, flicks and bicycle kicks.

It might be weighted as more important in those actions, as far as being able to pull them off, but my understanding is that it is linked to all actions to some degree.

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Technique plays a part even in a simple shot on goal. For example if you have a striker with high attributes for finishing and technique, using the PPM "Places shots" or even "Shoots with power" produces excellent results.

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