Some strikers rely on certain attributes for their goals. You are already imagining a big strong target man type in your mind or a little speedster or maybe that magician type that pops into the hole and bends one in. And we like being able to do that put people in a box and categorise them. Mario Gomez is a poacher and thats it, Walcott relies on his speed, Diego Costa needs to be a bully to score the list goes on. The evolution of the game of soccer has meant that such type-casting is becoming more difficult and also allowing yourself to fall into a genre can be pivotal to future failures. How can the likes of a Robbie Keane go to a Liverpool and it just doesn't happen? One could argue Keane needed a ying to his yang or a Quinn for his plan. The modern day striker needs to be more capable in all facets of the game but crucially they need to know what runs to make, how to find space and critically how to use space in a way that results in goals.
So what of Scott Hogan then, a striker hot on everybody's lips at the moment. Is he as good as the reports suggest? Will he solve Irish woes? Will he play for us? Well firstly lets have a look at the boy in action.
When I first examined his game the stand out feeling for me was about his club. Brentford with their left-field approach to running a football club, analytics based, set piece coaches, forward coaches, backs coaches......well Brentford are on to something. Hogan from the clips you have seen looks like a player so focused in doing what strikers have to do, its apparent Brentford's set-up is working for him. The clips are a collection of moments that I can only describe as being 'first run is for the defender, the second runs for me' movements. These runs either cause a defender to follow you opening up space for a run or the defender looks to pass you on to his team-mate, this can lead to a lack of accountability defensively. He is always ready wether its running away at the right moments or popping up at the right moments or wether its being 'side on' to improve awareness and speed up the play or staying alive for a secondary chance. Hogan is a thinking mans striker and you can certainly see him scoring goals at international level.
For me the big question is can he play at premier league and champions league level. We will examine in the future what he is like in terms of being used as an attacking focal point as we feel this is an important question left unanswered. His ability to use both feet is certainly a massive advantage he has. Lastly about 7 in 10 goals scored in football are first time finishes, this can often be the bit that catches strikers out when they move up through the levels. His intelligent movement married by the fact he his always switched on buts him ahead of the championship defender including Shane Duffy who he scored twice against on these clips! When he comes up against better defenders and better defensive structures can he score that first time finish he misses in the last clip, in the championship he gets 2 bites at that cherry but we sense where he is inevitably headed he may not. Watch this space and thanks for stopping by.