UK time is: 17:10:19
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

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

Fulham - Forward Line Worth the Money?

As this surprisingly successful season draws to a close, the Cottagers find themselves in position to finish as high as 7th or potentially tumble down the table to 11th or 12th. We`ll see how it plays out, but suffice to say it`s been a much more enjoyable experience for all concerned.

I think most of us would agree that the primary reason for the turnaround is Roy Hodgson, himself, and the players he`s brought into the team since last January. Hangeland for 2.5m and Schwarzer on a free transfer were both bargains, and their contributions to our success are virtually indisputable. Our largest expenditures were for our forward line. Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora were brought in for fees that could hardly be described as inexpensive. Johnson came over from Everton for a fee thought to be around 10m. Zamora came over in a package deal with John Pantsil for 6.3m. It`s been suggested that Pantsil`s transfer was 1.4m of the total, which would set Zamora`s cost at 4.9m. We`ll call it 5m for the sake of argument. Based on their performance, were their
transfers worth the money?

According to the Premier League website, Johnson has contributed 7 goals and 3 assists in the league this term. Zamora has weighed in with a disappointing 2 goals, but a very satisfying 6 assists. Additionally, Johnson knocked-in 3 goals and, Zamora 2 goals and 2 assists in cup competitions.

I`m a little disappointed with Johnson, especially considering how much he cost. To be fair, he had injury problems at the beginning of the season and has had some bad luck with the woodwork, but I really thought his goal tally would be higher at this point - at least double-digits in the league. That hasn`t happened and with only five matches remaining, it looks a difficult feat to reach the 10-goal plateau. Still, Johnson has given us an attacking threat that we`ve missed the past few seasons. His mere presence on the pitch and the required attention of our opponent`s defenders helps create chances for our other players. I won`t say that he was worth the money, but I`m glad we have him.

Zamora has endured endless criticism from our fans about his goal tally this season - myself included. However, the more I watch, the more I`m impressed with his work rate; in particular his ability to hold the ball, dispossess defenders and set up his teammates for scoring chances. Now, it must be said that he has squandered a number of gilt-edged chances - one or two can only be described as 'sitters.` That fact can`t be ignored. It`s hard to say that he was worth the money, but he`s performed well enough to stay in the squad, and I certainly prefer him to Kamara or Nevland. However, I do think that we need to pick up another forward this summer.

In fairness to both players, we don`t play an unbridled, attacking style. There`s much more emphasis on possession and defense, so it`s not fair to expect the same numbers that other forwards in the league contribute. Ultimately, individual success means nothing if the team is not performing well. In this regard, it`s hard to argue against the combined 15m for the two. Both need to improve, but I wouldn't be disappointed to see them leading the line next season.




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



For the very latest Premier League odds

For massive weekly jackpots - Play the Football Pools Online




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

The Journalist

Writer: samboney Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 20 2009

Time: 4:55PM

Your Comments

Im slightly dissapointed by AJ though he seems on course to reach what McGod always scored in a season so he probably deserves another shot next season. Zamora.....well he does get the assists and on his day he is a threat. Agree with you on needing a new striker and i'd think he'd replace Zamora.
AlexFFC
Im slightly dissapointed by AJ though he seems on course to reach what McGod always scored in a season so he probably deserves another shot next season. Zamora.....well he does get the assists and on his day he is a threat. Agree with you on needing a new striker and i'd think he'd replace Zamora.
AlexFFC
A very fair summation. I believe that Andy Johnson owes Bobby Zamora a vote of thanks because if Bobby was absent Andy would be in for far more criticism from the fans. Terry Hare
El Tel2
A very fair summation. I believe that Andy Johnson owes Bobby Zamora a vote of thanks because if Bobby was absent Andy would be in for far more criticism from the fans. Terry Hare
El Tel2
Johnson is a valueable member of the team. Tricky to deal with and he works as hard as Zamora does I feel. Also, when he does get into a one-on-one (which isn't often) he can put it away well. Zamora has been a let down, no matter how hard he works, or how good he is at holding up the ball, we could do better!
KBFulham
Johnson is a valueable member of the team. Tricky to deal with and he works as hard as Zamora does I feel. Also, when he does get into a one-on-one (which isn't often) he can put it away well. Zamora has been a let down, no matter how hard he works, or how good he is at holding up the ball, we could do better!
KBFulham
to be honest i expected more goals from both of them... for aj, i think that expectation was justified... with bobby, that expectation was hopeful... i think we can do better than bobby. he might get better, but i'm starting to doubt it... with aj, it seems like this really isn't the system for him to thrive in, but he deserves his spot on the field. I'd feel ok with them both starting next year, but there'd be a nagging thought that we could have done better than zamora.
woodysweats
to be honest i expected more goals from both of them... for aj, i think that expectation was justified... with bobby, that expectation was hopeful... i think we can do better than bobby. he might get better, but i'm starting to doubt it... with aj, it seems like this really isn't the system for him to thrive in, but he deserves his spot on the field. I'd feel ok with them both starting next year, but there'd be a nagging thought that we could have done better than zamora.
woodysweats
let's see how they do in that crucial second season!
Al Billy
let's see how they do in that crucial second season!
Al Billy
it'll be interesting to see if Roy views our attack as an area that can be improved this summer!
Putney
it'll be interesting to see if Roy views our attack as an area that can be improved this summer!
Putney
I have a strong view on this, and we will show no improvement if we stick with them....
KBFulham
I have a strong view on this, and we will show no improvement if we stick with them....
KBFulham
i think when you take in to account our style of play that isnt too shabby. Although for what the both of them cost i would expect them to put away a couple more goals than what they have done, we play very possessional football and push our midfield forward into the ranks hence rarely getting one on one situations. We score few goals, but concede fewer and our passing play is up there with the best of them. The system we have at the moment works, and as much as we can pick out individuals in terms of statistics, at the end of the day it is a team game and a team based effort so, as long as we get the results - which we have this season - im content.
FFC Daz
i think when you take in to account our style of play that isnt too shabby. Although for what the both of them cost i would expect them to put away a couple more goals than what they have done, we play very possessional football and push our midfield forward into the ranks hence rarely getting one on one situations. We score few goals, but concede fewer and our passing play is up there with the best of them. The system we have at the moment works, and as much as we can pick out individuals in terms of statistics, at the end of the day it is a team game and a team based effort so, as long as we get the results - which we have this season - im content.
FFC Daz
our best season ever and we got 2 underperforming strikers,makes ya wonder
whiteaussie
our best season ever and we got 2 underperforming strikers,makes ya wonder
whiteaussie
For my money, it all comes down to style. Roy set up the team to avoid a relegation battle and that's exactly what he accomplished. If you contrast us with Man City, for instance, it's readily apparent which style works best. Man City has more talent and attacking flair that we do, yet we sit above them in the table. Simple reason - they don't defend and we do. If we put more emphasis on attack and scored more goals, would our concentration to defend be as good? Hard to say.
Samboney
For my money, it all comes down to style. Roy set up the team to avoid a relegation battle and that's exactly what he accomplished. If you contrast us with Man City, for instance, it's readily apparent which style works best. Man City has more talent and attacking flair that we do, yet we sit above them in the table. Simple reason - they don't defend and we do. If we put more emphasis on attack and scored more goals, would our concentration to defend be as good? Hard to say.
Samboney
If we kept a similar style of play, yet had 2 quality strikers, I feel we could be doing better at the moment. Although, I am incredibly content with how things are anyway!
KBFulham
If we kept a similar style of play, yet had 2 quality strikers, I feel we could be doing better at the moment. Although, I am incredibly content with how things are anyway!
KBFulham
You're right, though! We've all seen how quickly fortunes can change from season to season. What if we're not so lucky with injuries next season? What if Hangeland leaves and our defense sputters? We need more production up front to keep up the momentum.
Samboney
You're right, though! We've all seen how quickly fortunes can change from season to season. What if we're not so lucky with injuries next season? What if Hangeland leaves and our defense sputters? We need more production up front to keep up the momentum.
Samboney
That's a very good way of looking at it! We need to improve in certain areas, and bring in some good cover!
KBFulham
That's a very good way of looking at it! We need to improve in certain areas, and bring in some good cover!
KBFulham
Good point Samboney, if owing to predators around our players our defence is weakened next season and our strikers don't step up, we'll be in trouble again.
donfulham
Good point Samboney, if owing to predators around our players our defence is weakened next season and our strikers don't step up, we'll be in trouble again.
donfulham
We need to keep hold of the 'core' of our team!
KBFulham
We need to keep hold of the 'core' of our team!
KBFulham
looks like it's our second choice duo next week now!
Al Billy
looks like it's our second choice duo next week now!
Al Billy
 

Have Your Say

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

Recent Fulham Articles

Smith Goes Out on Loan! (Thursday November 27 2014)

That Man Bent? (Wednesday November 26 2014)

Fulham Youth to take on Crewe (Tuesday November 25 2014)

Burn Doesn`t Want Hammers Move! (Tuesday November 25 2014)

Young Defender Recalled! (Monday November 24 2014)

Symons Quashes Hammers Interest in Burn (Sunday November 23 2014)

Symons Rues Mistakes but Praises Brentford (Saturday November 22 2014)

Brentford 2 Fulham 1 (Saturday November 22 2014)

Stats: Brentford v Fulham (Saturday November 22 2014)

Brentford v Fulham Team-Sheets (Friday November 21 2014)

Archived Fulham Articles

List All Vital Fulham Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Fulham 1 - 0 Norwich
Fulham 0 - 1 Millwall
Fulham 1 - 1 Cardiff
Fulham 3 - 0 Charlton
Fulham 4 - 0 Bolton
Fulham 0 - 1 Blackburn

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
14. Huddersfield 18 5 6 7 -6 21
15. Reading 18 6 3 9 -6 21
16. Leeds Utd 18 5 5 8 -5 20
17. Fulham 18 5 4 9 -5 19
18. Millwall 18 4 7 7 -5 19
19. Birmingham 18 4 7 7 -14 19
20. Brighton 18 3 9 6 -3 18

Breaking League News

Striker on loan
Middlesbrough : 27/11/2014 17:08:00
Smith Goes Out on Loan!
Fulham : 27/11/2014 17:07:00
RUFC - Evans Pleased With Today's Business
Rotherham : 27/11/2014 16:59:00
Morris Joins York On Loan
Norwich : 27/11/2014 16:38:00
RUFC - Centre-Back Joins Millers
Rotherham : 27/11/2014 16:29:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

MOTM v Brentford?
Suggested By:  puteny
Bettinelli 51%
Zverotic 0%
Bodurov 0%
Burn 0%
Stafylidis 0%
Ruiz 0%
Christensen 0%
Parker 0%
Wilima 0%
Rodallega 0%
McCormack 33%
Eisfeld 16%