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Thread: Embarrassment of Riches: Forwards

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    Embarrassment of Riches: Forwards

    With the top six threads all being about forwards, I thought I'd add to the existing "Embarrassment of Riches" threads about goalkeepers and defenders. I know it was only recently some felt that we didn't know where our goals would be coming from (although that may have been primarily commenters on The 42) but I now think we are really starting to see the potential starting to blossom. So with that, I'm going to put our options into a few rough categories for people to assess. So, who do you think will be the ones to pick for The Nations League and Euro 24 qualifier? Who will be our main striker in coming years? Or will we be like Liverpool, with a number of potent options and a couple of decent back-ups? Who will we never see in a green shirt again? Where will be in five years?

    The experienced forwards playing at a decent level:

    Robinson, Hogan, Maguire, Collins, Keane

    The young forwards who are already proving themselves at a decent level:

    Idah, Connolly, Obafemi, Parrott, Scully

    The young forwards who are just starting to gain significant first-team experience:

    Odubeko, Kayode, Kavanagh, Varian

    The young forwards who seem to be close to a first-team breakthrough:

    Ferguson, Okoflex, Cannon, Armstrong, Kenny (I know he has good LOI experience)

    The young forwards who seem to have taken a step back but are still young enough to build a good career

    Keena, Cassidy, Afolabi, Drinan

    Youngsters on the horizon

    Zefi, McLoughlin, O'Mahony

    So is there anybody else you lads feel will be forward options in coming years? Are there any youngsters, particularly playing LOI, who I have omitted? Is anyone from this group the next Robbie Keane? If not, will a number of them be able to score more than Quinn/Stapleton/Aldridge/Cascarino?

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    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    Most embarrassing thing here is the thread title IMO. Look, we've a few lads who might, at a push, in a fair wind, make things a bit better than they have been for a while now. One or two of them might have top level goalscoring careers but thats still very uncertain. Its not an embarrassment of riches no matter how you stretch it out.

    I was saying to some other supporters elsewhere that Portugals needing a goal throw of the dice late sub in the Euros ( v Belgium I think it was ) was a guy who had finished second top scorer in the Bundesliga, Silva. He had outscored Haaland that season IIRC .... Haaland like. Thats riches. While we go on about how everythings going to be ok because we have Idah & Parrott now.

    We have some prospects, finally. But thats all it is.
    Stephen Kenny Saviour, Leader, Winner, An Autobiography - In All Good Bookstores Now

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    If you look back at the first page of the Aaron Connolly thread, four years ago almost to the day, there's this post -

    In the U23 thread, I said after Aaron Drinan's hat-trick on April 9th, that he was officially our most exciting striking prospect
    Drinan was starting to get called up to the Ipswich first team. Ok, he never played and that puts him behind many of the guys on the list here (except himself I guess), but it's also a good lesson in not getting carried away. Drinan is at Leyton Orient now.

    I think in the spirit of the thread though, one of the big questions of the summer is where Troy Parrott will move to. Has he done enough to tempt a Championship club? I'm not sure he has, albeit he's finishing the season strongly and that's what you want to see in a young player who's supposed to be improving. I think his best bet may be that MK Dons get promoted and they sign him back because they know he fits their system. And you'd be happy enough with that outcome I think.

    On a side note, was doing an article for the UCD programme this week and was amazed to see that Jimmy Dunne - 13 goals in 15 games in the 1930s - is still eleventh on our all-time goalscoring charts. I'd be happy with a couple of guys who could push him a bit further down that list.

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    I'm with Crafty. Plenty of players with potential to look out for and be hopeful about but I'd still say forward is a position where by tier 2 nation standards we're poorly stocked.

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    A few names to add for me:

    The young forwards who are just starting to gain significant first-team experience: Cian Hayes has played 20 league games or so for Fleetwood in League One and is only 18. Darragh Burns is a recent recruit from NI and has a bit more first team experience so might not be in the correct category. I haven't seen Hayes play but have seen Burns and he's an exciting player.

    Youngsters on the horizon: Ollie O'Neill has looked very good for Ireland when I have seen him and his stats at Fulham are solid for their 23s with 6 goals and 2 assists. He's only 19. Hopefully he's in line for a loan next season. Lee Harkin has found a nice groove recently at Wolves for their 23s. Turns 19 soon.

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    We absolutely don't have an embarrassment of riches in our forwards at the moment unfortunately. Maybe in a year or two's time we might (or still might not), but at this point we absolutely don't.

    I'm not sure if your interpretation of forwards is purely strikers or just attacking players but some other names to add in that might have some potential would be Ollie O'Neill, Andy Moran and Will Ferry. Ferry has been under the radar lately but is playing very well in League 2 at the moment.

    Ogbene would be the other obvious name to add in. He can play a lot of positions but for Ireland he's a forward.

    "Embarrassment of potential riches" might be a better name for this thread though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I think in the spirit of the thread though, one of the big questions of the summer is where Troy Parrott will move to. Has he done enough to tempt a Championship club? I'm not sure he has, albeit he's finishing the season strongly and that's what you want to see in a young player who's supposed to be improving. I think his best bet may be that MK Dons get promoted and they sign him back because they know he fits their system. And you'd be happy enough with that outcome I think.
    Clubs might not just be looking at can he make an instant impact for us when looking at Troy this summer. He's got two years left on his contract and Spurs might look to cash in now while he's showing a bit of form at the end of his loan spell. His next move could be permanent rather than a loan, or a loan to buy like Molumby's loan.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Well that's true - I was thinking more in terms of a loan deal from Spurs for next year, and you'd expect a more immediate impact from a loan signing. But maybe a permanent deal wouldn't be a bad thing either. I don't think we should be wedded to the idea that he's a Spurs player and that's where he has to end up.

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    Will Keane has scored 24 goals and 6 assists so far this season. It's a powerful statistic. Browsing Sam's list, I cannot see even one other player capable of delivering such a tally at League One standard. Kenny should study Wigan's strategy of supply for Keane and give him starts in the Nations League. We've been whinging for years about the dearth of a goalscorer - now we have one.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    Keane was outstandingly useless against Lithuania - not a performance to build a team around in our next internationals. And based on that game, I'd put Scott Hogan ahead of Keane in the pecking order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Well that's true - I was thinking more in terms of a loan deal from Spurs for next year, and you'd expect a more immediate impact from a loan signing. But maybe a permanent deal wouldn't be a bad thing either. I don't think we should be wedded to the idea that he's a Spurs player and that's where he has to end up.
    Given the attacking players we've produced and sent across the water it was always a slim chance that he made it at Spurs. Moving on from Spurs could be the best thing for him long term. Gives him somewhere to develop long term and clubs can take a long term view on him rather than expecting him to make an instant impact when judging on whether to bring him in or not next season.

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    Makes a change from a year ago though I suppose, when the title would have been "Embarrassment: Forwards"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    Keane was outstandingly useless against Lithuania - not a performance to build a team around in our next internationals. And based on that game, I'd put Scott Hogan ahead of Keane in the pecking order.
    The Lithuania game was outstandingly useless, an embarrassment. Other than Parrott's strike, it did no credit to anyone, manager included. To denounce Keane's prospects on that basis is churlish. He deserves a fair go - nothing more, nothing less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    To denounce Keane's prospects on that basis is churlish. He deserves a fair go - nothing more, nothing less.
    We play a limited number of internationals a year - a more than fair go is getting to start a home international. He got his chance, he didn't take it. Harsh but true. And if he not capable of doing it against Lithuania, he's not a player to build a team around for the NL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    We play a limited number of internationals a year - a more than fair go is getting to start a home international. He got his chance, he didn't take it. Harsh but true. And if he not capable of doing it against Lithuania, he's not a player to build a team around for the NL.
    If players were dismissed by your criteria we wouldn't field a team. A fair appraisal of a 30 goal/assist player is one game - an ugly, sub-standard bore in which no one seemed interested? Get real.
    Last edited by Snapshot; 20/04/2022 at 2:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    We play a limited number of internationals a year - a more than fair go is getting to start a home international. He got his chance, he didn't take it. Harsh but true. And if he not capable of doing it against Lithuania, he's not a player to build a team around for the NL.
    Whose building a team around him. He's 29 and brought on board to boost numbers available to us. He's a squad player that offers an option from the bench, nothing more than that. It's why he didn't start against Belgium and why he'll be on the bench in June while Ogbene, Robinson, and Knight probably start again.

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    In terms of youngers on the horizon, Luke Pearce is one. Behind Ferguson, he's the one from 2004 who stands out.

    In terms of LOI, from what I've seen Aido Emakhu is an obvious name, who could go on to be somebody. Cian Kavanagh looked good last season, saw Waterford play Sligo and himself and Kenny stood out. Haven't seen him play this season down in the lower division. Probably not good enough to play internationally but as good as Drinan, Keena etc are.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    If players were dismissed by your criteria we wouldn't field a team. A fair appraisal of a 30 goal/assist player is one game - an ugly, sub-standard bore in which no one seemed interested? Get real.
    Lithuania was his third cap. He has had a gentle introduction to the squad and international football, and got to start a home international against Lithuania at a time he is peaking at club level. Glorious and generous opportunity to show what he could do and he completely fell flat. Real enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by JR89 View Post
    Whose building a team around him.
    Nobody with sense.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR89 View Post
    Whose building a team around him.
    I think it's a reference to this post -

    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    Will Keane has scored 24 goals and 6 assists so far this season. Kenny should study Wigan's strategy of supply for Keane and give him starts in the Nations League.
    That does sound a bit like suggesting we build around Keane in fairness. I agree he was surprisingly poor against Lithuania and I don't think he's earned the right to start in June, but Kevin Kilbane had a rubbish debut too and went on to be quite good, so Keane is definitely worth having around the squad I think.

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    Seasoned Pro jbyrne's Avatar
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    for us to dismiss any player after about a total of 90 mins football would be ridiculous.
    mcgoldrick looked rubbish the first few times I saw him but grew to be the main man for a year or two

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