venerdì 8 agosto 2014

Make or break season for Jozy Altidore

Usually, there is a classic way to judge a forward’s performance: how many goals he scored. That said, you can’t value a striker just by counting the number of goals he netted. Not every forward is a scoring threat and you can’t argue that other skills have to be esteemed in regard. Player’s movement, ability holding the ball, aerial duels won…those are all good qualities you can find in footballer playing up top. By the way, scoring goals remain the most easy way to get through a forward’s performance to value striker’s reliability. The same happened last season for USMNT forward Jozy Altidore. After a great campaign with AZ Alkmaar in 2012-13, Altidore's first season with Sunderland last year was no less than a nightmare. Altidore scored two goals in 39 appearances and reached the bottom when his manager, Gus Poyet, left him out off the 18-man roster that played a League Cup final. As pointed earlier, valuing a forward just by how many times he put the ball in the net could lead to a wrong judgment. But Altidore’s overall performance on the field, last season, was awful at least.  Altidore didn’t play badly just because he didn’t score. He also wasn’t a real scoring weapon for his side, as he managed just  fewer than 1.5 shots every 90 minutes. Poyet’s style of plat didn’t help Altidore, as the Uruguayan possession based kind of soccer didn’t suit forward’s physical tools. Altidore is essentially a target man. He ran, fought, but didn’t couldn’t perform and help his team: he stayed up front like a foreign body. That doesn’t mean this is Poyet’s fault as the team was using him wrong. There is a contributory negligence as Altidore too failed to perform the level he showed playing with the USMNT during a 2013 summer in which he scored in four straight games. There is no question this is a make-or-break season for Altidore. After a bad first gig with Hull City some years ago and after this first poor campaign with Sunderland, 2015 season could be critical for Altidore's future in the Premier League. Altidore’s pride is out of question too as the forward refused to raise the white flag and try a MLS come back, despite some calling sirens. But now, Altidore needs to impress in the way to conserve his status as Premeir League’s footballer. To do it, he needs to made some improvement, also cutting his struggles in front of the net. otherwise, Jurgen Klinsmann too could start looking elsewhere.

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