Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Jones Is No Drogba - He's Far More Versatile

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Jones Is No Drogba - He's Far More Versatile

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

ROY Keane says comparisons between his new pounds 6m striker Kenwyne Jones and Chelsea's Didier Drogba are unrealistic but, had it not been for an eye-catching performance in a training game, the 22-year-old might never have been a centre-forward.

The Trinidad and Tobago international (pictured right) has impressed since joining the Black Cats at the end of August, scoring on his home debut and creating Liam Miller's equaliser at Middlesbrough at the weekend. But Jones' biggest value comes from the fact he is the kind of tall, strong striker Sunderland have lacked under Keane's tenure.

His ability to win headers and hold the ball up has allowed Michael Chopra to play effectively off him, and his contribution to Miller's 89th-minute volley was a good example of what Jones can bring to the team. The forward got his head to a hopeful high ball and was able to nod it back in the direction of midfielder Miller, who chested it and volleyed into the net.

Jones' style has brought inevitable comparisons with Drogba, last season's Premier League top-scorer with 33 goals, but Keane does not think the analogy stands up. "I'll be happy if he turns out like that," said Keane. "But everyone's different. Kenwyne's a different type of player to Drogba - the same height and physique but you can't just compare them because of that."

Jones, who began his career at local club side Western Connection, was a utility player when he moved to English football with Southampton in 2004. But four goals playing up front in a training game turned him into the type of forward fast becoming fashionable in English football. Michael Owen's international success alongside Emile Heskey has earned recognition for a style of attacker which appeared to be dying out and Manchester United's current struggles in front of goal are attributed by many to the lack of an orthodox target man. …

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