Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Absence of Coaches Is So Striking

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Absence of Coaches Is So Striking

Article excerpt

TELL me this: why has every club in the land got a specialist goalkeeping coach but not a strikers coach? I've never been able to understand that because scoring goals is the hardest job in football and the most crucial.

I thought of it again this week when young Leon Best arrived to make it no fewer than five strikers in United's squad.

That's a lot, but obviously Chris Hughton felt ill at ease enough to want another through the door before the transfer window slammed shut.

I can understand why.

Andy Carroll, Nile Ranger and Best himself for that matter, are young men still developing.

They aren't the finished article. They need help and guidance, and surely a striker of some stature would be perfect for that job.

No disrespect to the guys at Newcastle, but Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood were defenders, while Alan Thompson was a midfielder. You have to go into the academy at Under-18 level to find a forward, Peter Beardsley.

I believe in specialist coaches. I was one of the first to appoint a goalkeeping coach back at the dawn of the 80s when I took former Chelsea keeper John Phillips to Fulham. As manager, I could coach the strikers, of course!

Off the top of my head I can only think of Ian Rush and Andy Cole being taken on by clubs to help their attackers. And neither was a permanent appointment but a fleeting visit.

I'm intrigued about my old club because I think Carroll needs help if he is to make the transition from a promising centreforward into a good one. I know he scored twice last night, but at the moment his touch isn't the best, he falls down too much, and plays exclusively between the tramlines from the edge of the D. I've watched him closely and, too often, on corners for example, Carroll is making standing jumps. That's not how to score goals. You must be on the move. …

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