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The Mail Bag

Yakubu concerns

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Yakubu played very well yesterday, his best game to date by far, and took his goal very nicely. But... as a Blue brought up on strikers such as Joe Royle, Bob Latchford, Graeme Sharp, Andy Gray and Duncan Ferguson, I am concerned that Yakubu has no desire to head the ball. He seems to take positive action to avoid this very basic requirement. At best he just stands there making it a little difficult for the Centre Half, at worst he simply ignores the ball. I think DM has had some success in upping Yak's workrate, hopefully the coaches can introduce heading a ball to his game.

£11.25 million for a striker who can't head a ball! Dixie must be turning in his grave!
Phil Traynor, Chesterfield     Posted 04/11/2007 at 12:37:41

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Mick
1   Posted 04/11/2007 at 15:11:11

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So fucking what he cant head the ball neither could Gary Lineaker, how many goals did you see over the weekend were the No.9 scored from a header from open play. The game is moving on from the days of Bob Latchford, we had a natural header of the ball and got rid of him because he couldnt score Beattie. I am glad he cant use his head imagine if he could HOOF FOOTBALL. Play it on the floor and you dont need a battering ram. Look at Henry couldnt head a ball, Rooney not that good with his head. Go through the prem league and then look at the strikers who are playing at this moment and most cant use that basic requirement head a ball into the net. So stop moaning, Gary Linekar scored 40 goals for us in 1986 and I dont remember many with his head, as long as he scores who cares how they go in. You will find these great headers of balls are not very good with their feet.
Steve Hopkins
2   Posted 04/11/2007 at 15:54:51

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Have to agree with Mick on this one, anything that gets us away from the days of Unsworth lobbing 40 or 50 yard balls for Duncan has got to be a good thing in my opinion. So all the while the Yak is scoring and playing splitting passes like the one for Pienaar for Vaughan’s first chance then I couldn’t give a damn that he can’t head a ball.


On a side note, how pleasing was it to see such a nimble, creative midfield put out yesterday. When you can include Pienaar, Osman, Cahill and Arteta plus Carso then 4-5-1 can be just as attacking if not more so than 4-4-2 for us.
Connor Rohrer
3   Posted 04/11/2007 at 16:26:42

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What a ridiculous post. He isn’t even that tall and being a target man isn’t his game. He has showed me enough to say he is a quality striker. His strength and pace are obvious to see but I have also been impressed with his footwork, awareness and vision.

If where talking about natural talent he is streets ahead of Andy Johnson yet Johnson is more liked because he runs around like a headless chicken.

Play Yak of a target man or up top on his own and he can be very effective bit boot the ball up to his head and he is ineffective.
Rob Heaton
4   Posted 04/11/2007 at 16:44:46

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The Yak doesn’t need to be a good header.

If high crosses are coming in from open play chances are people are aiming for the on rushing Cahill.

If it’s from set pieces Lescott is there as well.

The cushion down on the chest for Cahill’s shot was better than he could have done with his head anyway.
Chris Brown
5   Posted 04/11/2007 at 16:47:41

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While I’d love to see more effort and well rounded game from Yak, I’m not going to complain, especially after he got it done.

For set plays, we can get guys like Lescott and Cahill in there as EXCELLENT players in the air... but for regular run of play offense, let’s go for more creative splitting balls like arsenal plays... I love how our team is shaping up.
Michael Newton
6   Posted 04/11/2007 at 16:57:18

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Why should it be presumed that Yak is a target man because he is big. He doesnt head a ball and never did in the past either at his previous clubs.
You need to play the ball to him chest or head height anything to make him jump is a waste of time.
He scores goals thats what he is good at so stop having a go at him he played excellently in the first half.
James Newcombe
7   Posted 04/11/2007 at 19:00:45

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Leave the Yak alone! He’s just starting to show us what he can do (and he’s putting the ball in the net), and some people still aren’t happy. The team is really beginning to come together again, we should enjoy it.
Ian A
8   Posted 05/11/2007 at 09:48:52

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I think the Yak ,particularly against Birmingham played as a very good target man. He was always a handful for the defenders and on numerous occasions brought the ball down well on his chest, holding it up before at times laying off some very good passes. He was involved in some of the best moves in the match and I was surprised how well he used the ball at times, this being something I didn’t know was a part of his game. I am certain the Yak will be a very good purchase. He’s getting better by the game. He is looking threatening in front of goal and 4 goals in 8 starts will do me fine! He does look like he’s got bricks in his boots when he jumps for a header and yes, he rarely wins a header, but so what! The Yak’s going to be fine.
Mike Allison
9   Posted 05/11/2007 at 16:36:33

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Your centre forward not heading the ball should, in theory, force the team to play it on the ground, where it belongs. I bet if the Yak is six yards out and the ball is in the air he’ll head it in.
rich williams
10   Posted 05/11/2007 at 17:44:46

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I feel that attacking heading is a dying art in the modern game, yes it would be nice if the Yak was good in the air but he wants the ball to feet and he WILL score - Henry has done ok without being able to head

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