The Best Strike Partnerships in World Football
Posted on January 20, 2013 by Joe Plewes
The deployment of an archetypal front two is becomingly increasingly rare, and that statement isn’t really going to surprise too many readers! The big and little man combination is quickly being phased out by bosses at the top end of the football pyramid, and while pairing a target man with a diminutive front man is still fairly prevalent in some of the lower echelons of the football league, it’s hardly part of the ‘footballing philosophy’ (still an unwieldy term in my opinion) that the bright new managers in world football are coming up with.
Brendan Rodgers had little interest in the Carroll/ Suarez duo that Damien Comolli and Kenny Dalglish were obviously so keen to employ, while Pep Guardiola didn’t even fancy breaking his 4-3-3 and playing Ibrahimovic and Messi down the middle together.
Indeed, gone are the relatively recent days of the Shearer and Sutton S.A.S strikeforce, the irresistible duo of Cole and Yorke or even the Real Madrid Raul and Morientes partnership. Yet we’ve seen the emergence of a less familiar Rooney and van Persie combination, and in the last couple of weeks the suggestion that Suarez and Sturridge’s S.A.S effort might work. Michael Turner is still busy buying that dummy I suspect…
So who are the best strike partnerships in world football?
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney
Rooney might have been deployed in a more withdrawn role so far this season, but most would still label Sir Alex Ferguson’s formation a 4-4-2, if one that’s something of a variation on a theme. The two have already put up thirty goals between them this season, twenty-one of which have come from the Dutchman. The United boss doesn’t seem to be totally pleased with that goalscoring record however, allegedly preparing a move for Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski!
Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller
If we’re talking about the best partnerships in world football right now, then these two deserve a mention together! Keeping Mario Gomez out of a starting berth is no mean feat, especially as the German international has netted eighty goals in the preceding two seasons. Yet Mandzukic has been doing it brilliantly, and Muller has relished the chance to play around a striker more adept at bringing people into play. The two have netted twenty goals between them in the league alone, so Pep Guardiola might have something to work with!
Stephan El Shaarawy and Giampaolo Pazzini
El Shaarawy might have lost his goalscoring touch in the last few weeks, but in terms of goals scored these two are amongst the top in Europe this season. ‘The Pharoah’ has netted seventeen times in all competitions this season, while aerial threat Pazzini has been on target eleven times since trading clubs with Antonio Cassano.
Samuel Eto’o and Lacina Traore
This is perhaps the most obvious ‘little and large’ partnership in world football, with Traore standing at a staggering 6 ft 8 in. The two will be on a domestic break until March, but up until the 13th December the two had scored sixteen times in the Russian Premier League alone with the big man doing the business against a youthful Liverpool side in the Europa League.
Is there a dynamic duo that we’ve criminally missed? Do you reckon Ronaldo and Higuain might as well be here? Reus and Lewandowski? Leave us a comment or tweet us @Oddslife with your best strike partnerships in world football!