Manchester City had an abundance of talent on the field during their 6-0 win on Wednesday, January 8 in the League Cup semifinal against West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium.
In the words of Here Is The City sub-editor Alan Dawson, who rated the City players here, Yaya Toure was like a tank with a Ferrari engine, David Silva and Samir Nasri created countless chances, yet there was no player as exceptional as Alvaro Negredo, whose hat-trick and assist netted him a perfect ten out of ten score.
Negredo's three goal haul took his total tally for the season in all competitions to 18, with seven assists - not bad for a player who has competed in just 29 matches, or 1,695 minutes, but how does he compare to his strike rivals such as Manchester United forward Robin van Persie, Arsenal fan favourite Olivier Giroud and Liverpool hotshot Luis Suarez?
|Player||Games||Goals (G)||Assists (A)||Minutes||G+A:Minutes|
|Robin van Persie||15||8||2||1,145||1:115|
From the data above, taken from the current season only, it is clear that Liverpool forward Suarez is a freak. A once-in-a-generation goal machine capable of returning numerous strikes in a single match, hence his ridiculous average of almost a goal every half.
Robin van Persie, had he not suffered from injury this term, would likely have maintained his average of a goal or assist every 114.5 minutes, which would have significantly bolstered his overall tally for the campaign.
Like van Persie, Giroud has a classic Premier League striker's goal and assist return of one every two hours, give or take, which is a far better haul than one every two games (180 minutes), yet there is nothing 'classic Premier League' about Giroud's play as the Arsenal man is a rare hybrid, capable of leading the line, holding the ball up, while also providing a physical presence and assisting his team - hence his fairly evenish split between column G and column A.
If van Persie and Giroud are returning a handsome amount of goals and assists while they are on the field, Negredo - signed for just £16.4m - is almost as much of a freak as Suarez. A 25 total haul of goals and assists from 29 appearances, or a goal/assist every 68 minutes, encroaches into territory only previously chartered by Ballon d'Or worthy attackers such as Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Real Madrid's pin-up Cristiano Ronaldo.
Consider this… when Sergio Aguero was injured with a calf injury in December, there were question marks over who would contribute the goals he would have scored had he been in the line-up.
Consider this… Aguero returns later this month.
The pair of them together, fit and on form, at the peak of their powers, understanding and form, could feasibly become the greatest strike force on the planet.
image: © Gabrielcorbachobermejo