In recent weeks some Fulham fans have advocated that Roy’s top priority in the transfer window should be a new striker. The argument goes that our £16m strikeforce haven’t scored as many goals as they should and a new front man might be able to make us a little more potent in front of goal. I’d like to think that Andy Johnson’s two beautifully poached goals today might have convinced a few people that he’s a quality goalscorer but I fully expect the debate over Bobby Zamora’s role in the side to rage on for a while yet.
What surprises me is that a bid for James Beattie has been the talk of some (not very reliable) websites and, more worringly, is being welcomed by some Fulham fans. Don’t get me wrong Beattie was a decent Premier League striker about five years ago. He had a good season for Southampton where he scored a bucketload of goals but hasn’t really delivered since then. When you consider that David Moyes built one of his first Everton sides to play to Beattie’s strengths, that should count as a damning indictment of his ability to make an impact at the highest level.
I do love how the Fans FC article suggests that Beattie has rediscovered his form at Sheffield United and then touts a £4m valuation. I’d be very disappointed if we offered £4m for Beattie. He’s a decent enough target man, but I’d want somebody who could offer a bit more to the side to come in for that sort of money. Perhaps someone like Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who has been scoring goals for fun for Wolves of late and before that had a decent strike rate at Plymouth. If we were in the market for a cheaper alternative, then there’s the young lad Simon Cox at Swindon.
For me, investing in the future makes more sense that going back to a previous era when Beattie was a name to strike fear into top-flight defenders. I’d hope that Roy was a little more intelligent than to turn to the past. With all his continental connections, he may even be able to unearth a top goalscorer from Europe at a bargain basement price. He could even tempt Nikola Zigic to the Cottage.
I think there were two things that today’s win at Sheffield Wednesday showed. First, you shouildn’t underestimate Johnson’s ability in front of goal. He hasn’t been in the best run of form recently but took those two chances beautifully. Second, Roy’s use of Nevland as an impact substitute against tiring defences looks like a masterstroke. At Portsmouth, he made a real difference and today he supplied a lovely cross for AJ’s finish.
I’m still very happy to trust in Roy.