Football is often a game of trends and bandwagons, and sometimes managers are guilty of trying to imitate the success of top European sides, to no avail.
We have seen many examples of a lone striker bringing huge success to a big club. Robert Lewandowski, Radamel Falcao and Didier Drogba have all operated effectively as a lone striker and have brought their sides outstanding results. However, what is right for one team is by no means right for all.
It is understandable that managers often look to the top teams to try and figure out the best way of setting up their side. However, the lone striker system requires a certain type of player; namely one of high quality who can bring attacking midfielders into play, and also score goals solely from their own making.
Despite this there has been a persistence over the last couple of seasons for managers to consistently try and play a loan striker, sometimes to detrimental effect.
Papiss Cisse at Newcastle, Nikica Jelavic at Everton and this season Roberto Soldado at Spurs are all examples of strikers who are not at their best when operating on their own, and this has consequently had a negative impact on their teams. Spurs for one seem reluctant to change their ways and seem intent on playing a solitary front man, as Andre Villas-Boas implied when he recently spoke to The Guardian.
He said: "We've been rotating and given opportunities to players playing in the Europa League to break into the Premier League team.
"Jermain played against West Ham, then we went back to Soldado playing in the Premier League. We're extremely happy with both and it's just a question of deciding what is better on a specific date regarding our strategy."
However, it seems like some managers have begun to realise the benefits of sometimes playing two strikers, despite the perceived idea that 4-4-2 is a somewhat outdated and ineffective system.
Manchester City with Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero, Manchester United with Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie, and Liverpool with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have all shown that playing two strikers can still work at the highest level.
Perhaps it is time for some managers to stop looking to copy the fashionable formations around Europe, and start picking a system that is best suited to the players at their disposal.
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