Bernard Parker unpacks reasons for PSL strikers' poor returns
Posted: 31 May 2018 Time: 18:30
Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker is of the view that the lack of goals from strikers in the PSL is down to the creativity of the attacking players behind them.
The curtain has just recently come down on the 2017/18 season, for which the Absa Premiership Top Goal Scorer award was shared between two individuals who had managed only 11 goals apiece – Percy Tau and Rodney Ramagalela.
This is vastly contrasting to what is witnessed from the top leagues across Europe, where the likes of Mo Salah, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Edison Cavani and Jonas all averaged around 30 goals – albeit also featuring in more games in their respective campaigns.
Moreover, PSL top goal scorers in the last eight seasons have failed to average at least a goal every two games – meaning no player has reached the 15-goal-a-season mark post-2010.
Parker, who won the golden boot award with a total of 10 goals in 2013/14, believes this is down to attacking players lacking consistency and failing to keep up with modern trends in the game.
“Journalists, TV presenters and everyone is saying strikers don’t score, but you can see in Europe that even the top strikers in the world also miss opportunities,” defended Parker.
“Why do they miss? Because it’s normal. What happens behind them, though? Players are always creating opportunities, so they always get fed – out of five, two or three go in.
“It’s been proven over the years that we do have strikers [in the PSL], but there’s no consistency. You know Parker is a goal scorer, but the consistency in terms of feeding him [has been lacking]. If you see that you have a goal scorer, keep feeding him.”
The former FC Twente frontman says the ever-adapting roles of wingers and attacking midfielders is such that they decide how many goals strikers score, and urges that more attention be given to those players in the PSL.
“Not to take anything away from the creativity behind the strikers but that’s where the game is going – wingers and attacking midfielders get Player of the Season and Ballon d’Or awards,” he added.
“They are the most influential footballers at the moment. They are the ones who make things happen and feed strikers, and they are the ones who decide games.
“I can give you examples in the modern game, wingers like Neymar, Eden Hazard, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah now, and there’s a lot more I can mention. They make things happen, create opportunities and feed strikers.
“Not to take anything away from strikers, but they just have to position themselves and put the ball in the back of the net. In the PSL we need to look at those feeding channels to see how they can [better] feed the strikers.”