1.5 Goals A Season! Roeder Striker Options Getting Desperate

Last updated : 15 November 2006 By Footy Mad - Editor

With Shola Ameobi heading to the States for treatment, and being ruled out for the rest of the season, Glenn Roeder's hopes of Kieron Dyer filling the gap in times of crisis could be dashed before they even begin.

The injury-plagued midfielder made his first Premiership appearance for seven months at Eastlands on Saturday, but his injury problems are just the start of the dilemma.

Both Sir Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness cast Dyer in a striking role, but the 27-year-old rarely looked the part. He scored a brace in an FA Cup tie against Southampton in January 2004 when he and Laurent Robert took the Saints apart in a fabulous 3-0 win. But despite insisting that was his best position, he only scored one more goal that season. 

His goalscoring record of six league goals in four seasons is not the stuff of legends, particularly as other midfield players managed a far higher goals ratio. Gary Speed scored 9 league goals in one season, and Nobby Solano averages seven a campaign. But Dyer has a lot of missed time to make up for.

Roeder: "There are very few players in this country who can run with a ball like Kieron. He is not quick, he is rapid. Having Kieron in the team gives us someone capable of carrying the ball from the halfway line into the final third.

"The fact he can go past defenders means other defenders are attracted to him. Hopefully our strikers and midfield players can come in on the back of that and get some goals.

"The striking situation is a very big concern. At the moment the transfer window cannot come quickly enough because, with Shola out and Michael Owen probably out for the whole year, it is critical we find some players who can help us have a successful second half of the season."