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What makes a striker great?

Can you remember Gary Lineker ever scoring from anywhere other than ten yards out? I’m sure he must have, but they were as rare as rocking horse droppings or Sunderland winning under Howard Wilkinson.

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland Photo by Nick Potts - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Sergio Leonel Agüero del Castillo. Now there’s a bit of a mouthful, and if you haven’t guessed who it is yet then here’s a clue.

He’s better known as Agueroooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! by the various football commentators throughout the world, and in my humble opinion the bloke isn’t so much a human, but more a goal scoring machine.

He recently scored his twelfth Premier League hat trick, overtaking Alan Shearer’s long-standing record, and in the process he also surpassed Thierry Henry’s record for the most goals scored by a foreign player in the Premier League. He’s now fourth on the league’s all-time goal scoring list behind Andy Cole, Wayne Rooney and that black and white shirted bloke who’s name I couldn’t possibly use twice in the same article.

This season saw him overtake Frank Lampard, and who would bet against him talking top spot eventually. The amazing thing is he’s achieved this in 270 appearances for Manchester City which gives a goal ratio of 0.69 per game. Now I know he’s playing with some great players but his record is nothing short of phenomenal and with me being someone who regularly hit the net I certainly salute and respect him.

I must point out that unfortunately the net I hit with alarming regularity was either on a tennis court or in a game of Ping-Pong, although it is true I did manage to score a few goals on the football field from time to time. Okay, so some of them might have been more appreciated by my teammates if they’d been in the opposition goal, but my claim to fame is that I once scored five goals (for us) in a six nil win.

What made it even sweeter was the fact that it was a local derby against our closest rivals, in front of a big crowd. Unfortunately it was when I was in primary school when we wore boots with massive toe caps, studs made of the finest wood and had only just progressed from using a pig’s bladder for a ball. In other words, it was a while ago, but it was my last piece of glory, so I’m desperately hanging onto it at all costs.

Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The thing I want to know, is what defines a great striker?

Aguero scores from anywhere and everywhere, so he’s rightly lauded, but then you look at someone like Gary Lineker - who is regarded as an England great - it’s a totally different story. If you are old enough to have seen The Crispmeister play, can you ever remember him scoring from more than ten yards out or with a header?

I’m sure he must have, but they were as rare as rocking horse droppings or us winning under Howard Wilkinson. Harry Kane went through a period of scoring for fun, and Peter Crouch came alive wearing the Three Lions, but I doubt they could ever make it onto a list of greats.

It’s really difficult to define to be honest but I think if a player manages to score goals that make the opposition fans give a WOW then they must be pretty near to greatness.

For instance, Ronaldo and Messi have both scored some wonderful goals and undoubtedly put bums on seats, but I’m not sure Cristiano should be classed as an out-and-out striker, so maybe we should just scrap that label altogether.

I don’t think for one minute that he’d be remotely bothered by that as long as that word great was there to feed his ego, but maybe it’s time for us to just bite the bullet and simply call them scorers.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could have one, whatever they are called.

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