Poaching Perfectly

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Think about Liverpool’s best goals so far this season and you’re bound to relive the memories of Xabi’s own-half Harper embarressment, Agger’s stunning opener on the Kop’s 100th anniversary, Riise’s trademark ping against Spurs, Kuyt’s first in the same match and Crouch’s sublime overhead against Gala.

Then on Saturday we get two bloody boring old tap-ins from some ten million quid forward.

And you know what, Kuyt’s two goals against Reading this weekend show the best signs for the future than any other combination of the goals listed above.

If you look at our four forwards; Crouch, Kuyt, Bellamy, Fowler; it is Kuyt who you would safely place your money on having a legacy similar to previous goalscorers down the years. With five goals already, ranging from the Spurs crisp volley to the Reading tap-ins, the Dutchman looks like taking on the mantle of being our main goalscorer for years to come.

Every top (by top I mean title challenging) side needs a good old ‘out-n-out’ goalscorer, someone who before the season starts you’d be willing part with a hard earned tenner and bet on getting 20 for the season. Kuyt is without a doubt the man who would get my ten, or even twenty quid.

Last season we struggled for goals without the aforementioned predator and the summer was always going to see Benitez look to resolve it, and while Kuyt didn’t set the World Cup on fire – playing in a more withdrawn role for Holland – he is now showing why Rafa parted with a lumpy sum of cash as he puts away the goals which win games, as he has done in his homeland for the last few years. Now, even he admits, he is keen to prove any doubters back home he can cut it in the Premiership.

The two instinctive goals were well taken and showed the hallmarks of a man who knows where the goal is, no matter where he is inside the box. A predator. A man capable of scoring from 18 yards when needed but also be ‘Jonny on the Spot’ in and around the six yard box. Much like Ian Rush, one of, if not the, greatest Liverpool goalscorer. Rush was always sticking his boot on the end of someone else’s knock-down or a keeper’s parry, but he also got his share of classic, calm finishes when one-on-one and in and around the box.

With Robbie Fowler as mentor Kuyt looks capable of becoming the man to carry the goalscoring burden and become a regular fixture in the topscorer charts, just as Fowler did in the 90’s and as Michael Owen did following Fowler. After a two year lull without that type of player Benitez looks to have found it with Kuyt and will be hoping he can leave a legacy like his predecessors.

If Rush passed on the baton to Fowler in the early 90’s, and Fowler passed that on to Owen in the late 90’s, then Owen must have dropped it when he left two years ago and found time to pick it up recently and pass it on to Kuyt. Here’s hoping Kuyt keeps hold of it and brings home an end to the 17 year wait for title success.

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