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Monday, December 05, 2005

The Cole & Vassell partnership is one of the highlights of Premiership football

The Cole/Vassell double-centre-forward strike-partnership for Manchester City is fantastic to watch. Their link-up play is so fluent that it seems like they are two individuals playing with the same footballing mind. In the last few years the concept of the 'telepathic' centre-forward strike-partnership has fallen out of the game because most managers choose not to play the same two centre-forwards match-after-match; preferring alternative ideas like playing just one striker or striker rotation.

So it is quite a revelation to see the supersonic development and excellent execution of the Cole/Vassell partnership. To see these two players working so well together, and scoring superb goals in the process, is for me one of the highlights of Premiership football. The 5-2 demolition of a collapsing Charlton side on Sunday was the third time I've seen Cole and Vassell work brilliantly together to break-down their centre-back opponents. I considered writing about them after both the recent West Ham and Villa matches; to play so well again left me with no choice but to give them recognition on EFT.

Cole is a penalty-box predator who trains with high intensity and brings this level of concentration and application to his performance in competitive matches. Vassell has pace, touch, strength, work-rate and a finishing touch that is impressive, and after drifting into stagnation at Villa Park he now seems to be psychologically thriving due to the honour of playing alongside one of the best strikers in modern English football history. These two look right together- Vassell looks like a slightly smaller version of Cole- and they definitely play together as if they were born to do so.

During a time when the one-man up-front strategy has tried to come to the fore at the detriment of exciting football, Cole and Vassell deserve excellent recognition for revitalising the idea of the dynamic centre-forward strike-partnership. Stuart Pearce also has my respect for signing them in the summer and seeing the potential that these two had a strike-force; I'm confident that Man City is going to be an exciting team to follow under his management.


Blogger RedsMan said...

It was as if Cole has left the pace to Vassell, instead holding back on occasion and content to play the former Villa man through. Vassell could have had a brace or three yesterday. If Cole isnt sprinting into the box, he can wait around the edge and execute a shot. Both can head and where one is sprinting, it's like the other knows what he is about to do. It looked very impressive.

Cole and Edwin Van Der Sar are two signings Fulham have released that amazed me, both in their thirties yet their experience was still vital to Fulham. Along this line expect Malbranque and Boa Morte to be sold as well.

Things are easier in hindsight but Vassell had more to offer Villa, while they struggle to score with Baros, Phillips and Angel. Expect to see Angel moving on. Just imagie if both Man City strikers were still playing for England....together.....!

12/05/2005 7:25 pm

Blogger T said...

I'd like to see it Redsman. The present England strike-partnerships do not show the same degree of fluidity together; just remember the Denmark, Wales, and N Ireland games.

But Cole retired from international football before the last World Cup so it's not going to happen. When I watch him in the Man City shirt this season, know about his intensity for the game, and that he is the second all-time leading Premiership goal-scorer, I can't believe how underused he was by the England national team.

12/06/2005 9:58 am


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