You’ve been voting in your hundreds (well, maybe) for the last few months and now here we are. The final positions. Your team has 9 positions filled, and now all we need are two centre forwards. Arguably the two players you’ll have the most affection for – these boys have scored the goals that made you look good, but the real question is – can you pick two from the below list?
Perez Munoz Alfonso
Alfonso starts the game as one of the most valuable players around. As a FRLC, you’d be forgiven for thinking Alfonso isn’t an out and out forward, but his goal return is something else. As he starts the game at Real Betis, who whilst not being a bad team, are a world away from Real Madrid, Man Utd or Barcelona. As a result one of these three usually snap him up for a hideous amount of money. The irony is, Alfonso actually started his career at Real Madrid and went on to sign for Barcelona in 2000. Sadly this is where CM’s crystal ball got hazy as Alfonso flopped badly, which is in stark contrast to the game where he scored bucket loads of goals for several years.
Bakayoko’s career is something of legend. In reality, he was very average and will be remembered for arriving at Everton with a “CM Reputation” and being utterly garbage. In the game however, he is an AM/F C who starts at Montpellier and readily available for most decent clubs. He was a favourite of mine to plug the gap left by a badly injured Alan Shearer at the start of the game – but does he make your team?
What can you say about Gabriel Batistuta? The man was a goal machine and CM ensured he stayed that way. Similar to Alfonso in value, but a little bit older, he could only be signed by the true elite, it was difficult to prise him away from Fiorentina unless you were of Barcelona’s ilk. When he declines further down the line, he is truly woeful though and ended up at Notts Forest on the first blog game. Explain that.
I never understood how Robbie Fowler didn’t make more of an impact for England, given that he was utterly lethal for about 10 years. In CM97/98, he’s part of a promising Liverpool team and scores goals for fun. Man Utd usually toss a coin between him and Shearer to decide who to sign in the first season, which is a tough choice. They usually end up as a partnership for England which says it all really.
An obvious choice again, but back in 1997, Henry was just a boy of 19 who had only just received his first France cap. Part of the exciting Monaco team, Henry is not the finished article at the start of the game but as long as he receives a run in the side, he will reach his potential and move to an elite club. Monaco have a relatively short shelf life due to their financial situation and as Henry is one of the more valuable assets, he can be available fairly soon – but only if you’re a top club.
It’s a little known fact that Kirovski was in Man Utd’s youth team, but as he’s from the USA he struggled to get a work permit, and moved abroad to Borussia Dortmund. For some reason, he was given the treatment of being amazing, worth over £7m. In reality, he played 20 games in 4 years and picked up a Champions League medal despite not being involved in the final.
Kostadinov, whilst not necessarily an obvious pick, was easy to pick up and for a lower division side was a complete bargain. Paul Redfern sums it up nearly here:
Great signing to get you goals in the lower English divisions.
Kostadinov was a regular for the Bulgarian National team and played in Euro 96, as well as the World Cup 94 and then 98. He’s no Stoichkov though.
Mainwaring starts at the famous “Non League” meaning he’s available for peanuts and will bang them in for your lower league clubs. He then goes on to bigger and better things, but this guy got me out of Division 3 with Darlo and then moved on to the Premier League. Another must have if you’re in the lower leagues.
The boy who never grew up. Except he does grow up and gets better with age. Starting at Man Utd (unless you’re lucky and he’s on a free, inexplicably) they inevitably get sick of having him around as 8th choice and you’ll be able to loan him or maybe even buy him. Give it a few seasons of regular football and he’ll be your top scorer, your main man. I can’t speak highly enough of the Nev, I think only Roy Hodgson has more time for him.
Bit of a strange one to the untrained eye, but anybody who has scrapped in the lower leagues will know the value of this man. Martyn Oakley explains:
You’d pretty much have to start with Watford to afford him in the lower leagues, but a guaranteed regular source of goals and a guaranteed large transfer fee when the big club release clause kicked in… Which it always did!
He’s also a pun lovers dream, so think about that before making your decision!
Probably the best striker in the game for me. At Inter Milan, he can score a goal a game comfortably and does the same at International level. Unbelievable stats, huge value and in a good team just won’t miss. Age is on his side too. I don’t have enough superlatives.
Followers of the Darlington game will know how good this boy is. Unfortunately for me, he was soon snapped up by bigger clubs and is now in the Premier League. Starting on a free transfer, he’s a must sign if you’re in the lower leagues, and as long as he is playing, will go on to be worth millions in a few years. Like many above, maybe not the obvious choice, but I bet most of you have managed him at some point.