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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Our New Strike Force - Part 1

One thing I've noticed about the few comings and goings so far is that, up till now, its the old geezers that are leaving/being released and they are, by and large being replaced by younger versions. Striker (sic) JFH was the first to be released, at 35 the old man on the block and he's swiftly been followed by want-away Hermann Hreidarsson, due to be 33 in a few weeks time. Rumours are that relative youngster El Karkouri, 31 in July, will be the next to leave with Kish, 33 in July, already taking offers.

Pardews' signings, so far, have tended to be rather younger. 22 year-old Chris Dickson from Dulwich, 24 year-old Luke Varney from Crewe and old man Chris Iwelumo at 28 from Colchester. Pards also bought 24 year old Madjid Bougherra in January and there's also 19 year-old Dane star Martin Christensen due in arrive on July 1st. So we're obviously building for the future and at the same time helping to cut the wage bill. Lets hope we don't have to wait too long.

The news of Chris Iwelumo's move from Colchester surprised many and although he's been scoring a few in his last two seasons, helping Colchester to gain promotion from Tier 3 in 2005/06, it has taken him a few years to start scoring. In fact, oddly enough his form seemed to improve with the arrival of Jamie Cureton at Colchester. Cureton, it was, that was Colchesters', and the Divisions, leading goalscorer last season with 23 goals - Iwelumo weighing in with 18. Maybe its Cureton we should be buying you say, especially as he has played previously for Pardew at Reading, but then Cureton's 32 in August and thats old by Pardews' standards and also he's a bit of a midget at 5'8" and maybe thats not what Pardew is after. Assistant manager Phil Parkinson knows all about Iwelumo's strengths, of course, after having signed him for Colchester in 2005 and managed him till leaving to take over at Hull in June 2006.

One thing Iwelumo is famous for is his penalties, apparently 6 last season, and its said that during his 2 year Colchester career, he never missed one, so with our current penalty-taker due for pastures new, its good to see that we have lined up a replacement. One the other hand if you consider that of his 18 goals last season, 6 came from penalties and he scored 4 times ( one a penalty) in a game against Hull last December you can calculate that of the other 39 League games he played in he only scored 9 goals!

Perhaps its his physical qualities that Pardew is after. He weights in at 13 or 14 stone depending on who you read and whether he's in training or not and he's a bit of a Leaburn at 6' 4". And as you can see below he also appears to be a lucky player, as he's been involved in three promotion teams, even though two of them were as a loan player.

Perhaps we need to compare the figures with those of Darren Bent's to remind ourselves what a great, and regular, striker he is - or is it was?

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