Date: 7th September 2016 at 6:57pm
Written by:

Last week, we were told that the reason why a target man wasn`t brought in, in the summer, to compensate Marcus Haber`s departure was because their style wouldn`t suit the way we play.

Granted, in the last few weeks we have seen a most welcome return to the Crewe Alex of old, we`ve been attacking sides quickly and always look like we have a chance in any game we`ve been apart of. Whether that`s more of a case of the players finding their level rather than playing with a higher level of quality; is very much up for debate. But there is no doubt that there has been an immense improvement in performances, whatever the reason behind it.

But is the reason solely because we’ve dropped the target-man approach that we`ve tried and tested for the last few seasons? Or is it simply more to do with the players themselves? After all, our approach only works when the players involved either have the ability to play that way or have strengths and plus points that could offer something positive to the system.
 Every individual has strengths. The challenge is finding a particular kind of player whose strengths match the approach that the management or club are trying to take.
For me, this is an area where the management team has very much failed in.
I am very much of the opinion that a target man would indeed suit our style – they just have to be the right kind.
Marcus Haber and Vadaine Oliver, for example, were just simply not this type. Their strengths were in the air. They were at their best when they had the opportunity to attack crosses and provide the target at the back post that gives defensive units nightmares. That was the way they had been brought up to play, that is absolutely fine. Everyone`s different. It just, for that reason, isn`t a surprise that they didn`t suit us, or the way we play.  
Their strengths were not keeping the ball ticking over at a fast pace, i.e. the same approach that we`ve made our name on, or otherwise known as; the Crewe way.
We never had a problem with Dean Ashton fitting into this way, or Rob Hulse or even; Dele Adebola. Players that had been brought up within the same system and style.
You could even argue that the side featuring both Ashton and Hulse, the promotion winning team of 2002/3, was the best team we`ve ever had. The absolute masters of the style. The side that produced the best levels of entertainment and enjoyment that fans of all ages, had ever seen.
We weren`t stopped from playing our preferred way then and we wouldn`t be now. We just have to look for a certain type of target man, not just sign any and expect them to instantly fit into what we do.
It is more a failure of the management and the people in charge to recruit the correct personnel to act as our target man, as oppose to a target-man making it impossible to play our preferred style of play.