Michael Weir: Service is key for even the best strikers

Strikers scoring goals is all down to the service they get, writes Michael Weir

By Michael Weir
Friday, 14th August 2020, 12:30 pm
Winger Daryl Horgan in action against Dundee United
Winger Daryl Horgan in action against Dundee United

Service is so vital for attackers. I could say tomorrow, 'oh, Kevin Nisbet didn't score against Dundee United, he's not scoring goals'.

But if strikers aren't scoring goals, look at their team-mates. What service are they getting? Who's putting balls into the box for them?

Strikers depend on one thing: service. If you look at good teams, they score good goals because the strikers are getting good service from out wide.

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Against Livingston, Daryl Horgan put two great balls into the area, Nisbet's on the end of both of them.

People always ask why strikers don't score goals but it all comes down to service.

When I played with Steve Archibald, he would say to me, 'just make sure you play the ball between the posts, and I'll be there'.

And that's all I had to do. It doesn't matter how good a striker is, most of them can't do it all themselves. They need that service. Very, very few players can do it all.

Service is the key. There's no point having a good finisher up top without it.

Michael O'Neill did it to great effect in the mid-Nineties. Good service, good crosses. And that's why I will always insist that Hibs should have wide players at the club.

Manchester City still have wide players. Liverpool make use of their attacking full-backs but they've still got players who can play out wide.

I think too many wide players in today's game are doing more running than they need to. From my experience, defenders hate it if wide players just sit out there. They're not sure what to do.

One of my old coaches told me once 'Michael, you can do more off the ball, than you can on the ball'.

I never forgot that. Just stay in a certain area, and give the full-back something to think about.

Too many wide players today do too much running and don't think about the game enough.

And if it was really all about running, I wouldn't have survived in football.