Premier League bootroom and fab four can set the season alight
21:08 GMT, 28 September 2012
Take a look through the list
of leading Premier League
scorers this season and,
alongside the inevitable
Robin van Persie and Carlos
Tevez, there are a few surprises.
As well as the rejuvenated Jermain Defoe,
who I discussed last week, four more
strikers have particularly impressed me,
each one a surprise for different reasons.
Victor Anichebe (Everton)
In each of
the previous three seasons, Anichebe has
not managed more
than 18 appearances
in all competitions
and scored a total of
eight goals in the
past four campaigns.
Injuries have hampered his progress since he made his debut at 15. Now he looks like he could finally fulfill his potential. In the last two games, the 24-year-old gave centre halves a torrid time with his pace and power. His style is a bit lumbering but if you can get him wound up – and David Moyes has – he's sharp and powerful. He is throwing his arms around, and demanding the ball from his teammates.
He reminds me of a young Jason Roberts.
Steven Fletcher (Sunderland)
With Sunderland spending 12m on him and lots of people raving about him, there is immense pressure on Fletcher. He scored 12 goals in each of his last three seasons, despite playing for Burnley and Wolves who were both relegated.
That shows he is mentally tough, because it's not easy to perform in a struggling team.
For his goal at West Ham last weekend he had a great first touch and movement and his finish was excellent. He is so calm in front of goal.
Rickie Lambert (Southampton)
I watched Lambert a lot last season in the Championship so I'm not surprised by how well he has started – unlike others, including his manager, who left him on the bench at the start of the season.
Having come through the leagues, Lambert is an inspiration to any young player in the lower divisions. He is similar to Grant Holt, who made such an impact last season for Norwich, but is even sharper.
He really thumps the ball straight and true and has very good technique. He's a constant threat on the shoulder of defenders.
Demba Ba (Newcastle)
Ba is on my list because he had such a terrible end to last season and people were questioning if he would return to form.
But he looks like he has a God-given
right to score goals. Ba scores goals other people couldn't
even visualise – think of his scooped effort on the opening day against
When he is on the bench, you imagine
he is working out where the weaknesses are in the opposition's defence
for when he comes on. That's why he is so effective.
This derby's pitch-perfect
The game I am most looking forward to is the derby between QPR and West Ham. They haven't met in the Premier League since 1996 when Ray Wilkins and Tony Cottee were playing and there won't be a spare seat at Loftus Road on Monday. QPR's ground is so small and perfect, Subbuteo's pitch must have been based on it. The crowd are right on top of you and that makes everything feel faster. There is less space in your peripheral vision and so you feel hurried. Highbury was like that too and it speeds up the game. It will make for a very good match.