Earlier this week, Garth Crooks stated that Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus “are looking formidable together and developing a striking partnership I’ve not seen since the days of Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole”.
Here’s my two cents on this: it is wayyyyy too early to tell exactly at what level their striking combination is at. We are currently 5 games into the new season and, yes they have scored an incredible 9 goals in that time, but you just have to look at their opposition during those matches to see what a load of utter codswallop (rubbish) that is right now. In my head, this comment could still be as bone-headed as “you’ll never win anything with kids”.
To explain my reasoning for this, I’m going to look at their current results up until now- Brighton, Everton, Bournemouth, Liverpool and Watford. I watched live the Brighton, Everton and Liverpool game, the first two of which had Aguero getting the solitary goal of the two. In fact, after their first 3 fixtures, this combination had merely the 2 goals to their names. After the full 5 fixtures that number has now reached this golden 9. What I’m trying to say with this is that I don’t think that these two have had a blistering start to the season, I believe they have had a phenomenal previous two games. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to say that scoring 9 goals in five games is no mean feat. I just think that Garth is getting a little ahead of himself by comparing them to THE two names that everybody thinks of when it comes to classic striking partnerships.
In addition to this, Jesus’ two goals against Liverpool only after the opposition were down to 10 men, against an opposition that seemed to throw in the towel and were made to look pedestrian. I know I know, “you’ve never played Premier League football so you can’t say that!” I’m not saying that any of this was easy or that these two are useless footballers. Hell, even if there was no red card, Gabriel may have still got his brace and yes they may even turn out to be the greatest striking partnership of the decade. What I am trying to say in this article is that I think it’s a little too soon to be comparing them to the guys who scored 53 goals in all competitions to lead Alex Ferguson’s side to the 1999 Treble.
It’s as simple as this: look at the photo at the top of the article and when the one on the left looks like the one on the right, then I will admit that the two partnerships are justly equal. Yorke and Cole’s level of understanding was on another level, they would even give each other calls in the morning to wake each other up: it was a bromance before that sort of thing was cool.
You just need to look at the goal they scored against Barcelona in 1998 (You know the one I’m talking about!) to see the capabilities they had. First, the step-over from Cole without even looking at his partner, this followed by two passes so perfectly weighted to the other’s running speed that there’s barely even a bounce when Yorke controls it after the first time return pass. A lesser-known goal came against Brondby that same season but is one of equally exquisite quality and one that showed the world that the aforementioned link-up was no mere fluke. In this, Cole again pulls a dummy out of nowhere, instinctively knowing where his partner lurks, before Yorke re-feeds him the ball to score in a show of pure combinatorial glory. This is a skill you can’t teach, it’s just there and these two didn’t even need to look at each other to know where the other one was-it was pure instinct that they will be there, the return pass played before the ball even reaches their foot. If you were to look up the definition of a striking partner in some kind of footballing dictionary, you merely have to write two names: Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole.
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