Soldado pre-season goals are vital

Roberto Soldado suffered from a crisis of confidence last season so this pre-season tour is vital to get him back into the right frame of mind.

Soldado pre-season goals are vital


For a striker football is all about confidence. He is in the limelight, he is paid, often more than his teammates to put the ball in the back of the net, he can contribute in other facets of the game but he is there to score goals. When he doesn't then the feeling of I'm letting my teammates, letting the club, letting the fans down grows.

A striker is in the goldfish bowl, everyone is watching, everyone is judging and once an opinion is formed it takes a lot to change it.

For Roberto Soldado it has been a trying time. Last season was an unmitigated disaster. A big money move from Spain where he had banged in the goals bode well. He wouldn't have known the expectation he was walking into, Spurs are not just another club, they are a club with top 4 ambitions, perennially knocking on the door. His job was to score the goals to take the club through the door.

Bottom line, he didn't. Now we can argue about a total lack of service, poor management of him, the loss of a child etc but the bottom line is he didn't score goals. If you want to win things, achieve things then excuses don't exist, you take responsibility and rectify it. Roberto Soldado failed.

When you are confident you shoot and they go in, when you lack confidence you may try to hit the ball hard or be too acurate and nothing seems to go right. The law of averages seems to desert you, if you shoot from distance 10 times, 2 might go in, without confidence they all seem to miss. If you’re not shooting though you can't score so you have to put yourself in the position to be shot at again, more public success or failure.

The top players don't bottle it, they don't keep passing chances to someone else, they take the responsibility knowing it could all go horribly wrong. When that goal goes in though the confidence comes surging back which is why I simply couldn't understand leaving Soldado on the bench for 3 games right after he had lifted the weight of the world off his shoulders. You want to boost his confidence don't you?

The same happened for Erik Lamela when he scored against FC Sheriff in the Europa League, then was the ideal time to give him a 30 minute cameo at the end of the next Premier League game but Andre Villas-Boas messed up his team selection and had to waste the use of a substitute to put it right, an injury I believe and suddenly Lamela had no chance to come on and an opportunity was lost.

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Footballers are human beings, they can be hurt by what people say just as much as anyone else, how you react to it though is down to you. Do you go into your shell, let it affect your game or is it water off a ducks back? Fans will get on a players back and you have to give great credit to Spurs fans who have by and large simply said about Soldado, this guy is quality.

We may have only seen slight flashes of it but it's obvious it's there. If fans had been on his back each time he went out the pressure Soldado was under would have been even greater but that didn't happen which is not usually the case with a player.

Scoring is a pleasure, it's a release of happiness that affects all those around and when we are happy we perform. This pre-season tour and the first few games of the season are vital for the Spaniard. Scoring will be essential or the pressure will start to mount again and we know where that leads. The pressure though for a footballer generally is from within, few read the papers, after all a reporter is an expert at writing not at football.

The ideal for Soldado will be an instinctive shot at goal, one he doesn't have to think about, it just goes in. Then we will see him transform like a caterpillar into a butterfly.




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