The Premiership match between Everton and Hull City at Goodison Park saw a total of six goals scored but none of them was scored by a striker. Yakubu and Vennegoor of Hesselink would have been among the top contenders to score but, for different reasons, did not have the impact they would have hoped for.
The two players could quite easily have had people talking about their names instead: Yakubu, known as ‘The Yak’, and the area-specific name of Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. Incidentally, that must be one of the coolest surnames in football.
English football fans will know a fair bit about Yakubu and what he offers a team by looking at his previous spells with Portsmouth and Middlesbrough. Vennegoor of Hesselink is new to the frantic pace of the Premier League but had spent the previous three seasons of his career north of the border at Celtic. Both are capable of going on lengthy scoring runs and the Hull City man has come to the KC Stadium with a more than respectable scoring record at his previous clubs.
For Yakubu, Sunday’s match was one where he shone above the Dutchman mainly because he played the full match whereas Hesselink came on for the last 20 minutes. However, Yakubu will reflect on his performance and think it was one of those hit and miss ones which he has been associated with. He set up a terrific goal scored by Mikel Arteta, he hit a lazy penalty which was saved, he struck a post and blazed over when Landon Donovan’s fine pass should have been finished.
On Vennegoor of Hesselink’s part his participation during the match was limited but he will be a frustrated character. Amir Zaki started the match but had a very poor performance and that must have made Hesselink wonder as to why he had not been given the chance of a start, or be introduced at an earlier stage. Ultimately he could have no influence on the game because Hull looked deflated and Everton ended up scoring twice during the last ten minutes.
You can be sure that because Yakubu will probably be frustrated with his individual performance, and Vennegoor of Hesselink feeling indifferent about his day, the two will have the opportunity to show their worth during the business end of the season. If their goal scoring pedigree is anything to go by then it would not be surprising if they had a say in their respective team’s fortunes.
Yakubu, when on top form, can cause a nightmare for defenders because of his 13 stone weight and the power he generates from that. On the other hand, Vennegoor of Hesselink is a force inside the penalty area and his need to score goals seems more crucial than Yakubu’s- Hull are in a massive relegation scrap.
Both players have had successful pasts but these last few months of the season will reveal which one of the two still has it in them.
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