Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday March 12 2009
Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce is contemplating dropping leading scorer Amr Zaki to the bench for Saturdays game at Sunderland following the Egypt internationals lean spell in the goal scoring charts.
Zaki is yet to score from open play this year; in fact his last goal from open play came in the 2-1 defeat at Anfield when Zaki got a double against Liverpool way back on October 18th, but he is still the joint 4th leading goal scorer in the Premier League with 10 league goals.
So Bruce has a dilemma, drop his leading scorer to the bench or to persevere with him in the hope that he will come good again, the Latics boss told the Wigan Evening Post:
'Zaki just needs a goal to get him going again.
'As a manager, I have to decide how long to give it, can he get us a goal? It's a really difficult one, but I'm paid to make decisions like that.
'You'll find that if natural goal-scorers aren't scoring, they beat themselves up mentally, and a little bit of their confidence goes.
'If a goal bounces in off Zaki's backside, he would probably be capable of getting another six goals before the end of the season. We'll see how he does.
'Zaki is a bit of a one-off, he can either be on a real high or feeling really down, he needs to find an equilibrium.'
'A big problem is that Zaki hasn't scored from open play since October 18, his goals at the start of the season got us into a fantastic position.
'But when you look at the table from eighth downwards, scoring goals is a problem for a lot of teams.
'The defenders in this league are all quick, strong, big and very good, the hardest thing is finding a way past them.
'Zaki might not have scored for all these months, but he's still joint fourth highest scorer in the Premier League.
'Look at the names at the top of the leader board - Nicolas Anelka, Robinho, Ronaldo, Agbonlahor, that is how hard it is.
'As a team, we're still looking rock solid, now we need to find a bit more creativity going forward, add that to our game.
'We've got the option of Rodallega now, he's indicated in recent games that he's nearly ready to play from the start.
'He's trained with us for five or six weeks now, he can give us a little bit of spark.'
Zaki hasn`t become a bad player over night and I would keep faith in him, it will only take one goal to kick start his season again and with a bit of luck he will be able to finish the season the same way he started it, on fire
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Date:Thursday March 12 2009
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