Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Heskey could prove shrewd signing for Jets

Emile Heskey is unlikely to be greeted by the same hysteria that left marquee signing Alessandro del Piero wide-eyed on his arrival at Sydney International but his impact on new club Newcastle Jets could be no less significant.

He has been a professional since 1994 but punters betting on soccer have never considered him a regular scorer - only four times in his career since has he hit double figures in the league. His best was 14 in his debut season for Liverpool - but then Heskey was never an archetypal goal-scoring goal-scorer.

He was often derided for offering, well, not a great deal - in total he scored 111 goals in 512 Premier League appearances - but then criticism from the armchair has become a national pastime in the land of Heskey's birth.

Gerard Houllier, Sven Goran Eriksson, Martin O'Neill and Fabio Capello - they can't all be wrong, surely?

Let us not forget that at the peak of his powers Heskey was seen as the first-choice foil for England and Liverpool team-mate Michael Owen.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond has told news soccer reporters that he can maybe build a team around the imposing 34-year-old.

Heskey first burst onto the scene as a bulldozing centre-forward; a defender's nightmare you might say. The kind of opponent who would leave you black and blue. Certainly, the physical nature of the A League will not be an issue.

It is this trait that could benefit the likes of James Brown, Marko Jesic and Ryan Griffiths if, as expected, the former Birmingham City and Wigan targetman is used as a focal point of the Jets attack.

True, the goals have dried up in recent years but then Jets fans should be prepared to a chalk a line through a spell to forget at his most recent club Aston Villa.

After more than a decade in the English top flight, this FA Cup and Europa League winner may just have the last laugh.

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