Top five strikers in the A-league

Darcy Patterson Roar Rookie

By Darcy Patterson, Darcy Patterson is a Roar Rookie

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    The A-League has seen some great number nines over the years, and some not so good ones.

    Here is my list of the top five strikers currently playing:

    5.Emile Heskey

    The big fella came into the league with big expectations and to the most part he has fulfilled them. With nine goals so far and many 90 minute games, he has certainly impressed me.

    The former English number nine has not only helped the Jets in the goals department, he has also been a great leader for the team.

    A few weeks ago when the Jets needed to hold a lead for the last five minutes he even dropped back into central defence.

    Even as a great striker, it seems like he has the attitude that he will do anything to help his team.

    4. Danny McBreen

    Although Danny is the top scorer and his team is right up the top, I kept him at four because the past two seasons he hasn’t been nearly as successful.

    He is a great poacher but he is surrounded by great assisting players. Danny is at four because I doubt the fortunes of the Mariners would be any different with any other poacher.

    But nevertheless it takes some talent to slot 15 into the back of the net.

    3. Shane Smeltz

    Shane has been a clinical finisher from way back when he started at the Phoenix. Perth is in a rough patch this year but we can still see Shane putting away classy goals with not much service.

    Consistency is the reason Shane is at number three.

    2. Archie Thompson

    Archie Thompson, the A-League’s highest goal scorer, has played in every season of the League (apart from a short lone spell to Asia).

    Archie’s pairing with young Rojas this year has netted a combined 20 goals. Archie is a complete striker.

    With enough pace to beat defenders, he can win a header, provide a great finishing move, has great vision and awareness, and overall he plays the exiting style that Aussies want to see.

    1. Alessandro Del Piero

    The Italian maestro. Del Piero has netted 12 this campaign and the way he has done it is truly amazing.

    The 38-year-old has seemed to sometimes move in slow motion but no one can get near him.

    The first game of the season for Sydney, ADP hit a cracker of a free kick after missing 1st team action for almost a year.

    He carries the whole of the Sydney team on his shoulders, always looking for the ball and thinking of new ways to score. His left foot, 30 yard goal last week and his dazzling of the Brisbane defence two months ago show the range he has.

    From the record crowds, to the four-goal game, to copping the most fouls, and to the pay cheque, Alessandro is the number one goal scorer in the A-League today.

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • Roar Guru

      March 6th 2013 @ 7:42am
      Cameron Kellett said | March 6th 2013 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      Is your article even about number 9’s?

      Where is Besart Berisha!!!???

      Best striker/poacher since he has arrived. No way Heskey deserves to be there! Where is the consideration of Sergio Van Dijk. May not have played well this year but you really didn’t look at statistics.

      Besart may be hot headed but he is statistically better than ANYONE!

      Daniel McBreen has had one good year, what about consistency?
      Jeremy Brockie or Mark Bridge or even Danny Allsopp.

      Did you start watching the A-league this year?

      • March 6th 2013 @ 9:16am
        Pat Chapman said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        Seriously?? ^^ Have you looked at Emile Hesky’s statistics as a striker in his career, “Kellett_1992”?… From when he played in the ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE. Besart Berisha may have proved himself worthy with Brisbane against Australian teams but he has no were near the prestige of an International footballer at the world stage. This is 2012/13 mate, not 2008.

      • March 6th 2013 @ 9:22am
        Ben said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        I think you’ll find it’s the current best number 9’s in the league; hence van Dijk and Allsop aren’t there. Though I believe even if the latter were still around, he wouldn’t fit in this top 5. However I do think you’re right about Berisha. I hate him to pieces, he shows little sportsmanship, but he’s one hell of a goalscorer.
        My top 5, in no order (current players): Del Piero, Berisha, Smeltz, Heskey, Thompson.

      • Roar Guru

        March 6th 2013 @ 12:03pm
        Cameron Kellett said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

        That’s what I get for commenting at 6:42am QLD Time. Woke up, jumped the gun and didn’t read correctly, sorry guys.

        I do believe without a doubt though that Berisha, Brockie and and Bridge could have fit into this top five.

        Berisha should easily be number 2 or number 1. He statistically is the best striker in the A-League, all you have to do is look at the stats.

        Pure skill, precision, effortless quality – ADP can easily take number 1. Archie and Smeltz always in there but this article still provides slight confusion for us commentors.

        Consistency, form or overall?

        Clearly Archie and Smeltz were chosen for the reasons of consistency for this year there are other players who’s form out do them with ease.

        But Heskey being a first season player for the A-League, I don’t know. I don’t believe you can mix consistency with current season form, for if you are mixing the two then I don’t know how on form Archie and Smeltz are in there. On form Brockie, Bridge, Berisha, Rojas all require consideration. Funny thing is all these players do not have the number nine on their back, but nor does McBreen, Archie or ADP if I am correct.

        So are we talking about number 9’s or Strikers?

        A lot of confusion in this piece.

        On Quality I would choose:

        1. ADP
        2. Berisha
        3. Smeltz
        4. Archie
        5. Brockie

        On form:


        ADP if he produces the form this year – next, then he could be my number one, but Besart as much as people hate him, gets under the skin of so many and poaches like no other player that has played in the A-League. ADP on the other hand creates something from nothing and it really does look effortless. These two are hard to choose from.

    • March 6th 2013 @ 9:28am
      Pat Hawthorne said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      Danny mcbreen has score 15 this year. there are some statistics for you^. there is no way that danny allsop or bridge should be in there. bridge has had his best season this year and only scored 8. allsop isnt even playing at the moment so he is not eligible. number nine is more than just scoring goals, its being thephysical leader of the team, thats why heskey is in there. his presences creates opportunites for others. berisha coul be at 5 but his side is at the bottom of the table. he isnt leading the line like a good striker would.

      • March 6th 2013 @ 10:52am
        Ian said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        pat hawthorne…….as you singled out berisha you perhaps aren’t aware of what he adds to the team. i wont go into it now as i don’t feel like a tit for tat. berisha has 10 goals doesn’t he? more than heskey. and you underestimate berisha’s presense. its ok, i like heskey. he is also a poacher and does his job.

        a correction…….it may have been a whlle since you looked at the table – brisbane roar are in 6th not 10th, two points behind newcastle jets in 5th, who have played one game extra than everyone else.

    • March 6th 2013 @ 9:42am
      Chris said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      ……have you been blind for the last 3 seasons or have you just started to support football this season………I cant believe Berisha of Brisbane is ommited…….your opinion is as bad as the ref blowing the whistle this mornig for Man Utd v Real Madrid

      • March 6th 2013 @ 10:56am
        Ian said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        the ref this morning was probably harsh – still it was studs up and at least a yellow. and i’m sure from memory man u have received a favourable decision or two in the past.
        agree berisha is in the top 5 easy.

    • March 6th 2013 @ 10:14am
      Jukes said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      I have to say I am a big fan of Eli Babalj. If the kid stays in the A-league for a year or two he will be a beast of a player. I would love to sign him up at WSW. He would fit in our system very well. He is young, big, strong, fast, holds the ball up well and has an eye for goal. Wait next year when he has a full season under his belt.

    • Roar Guru

      March 6th 2013 @ 10:35am
      Mantis said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      Yeah can’t agree with Heskey, and to a lesser extent McBreen. I’d have Van Dijk, Berisha, Matt Simon and Dwight Yorke ahead of those two. Even Carl Veart should get a nod before Heskey.

      • Roar Guru

        March 6th 2013 @ 12:05pm
        Cameron Kellett said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

        Haha, we both made the same mistake Mantis.

        Its not former players – its this year. So pick again my friend :).

        • Roar Guru

          March 6th 2013 @ 10:51pm
          Mantis said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

          Classic rookie skim-reading. Apologies. McBreen definately deserves a spot. As does Berisha. Probably at the expense of Heskey.

    • March 6th 2013 @ 10:48am
      Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      If we are talking traditional number 9’s to me that means out and out centre-forwards who have the physicality to play alone up front with a commanding presence in the box and not wide forwards or deep lying forwards so there is a limited range of players to choose from at the moment.
      Perhaps a top 5 of all time great HAL number 9’s , based only on their achievements in the HAL and not on previous achievements would be worth putting together.
      For me… 1. Smeltz , 2. Van Dijk , 3. J. Griffiths, 4. Aloisi, 5. Allsopp, …..6. Zdrilic (just kidding).
      I might get some arguments on Aloisi and Allsopp but remember we’re not just talking about goals per game ratio but also about “presence and muscle” in the penalty box from which their team mates feed.

      • Roar Guru

        March 6th 2013 @ 12:06pm
        Cameron Kellett said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        Isn’t exactly clear on traditional number 9’s for this list compiled by the author is not all traditional number 9’s.

        Your list of number 9’s isn’t bad though.

        • March 6th 2013 @ 12:27pm
          Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

          I think classically speaking if you’re talking number 9’s you would be referring to the old school “brick sh*thouse” centre forward a la Aloisi,Van Dijk,Smeltz,McBreen,Heskey etc. ADP, Archie and Berisha are not “number 9’s”.
          If this article is about forwards in general then the author should replace the term “number 9’s” with simply “strikers” or “forwards”.

          • March 6th 2013 @ 12:57pm
            Nathan of Perth said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

            “Archie and Berisha are not “number 9′s”.”

            Indeed, depending on the city you ask in, you might get a very different number indeed 8D

            Sorry, couldn’t resist.

            • March 6th 2013 @ 3:10pm
              Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

              Not in my book. They score goals yes…..but they’re not “number 9’s”. I think I outlined reasonably clearly what maketh a “number 9” above.

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