Image from: thefootballsocial.co.uk
Pavel Pogrebnyak is a frustrating player, a target man with the technical and physical attributes to be a top class player but somehow he just never seems able to put it together to reach the level he should. Good in the air, strong, quick enough to causes issues, good touch, powerful shot, yet he just seems to be unable to put it altogether on a consistent basis.
His movement is not the best, which does mean he is not as effective as he could be, as he does not find himself space very often to be picked out. Pogrebnyak does not make it easy for his team mates to provide him good service with that poor movement.
As you can see from this video clip of a headed goal he scored last season for Reading FC:
Pogrebnyak is a big strong lad with a good head on him and he made a good pass out wide to initially set up a crossing opportunity. Also you can see how little movement there was from him in the box, it was a pinpoint cross straight onto his head, rather than anything good he did, which made the goal.
Like many other big target men, he can often rely on his size and strength, rather than utilising all of his skills to keep defenders guessing, but when he does, he has got a lovely touch:
I know it is against a lower league team, but it still shows a deft touch to lob that in over the keeper, as well as the composure and vision to spot that he is off his line.
There are times when he does put it together, such as his hat trick for Fulham against Wolves or his man of the match performance for Reading against Doncaster Rovers, but his lack of consistency has seen him drop from being a top flight player with the likes of Stuttgart, Fulham and Spartak Moscow, to being in the English Championship and no longer a guaranteed first choice with Reading. At the age of 31, it is hard to see how Pogrebnyak can improve on that consistency, it seems he is destined to be a player that could have been something but never achieved it.
Written by Tris Burke
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