When Will Jozy Altidore Begin Scoring for Sunderland in the EPL?

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet spoke to the Sunderland Echo newspaper this week about his big American striker Jozy Altidore:

“He has many good qualities but the one that tends to get overlooked is that he has an unbelievable shot on him – so powerful.

“I still can’t believe he is only 24, he hits the ball with such power and we have to use that power to best effect.

“Sometimes it is hard – it is very easy to look at a player and say, oh he doesn’t score goals.

“But sometimes you have to look at how you play, especially if that player has scored in other teams and not in yours.”

Sunderland strike partner Steven Fletcher shares similar opinions to Poyet about Altidore:

“He has done really well since he joined the club. He has really put himself about on the pitch and his work rate is amazing. I think you have to look at everything he has brought to the club and not look at him purely in terms of goals.

“He set up both goals against Southampton (in the Capital One Cup) as well as the winner against Newcastle, and there is no way anyone should be complaining. He is a 100 per cent committed player every time, and the goals will definitely come.”

Many American soccer fans were concerned about Altidore’s Sunderland move entering a World Cup year. Four seasons ago, when the Florida-bred striker struggled for Hull City, it impacted his international form.

But Poyet is confident if put into the right situation, Altidore will thrive. But others aren’t so convinced. Recently message boards in the United States have lit up about Altidore’s inability to find the back of the net in England. Now that the United States has been held scoreless in two friendlies on European soil, the concerns are escalating.

The remedy for Altidore may simply be a run of games in the first team with a defined role and similar tactics. For a player that has proven his quality in 2013 both internationally and at the club level (in Holland), closing the year out strongly will be essential.

It is also worth remembering that Altidore has diversified his game in the past few seasons to where simply scoring goals is not how his impact has measured. Better hold up play, finding space more regularly and well-timed surging open play runs are all facets of Altidore’s game that have developed in recent years.

Going forward, it will be critical for Altidore to find his goal-scoring form again for both Sunderland and the United States. But perhaps more important is that he continues to develop the other areas of his game that are making him a complete striker.

When will Jozy Altidore begin scoring for Sunderland in the Premier League? His next opportunity will be this Saturday against Stoke City.

4 thoughts on “When Will Jozy Altidore Begin Scoring for Sunderland in the EPL?”

  1. Its great to see those comments by Fletcher in terms of Altidores work habits because it seems hes not showing effort in terms of the play on the pitch but most athletes of large size seem to share that perception. I mostly think its lack of service that hinders Altidores progression @ Sunderland but I continue to root for him.

  2. Never, he just doesn’t have enough pace and skill. A striker’s first touch is paramount and his is way too poor. Also he doesn’t have a strikers instinct that makes thing happen.

    Poyet will try to get something out of him for now but I expect them to be after a striker in the January window.

    1. Disagree. Sturridge has a poor first touch and bangs them in. Lambert doesn’t have a great touch either, nor does he have any pace. What do those guys have that Altidore doesn’t? Service. He gets none at Sunderland, whose midfield is poor and lacking in any creative ability.

      He doesn’t have a striker’s instinct? Take a look at Jozy’s hat trick against Bosnia just before the season started.

  3. I feel that Jozy should have stayed in the Dutch league another year or two. He was really making progress and getting confident. Moving and playing in the EPL or the other 3 top class leagues (Germany, Spain and Italy)takes a lot. On top of that, I think Sunderland just wasn’t the right fit for him.

    In the Dutch league he was improving and with another 2-3 years – Jozy would have been ready to move. At Sunderland he has taken a step backwards in his progress.

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