Ogleby: The New Armstrong

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A theory about Rob Ogleby is current among the Wrexham Player commentary team. Basically, it goes like this: he’s the sort of striker with the potential to suddenly hit form, turn a corner and, given a run in the side, become a twenty goal a season striker. In the wake of the Christmas fixtures I have to admit that another possibility has come to me: perhaps he’s a striker who’ll always have the capacity to win a game at this level, but that doesn’t mean he’ll develop the ability to do that regularly.

Certainly his goals tend to come in clumps: whether that signifies that the scoring ability is there and will become more consistently applied as time passes is a moot point. Some young players kick on from promising starts; others, it is often forgotten, merely show their hand immediately. The level they hit in the early, promising days is the level they’ll always be at.

I think there’s definite reason to hope Ogleby will add consistency to his repertoire though. He doesn’t have much trouble getting into scoring positions, although he does sometimes tend to snatch at his chances. To me, this is a good sign: the confidence a scoring run brings might help him to relax in those positions, and then the goals might flow.

What would worry me would be if he didn’t get into those positions at all. If he was simply blunt in front of goal, there’d be no hope. Give me a striker who misses chances ahead of a forward who never gets in the box at all.

A player with pace and some street smarts around the area will surely score goals, and Ogleby looks like he has the former and is developing the latter. He reminds me in some ways of the young Chris Armstrong. Famously, he took a long time to score his first goal for us as he marauded round, missing chance after chance. However, while many lost patience with him I couldn’t help feeling that there was huge potential in him. He was very fast and very strong, and couldn’t help getting into great positions as a consequence of those two attributes. The problem was he simply couldn’t finish.

Once he did lose his virginity in front of goal he started to score more regularly. A polished pre-season later and he was off to the big smoke to become one of the few consistent scorers in the Premier League not to be given a fair crack of the whip by an England manager desperate for goals. In these days of media campaigns for Grant Holt and Gary Hooper to lead Roy Hodgson’s line, he’d be a shoo-in!

Perhaps Ogleby should note Armstrong’s example and consider the fact that, even up here in North Wales, a young goalscorer will catch the eye of those higher up the food chain.

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