Now we all hold admiration for Jamie Vardy’s goal scoring run that to date has equaled Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s 10 goals in consecutive games. Well in fact If Ruud had not beaten then keeper Kasey Keller in the 89th minute of a game against Spurs it would never of happened but he did and now everyone is jumping for joy. Also please remember Sir Alex didn’t have much to say on this matter at the time, so why the big deal?
Is it because Ruud followed the standard European path of a footballer to reach the elite level and Jamie didn’t? Or is it because we as the public class Ruud as a better player than Jamie Vardy and that’s why we are so surprised. Or could it just be someone’s need to sell a story to make football relevant and shift some papers and subscriptions.
Now the young kid from humble roots story is all romantic and nice but it doesn’t wash with me and yes I am not really a fan of Jamie Vardy, but how many strikers have came up from non-league and had a case to claim for the Roy of the Rovers accolade? In the premiership era quite a few. Look at Charlie Austin, his season in the big league was a success. it was a shame the side around him was poor, yet he still scored lots of goals. Lets not forget Mr Ian Wright came to football the hard way and at a late age went on to score goals for fun. Let’s give a shout to Steve Bull and also a special nod to Kevin Phillips who even won a golden boot. So this story has been played out before many times just with a different format, kind of like a Scooby Do carton, the monster is different but the plot is the same and we all buy it.
Is Vardy a better player than Ruud? Well that’s personal opinion and in the fast evolving world of the EPL the game has changed much since Ruud’s day, but I think no. Even if they are different types of players. Ruud had star quality, a big time player with an ego to match. He was chased by Man United and they continued to chase and capture their man even after he ruined his knee in training. Vardy had a different Footballing education. After he was shown the door at Sheffield Wednesday he came up though non league like the rest of the names I have quoted but I bet that if you asked some young kids who is better Ruud Van Nistelrooy would be the answer.
I think this is because overseas the football pyramid is different. For example in Spain and Germany they have second teams in lower devisions like Barcelona B and Castilla of Real Madrid, or like the Regionalliga League that are home to Bayern and Nümberg Reserves, which keep players in the clubs systems and give them time to develop. Unlike here where one kid in 1000 might make it to a youth team, so this doesn’t make Vardy a better forward than Ruud, this makes Vardy a more determined player. There will be a point where a bigger club will come in or show interest and that will be the real test for Jamie Vardy because if he feels he has reached the top of the mountain it might show the world that he is not quite the elite forward everyone wants.
Leicester as a team are surprisingly top of the table and are in wonderful form and this helps the Jamie Vardy story because the media have a platform to build form. Now if Vardy didn’t have the work done behind him would he even be in this position and as I stated in the this weeks podcast (which you’ll find on this website) Leicester face Manchester United his coming weekend, Ruud’s old team, and I think this run will be halted. Leicester will have a good season but won’t be in the Champions League spots or any where near the Title. Now I understand that you may think this is a pessimistic look on things and yes your right, but the romance of the kid taking on the big boys after being rejected can only be played out so many times. All in all what I’m trying to say is class is permanent and form is temporary!! We have to respect Jamie Vardy for his journey to the Premier level of football and for this great run of games scoring, but let’s not get to carried away.