Saturday, June 23, 2018

The good, the bad and the ugly of Edinson Cavani

PSG striker Edinson Cavani scored in the French sides 2-2 draw at Arsenal, but divides opinion

PSG striker Edinson Cavani scored in the French sides 2-2 draw at Arsenal, but divides opinion

Big-spending French giants PSG have been looking for world domination in the last half a decade. Their middle-eastern owners are determined to rule the football world it seems.

Last time the club from the French capital drew 2-2 at Arsenal to take control of group A of the Champions League.

The win means that PSG only needs to equal Arsenal’s in on game week six to finish top of the group and thus avoid a giant in the last-16 of the competition.

One of the main protagonists for PSG on Wednesday night was Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani. We saw the good the bad and the ugly of the striker against Arsenal that’s for sure.

The Good

Edinson Cavani seems like a natural born predator. His striker’s instinct to be in the right place at the right time is impressive. The 29-year-olds movement and intelligence off-the-ball has helped him become prolific in European football for close to a decade.

The striker showed his typical predators instinct to slide in at the back post to open the scoring for PSG against the Gunners. It was the sort of goal that Cavani scores on a regular basis.

His goalscoring record in his time in Europe is exemplary. In three years at PSG, Cavani has scored 97 goals in 164 appearances in all competitions for the Parisians. Many of those appearances came when he was playing out wide, as Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was preferred as the lone striker.

Some will say that Ligue One is an inferior league to the rest of Europe’s biggest leagues, but Cavani has still been prolific. He is a goalscorer.

The Bad

Then there is the flip-side to Edinson Cavani. The guy should be nicknamed ‘Jigsaw’ because he seems to go to pieces in the box. When he does not have time to think about a shot or any effort he is fantastic in front of goal.

However, when he is given any time to think about what he going to do he tends to make poor decisions. Cavani at 29 should maybe have determined slightly more composure, as he does miss a lot of chances.

In the reverse fixture, the Uruguayan also missed a host of chances. On Wednesday night he was set free behind the Gunners defence and tried to flick the ball past David Ospina, with the ball tamely going into the Arsenal ‘keepers hands.

He also headed wide from eight yards out. These are not isolated incidents this has happened throughout Cavani’s career. It seems he is a striker that needs three or four chances to score one goal.

He may have been prolific in his career, but his goalscoring record would have been even better had he even taken half of the chances he has missed down the years.

The Ugly

Some people may think I am talking about the striker raising his hands to Aaron Ramsey. No, that was handbags that happen all the time in football. Ramsey should be embarrassed for his reaction to the push.

The ugly side of Cavani is the Uruguayan has the propensity to throw himself on the floor whenever a gust of winds hits him. Twice during the game against Arsenal Cavani threw himself to the deck in the Gunners penalty area.

Twice the referee waved played on and quite rightly so. Some players will do anything to win, including diving, which should be reserved for its place at the Olympics and has no place in football.

Not a world-class striker

Cavani’s scoring record clearly states he is a prolific striker. However, I would argue that he is not truly world-class. The PSG striker is currently odds of 16/1 to win the Champions League golden boot this season. Those odds make him the third favourite to claim the award.

However, for me, world-class forwards are the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. They are forwards who win their team’s big games and are clinical in front of goal. Cavani is not clinical in front of goal. That is why he is not considered to be in the top bracket of strikers.

Is Edinson Cavani a world-class striker?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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