Thursday Oct 29, 2020  
  06/12/2011: Lazio's Striking Options
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When Lazio made a move for Djibril Cisse in the summer transfer window, many thought he would score goals for fun just as he has in every league he has played in. I for one thought he would adapt to Italian football instantly, but we have yet to see a goal since the opening day from the French striker.

Whilst many are quick to criticise the player, some may wonder what is the actual problem?  Is he just slowly adapting to Italian football, or is it the stress that the Italian media brings to players who are not firing on all cylinder? Either way the player's own reaction to recent form hasn’t played kindly with many of the fans. Recent outbursts on Twitter were much uncalled for and rumours are already surfacing that the player may be on his way out of the club as early as January.

There have been some good performances to note from the Frenchman who cost nearly 6 Million Euros, on his debut for Lazio scoring a wonder header away against Milan. The striker was prolific in Greece for Panathinaikos and built a good reputation with fans for his return in goals for the club. Whilst his goal drought continues so does his dip in confidence, it shows on the pitch and it is showing that the player is trying to play for himself, not the team in his pursuit to find the net.

While the land of Calcio debate on Djibril Cisse’s form, I think it is unfair we are overlooking the striking talent Lazio have on the bench. The experienced Tommaso Rocchi has proved he can still score goals by reaching his 100th for the club early on in the season against Cagliari, and also young Czech striker Libor Kozak who is still waiting to prove his worth. Kozak has made twenty two appearances for the Biancoceleste scoring six times, he is only twenty two years of age and many Laziali see him as a future prospect for the club. Edy Reja used Kozak quite a lot last season but seems reluctant to use the player this term.

Obviously there is Miroslav Klose who has settled in the Capital brilliantly, but what is the next step for Lazio? Giuseppe Sculli is used often by Reja as a wide player and does not often grace us with goals. With Cisse underperforming and little use of strikers on the bench, are Lazio preparing their next move on the January transfer market? There have been names thrown into the rumour mill already and the most exciting one to note is Lukas Podolski. Whoever comes in January has to be proven to score in Serie A if Lazio are to move up the table. Lazio haven’t scored in the last three matches and it is evident more fire power is needed for Reja’s team. However, if they decide not to buy in January I find it very hard to see where Lazio will finish the season. Lazio cannot be reliant on Miroslav Klose’s goals for the rest of the campaign and if Cisse does leave the club in January the Biancocelesti will find themselves with very limited options. 

While there seems to be a mini crisis developing in the Capital, successive matches against Novara and Lecce give Reja’s men a chance to get back to winning ways and also gives Djibril Cisse a chance to try and find the net. After signing a four year contract in the summer it would be a shame to see him leave, but if he starts scoring again soon he may change the opinions of Laziali and start playing with confidence again. Only time will tell.

(Ben Lally)

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