There is, I admit, something to be said for the kind of forward who runs from defender to defender, hustling and harrying but never quite reaching the ball. On a park pitch. In a game of five-a-side. When you're ten years old.
See, some of my friends accuse me of being oh so slightly unfair on Alan Smith. Ok, he's gone twenty-nine games without a goal, but half of those he spent clamped to the edge of our own penalty area, giving the ball away and mistiming tackles, or stuck out on the right, giving the ball away and mistiming... And at least he cares: he cried his eyes out ON THE PITCH when Leeds went down, then waited two whole weeks before clearing off to Manchester United.
Other of my friends, less forgiving souls, think he's just another in the long, long line of slouch-paced, faintly-talented, fantastically-paid Big Four rejects that litter our dressing room in lieu of trophies. A forward who can't score, a midfielder who can't tackle - along with the likes of Duff, Babayaro and Geremi, tragically indicative of everything that's rotten with Newcastle United Football Club.
What we need here is a consensus. And a goal.