Scouting Report: Can Australian Young Gun Adam Taggart Shock Spain?

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Scouting Report: Can Australian Young Gun Adam Taggart Shock Spain?
Matt King/Getty Images

Should Australian national team manager Ange Postecoglou give Socceroos young gun Adam Taggart a start against Spain at the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

To address that question, here is a scouting report on Taggart, a 21-year-old 6'0", 152-pound centre-forward. 

 

Will Postecoglou Give Taggart One Shot Against Spain? 

Watching the Socceroos under Holger Osieck, an assistant manager to Franz Beckenbauer during Germany's 1990 FIFA World Cup triumph, was depressing.

Upon replacing Osieck, Postecoglou has turned a boring, dull and lifeless Socceroos team into a competitive, fearless and up-tempo outfit. 

There is hope moving forward because Postecoglou, Australia's former U-20 national team manager, has given starts to some of the Socceroos' best prospects:

Player Age Position World Cup Starts
Mat Ryan 22 GK 2
Jason Davidson 22 LB 2
Tommy Oar 22 LAM 2
Mathew Leckie 23 RAM  2

Taggart was a spectator in the Socceroos' 3-1 defeat to Chile and came on as a late substitute in a 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands. 

FIFA.com.
FIFA.com.

With Socceroos centre-forward Tim Cahill suspended against Spain, Taggart should be given a chance to replace Australia's greatest ever footballer. 

FIFA.com.
FIFA.com.

 

Taggart's Upside

Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Taggart was one of the best players in the A-League for the Newcastle Jets.

He was named the A-League Young Footballer of the Year and won the Golden Boot with 16 goals, per Football Federation Australia's official website

"Personally, as a striker, goals are something I'm always focusing on," Taggart said, per Sebastian Hassett at The Sydney Morning Herald. "I think the only thing I do is score goals, I can't really do much else."

Taggart's shooting technique is elite.

His hat-trick against Melbourne Heart (now Melbourne City) came via a half-volley, a side-foot finish and an instep shot—all outside the box.

FootballAustralia.com.au/FoxSports.com.au.
FootballAustralia.com.au/FoxSports.com.au.
FootballAustralia.com.au/FoxSports.com.au.

Striding confidently towards the ball, Taggart's shot curves radically away from Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic.

FootballAustralia.com.au/FoxSports.com.au.

Taggart is a game-changing player.

He carves open Brisbane Roar's defence and lashes a shot past Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo.

FootballAustralia.com.au/FoxSports.com.au.

The primary reason why Taggart is a natural scorer is his positional instincts.

Jets centre-forward Emile Heskey holds up play and Taggart darts behind Melbourne Victory's defence in an instant, receives Heskey's pass and confidently finishes.

FootballAustralia.com.au/FoxSports.com.au.

What will hold Taggart in good stead is his work ethic.

"He was so focused on his football," Taggart's ECU Joondalup junior coach Frank Donlevy said, per Mark Donaldson at the Joondalup Weekender. "He came to training and worked his backside off. I'm glad to see he's getting the rewards."

Without the ball, Taggart pressurises Roar centre-back Matt Smith into a mistake.

Upon pouncing on the loose ball, Taggart shows composure by chipping it over Theo.

FootballAustralia.com.au/FoxSports.com.au.

Taggart is in career-best form which is why several European clubs are pursuing him, per Daniel Garb at Fox Sports

Socceroos striker Adam Taggart is in advanced negotiations with English championship club Fulham, Fox Sports can reveal.

The Newcastle Jets marksman, who was the leading scorer in the A-League last season, has impressed a number of clubs with his goal scoring exploits in Australian club competition.

But the London outfit, relegated from the Barclays Premier League last season, lead the way in the bid.

Former Jets manager Gary van Egmond recommended alternative destinations to England. 

"Another year here won't hurt him [Taggart], but at almost 21 he should be looking to push on and cement a place overseas," Van Egmond said, per Tom Smithies at The Daily Telegraph. "Going somewhere like Holland or Belgium would be good."

Seasoned professional Kew Jaliens, who won an Eredivisie title under Louis van Gaal at AZ, believes Jets teammate Taggart is suited to the Eredivisie and the Eerste Divisie. 

"I think he [Taggart] is ready to go [to the Netherlands] now," Jaliens said, per Dave Lewis at SBS. "I think his style would be perfectly suited for a country like Holland."

Taggart can be used as a trump card. 

If left wide-open like Patty Mills was against the Miami Heat, Taggart will make a name for himself on the biggest stage against Spain. 

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com

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