Because less players equal more space to pass and move

Carew on the Up?

That’s right; big John Carew is a sizeable centre forward. 6’4 and no slouch out of the blocks, his imposing physicality should strike fear into every defender. But this isn’t the case.

Blessed with all the physical attributes the modern Premier League striker needs to survive, Aston Villa‘s Carew has also graced Champions League prize fighters such as Valencia, Roma and Lyon.

Cast your mind back to 2006: It’s a Champions League night, Real Madrid vs. Lyon. John Carew is in the mood, make no mistake about it. Attempting to mark him is Italy’s World Cup Winning captain, Fabio Cannavaro. But Fabio is enduring the kind of game of which nightmares are made of - Carew is casting him aside like a toy he is bored with, time and time again. Not just Cannavaro, but the whole Madrid team can’t get near Carew – he’s unplayable.

Fast forward to the 2009-2010 Premier League season and up until February, Carew has largely been an absentee from the goal scoring charts. Some fans suggested he had lost his physical presence whilst injuries appeared to be blighting his chances. Others suggested his heart wasn’t in it – he didn’t want it enough. And up until February you would have believed them. Lethargy seemed to have crept into his game, and it looked as though his journeyman career may be set for one more chapter.