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Rush One-touch finishing? and Le Tissier were kings.

Byline: Barry HORNE

I WAS interested to hear the statistic this week about Nikica Jelavic and his penchant for one-touch finishes.

The word is that 41 of Jelavic's last 44 strikes, for Everton and for Rangers, have been single-touch finishes. He has taken just 47 touches in total to net those 44 goals.

It doesn't surprise me. The Croatian is clearly a natural, instinctive finisher, who works best when he has little time to think about what he is going to do with a chance.

When he has time, as we saw at Swansea, for example, he maybe finds it a little more difficult.

Anyway, the stat got me thinking about who were the most natural finishers I ever played alongside.

It won't be a popular choice with Evertonians, but Ian Rush stands out, of course. Despite his vast achievements, and his status at Anfield, I still don't think Rushie gets the recognition he deserves on a worldwide level.

He, for me, was the benchmark for natural finishers. I played alongside Alan Shearer, Mark Hughes, Dean Saunders, Ryan Giggs...all great players, all fantastic talents and top finishers in their own ways, but none were as accomplished as Rushie at putting the ball in the back of the net. He did it for fun, and he was the best around at it.

But someone who I think is worthy of comparison, and who perhaps could have achieved as much as Rush had he made different decisions throughout his career, was Matthew Le Tissier, who I played alongside at Southampton.

When it comes to one-touch finishing, Le Tissier was the man. He could finish with either foot, in any manner, from any angle and from any distance.

For me, he was as good as I have ever seen, first hand.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 28, 2012
Words:299
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