Looking at the current Pars squad and how they have performed individually and as a team.
Today: the forwards
The loss of last season's top scorer Faissal El Bakhtaoui was felt in the opening weeks of the season, with new loan signing Gavin Reilly paired with Michael Moffat, and only David Hopkirk in reserve, plus 2 untested Under 20s strikers. The signings of Farid El Alagui and Nicky Clark strengthened the forward positions, although some players have contributed more than others.
Michael Moffat (pictured below) has evolved from a high scoring striker to more of a playmaker, and is one of the best footballers at the club. His link-up play is of a very high standard for this division, and although approaching his 32nd birthday, he still has pace. The one criticism of the Moff is that for a player who wears number 9, he simply doesn't score enough goals and seems to lack the confidence or instinct to shoot, preferring to pass.
Gavin Reilly had previously played for Allan Johnston when the player and manager were at Queen of the South. Signed on a season long loan from Hearts, and seen as a natural goalscorer who would profit from Moffat's inventiveness, Reilly has, unfortunately, been underwhelming and has scored just 2 goals to date, 1 in the League and the other in a Challenge Cup game at Brechin.
Farid El Alagui (pictured below) was signed on a 6 month deal after a trial period, which was not so much to assess his ability, which is not in doubt, but rather his fitness, after he had suffered injuries in the past few seasons. A very popular player, he scored 4 times in the first few weeks but has since lost his starting place and has featured as a late substitute (if used at all) in the past month. His injuries have had an impact - it is difficult to watch him try to chase down a pass, as his speed is all but gone - but he has talent and could still be an asset. His contract ends next week and his future at Dunfermline is currently uncertain.
Nicky Clark is the club's top scorer this season with a record of a goal every other game. Another player who had been at Queen of the South with Allan Johnston (plus his dad, Pars assistant boss Sandy Clark), he is a penalty box striker who is an instinctive goalscorer. Most of his goals have come from quick strikes when there has been no time to think - he has been less effective in one on ones. An automatic first team starter, Clark is one of the best poachers the Pars have had in several years.
David Hopkirk, who can also play on the left or right wings, has been seen only occasionally this season due to recurring injury problems. He has been played as a striker during his substitute appearances. 17 year old striker Callum Smith has been impressive in the Under 20s this season and will be pushing for a place among the first team substitutes soon, having already been involved in the match day squad this season.