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Old July 29 2008, 11:02 PM   #340
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Re: (UEFA) Football Thread - Football not Soccer

The question with Arsenal is can they replace Hleb and Flamini. The answer is both yes and no. Hleb was without question the best dribbler in the league and often won the ball high up on the pitch allowing for quick turn around goals. There is no like for like replacement in the world. At the same time, he would never shoot. Ever. Two goals I believe. Anyone who slots in, whether it be Nasri or whomever, will put more balls in the back of the net almost guaranteed.

Flamini is easier to replace and there are players in the squad right now, such as Diaby who are better on the ball. Flamini was a valuable player, but his chief contribution was energy and his comfortable partnership with Cesc. Energy is not difficult to replace. Partnerships form over time.

The key to Arsenal's season will be, as it was last year, staying healthy. If Robin v.Persie plays a good number of games, with his average of a goal every other game, then Arsenal are formidable. If Rosicky can stay healthy then he too adds great strengths. And we are all waiting to see what kind of player Eduardo will be coming off that horrendous injury.

From the current squad, the Mexican lad Vela, who came back from loan, looks to be very useful. And, I am betting this is Theo's year to come good.

This is not a weak Arsenal team. They were 4 points out of first in a year that set records for first, second and third place points.

That said, where Arsenal are lacking is in the back. A back up center back of better quality than Senderos needs to be bought, particularly as the best c back, Toure, deputizes at right back. Song looks like he could be a solution given time in the position. Hoyte does not inspire confidence in me and is not looking the goods in (admittedly very early) preseason so far.
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