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How do you cope with losing your best player?

DCThe loss of Cesc Fabregas and Carlos Tevez will be a big blow to Arsenal and Manchester City but they need to send out a message that the teams are moving on not looking back.

I think the history books will show that although a Fabregas driven Arsenal could compete with Barcelona and give them a good game, in the English Premier League Arsenal lost too many games because teams could soak up the pressure and hit them on the break – their style of play won’t win Arsenal the League.

Arsene Wenger can now revert to play 4-4-2 bringing back their own counter attacking prowess. 75% of their passes in the final third of the pitch were successful last season, yet they could not translate possession into goals. A fast breaking Arsenal will give them more space to take advantage.

At Manchester City losing the 25-goal a season Tevez is also seen as a blow. But City can buy in a replacement that will more than make up for the loss. Much as Liverpool did when they lost Fernando Torres and replaced him with Andy Carroll.

City have never lost when Tevez scores, but throughout last season he was constantly in the news for his arguments with the club – something they will be better off without. And there are good replacements out there like Sergio Aguero another Argentine playing at Atletico Madrid. He is a younger version of Tevez without the histrionics.

So don’t despair if you lose one of your best players – as we speak I am talking with parents who want to take their son out of the team because they are being wooed by another club. I’m not losing sleep over it, I’ve been looking at the squad to see who can be promoted from one of our other teams. Of course that causes problems for that team!

And so it goes…

Watch Fabregas give the ball away with a suicidal backheel against Barcelona, and Tevez having his penalty saved in the Copa America for Argentina



My top five players at the Asian Cup Finals

Here are the top five players who stand out at the AFC Asian Cup Finals at Qatar 2011. I’m sure scouts from America and Europe have them in their sights.


Yusef Ahmed, aged 22

Forward, Al Sadd and Qatar
His first goal in Iran’s second game against China was brilliant, controlled the ball on his thigh volleyed into the net… love that one. Was a threat against Kuwait and Japan and looks like he will be one of the country’s best players in years to come. Watch the goal below.

Odil Ahmedov, aged 23
Midfielder, Pakhtakor and Uzbekistan
Fired Uzbekistan to the semis against Australia.
Boy this guy can hit the ball… watch his superb long range strike in opening game against Qatar and again against China. Pivotal role in bossing the central of the park.

Matt McKay, aged 27
Midfielder, Brisbane Roar and Australia
Stands out by being the only Australian based player Socceroos. Helped them get through to the semi-finals for the first time with his high-tempo passing game in the middle of the park or at left fullback role. Key player on the road to Brazil 2014.

Yoon Bit-Garam
Midfielder, Gyeongnam FC and Korea Republic
In only his third game at Doha – all as a substitute – he scored the winner to take Korea through to the last four. Voted the K-League Rookie of the Year last season he is seen as one of Korea Republic’s best youth talents.

Shinji Kagawa, aged 21
Forward, Borussia Dortmund and Japan
Player of the match performance in their 3-2 quarter-final triumph over Qatar and a stunning debut Bundesliga return of eight goals in just 17 appearances with Borussia Dortmund. Watch him score below.

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