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Euro 2012 "Fantasy Manager:" Group A

Euro 2012 "Fantasy Manager:" Group A

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Goal.com takes an analytical look at the players each team would want to call-up from their opponents in the group. We start off with Group A...

Everyone has the right to want to improve their team and possibly the most annoying feeling a manager could have is see that player who would fit perfectly in their system, playing against them. With this spirit in mind, Goal.com tries to surmise which players the Group A managers would want from each other.

POLAND

IN: VASILIS TOROSIDIS

 
If there's one thing that Poland will feel they lack it is a good defender with aerial ability and a goalscoring knack. So, in place of the inexperienced Poznan defender, suddenly pushed into what could possible be Poland's best ever chance to go far in a tournament in the modern game, we think they'd prefer the experienced Greek head of Torosidis in the heart of defence. His superb marshalling and motivational abilities can only be a bonus for the Poles. OUT: MARCIN KAMINSKI

     
 IN: ALAN DZAGOEV


Decidedly short on quality options in the attacking midfielder department, we think that the exciting Russian youngster would be a dream addition to any side in the tournament and even more so for the less fancied ones. So, to swap a 19 year old with a 21 year old, we would think that Alan Dzagoev would add a little bit of spice, flair and unpredictability along with the odd goal from the Polish midfield. Rafal Wolski does have potential and probably can go quite far, but now may not be the best time. OUT: RAFAL WOLSKI

 
     
IN: TOMAS ROSICKY

 
For all the quality Obraniak brings to the Polish midfield, having already dreamt about bringing in Dzagoev to aid in their attack, we can't imagine a more perfect player to complement his attacking prowess than the Czech captain. 'Little Mozart' can slice in from the right or cross in low to feed in either Lewandowski or Dzagoev like he does for van Persie at Arsenal. Lethal attacking trio achieved? We would like to think so... OUT: LUDOVIC OBRANIAK

 


GREECE

IN: ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI

 
The Greeks have been historically goal-shy, even when they managed to go all the way in Portugal back in 2004. So, in place of Greece's fast-aging current No. 9, we think the Polish No. 9 can add a bit more in terms of goals scored and as a stong central striker. If he can strike up a good partnership with Georgios Samaras, suddenly the Greeks look like a much more threatening side. OUT: NIKOS LIBEROPOULOS

     
 IN: YURI ZHIRKOV


A completely like-for-like switch is this one, with both players being able to play at either left-back or on the left wing. But with Greece in desperate need of some firepower, we thought that the quick and skilful Zhirkov would edge out the Olympiakos man. Quite predictably, the clinching vote was made with Zhirkov's ability to unleash unexpected pile-drivers at goal every now and then. OUT: JOSE HOLEBAS

 
     
IN: TOMAS HUBSCHMANN

 
We can take it for granted that Karagounis and Kastouranis will be up front and adding valuable experience and good vision in the attacking midfield department. This makes it all the more necessary to have a solid defensive base for a possible 4-4-2 involving Lewandowski and Samaras which can become a 4-1-2-1-2. In this context, switching Fotakis for Hubschmann makes a lot of sense. OUT: GEORGIOS FOTAKIS

 


RUSSIA

IN: WOJCIECH SZCZESNY

 
A possibly controversial choice, but when one considers 'cruciate ligament injury' (think of Michael Essien today) and an eight-month layoff, there's a bit of sense in bringing in a keeper who is as good against the threat of Poland's Lewandowski and Greece's Samaras. Russia have managed to keep clean sheets in their last few games, but when one considers that Lithuania and a never-very-attacking Italy were the opponents, one wonders. OUT: IGOR AKINFEEV

     
IN: SOITIRIS NINIS


This is another like-for-like swap taking someone with "a dizzying set of skills" (according to his FIFA profile) for someone a bit more ordinary. Izmailov has been a wonderful servant for his country on the international stage, but that does not stop him from being a little bit of less exciting (if not weak) link of the Russian attack. Another player which every team in Group A would be happy to have, this mercurial Ninis would add some welcome flair down the Russian right flank. OUT: MARAT IZMAILOV

 
     
IN: MILAN BAROS

 
If there is a sort of player that the Russian attack lacks, it's that consistent, powerful, pacy threat of a target man who can bring the faster players around him into the game. Keeping the word 'consistent' in mind, a much better player than the Fulham striker would be the ex-Liverpool hero Milan Baros. With strength and tenacity that Milan will vouch for, he also has quite the goalscoring knack. A shrewd move to make, if it were done. OUT: PAVEL POGREBNYAK

 


CZECH REPUBLIC

IN: JAKUB BLASZCZYKOWSKI

 
Ever since they stopped playing Jan Polak, the Czech Republic seem to be missing a real 'personality' in the middle of the park. With that in mind, we're willing to make a bit of a shock decision by removing international stalwart Plasil in favour of the Polish captain. While the Czech have a glut of attacking midfielders, they really need someone who can make the middle of the park his own and keep the attackers happy with a constant supply. OUT: JAROSLAV PLASIL

     
IN: KOSTAS KATSOURANIS


Blaszczykowski in front and Katsouranis behind would quite easily be the dream midfield for any of the lower seeded teams in the tournament, and this honour goes to the Czech Republic. If they can hit it off and not be a Lampard-Gerrard dilemma, We can expect to see a very efficient Czech midfield protecting Petr Cech and feeding Baros and Necid up front. OUT: VACLAV PILAR
 
     
IN: SERGEI IGNASHEVICH

 
There must be a reason for one of the best keepers in the world consistently leaking goals for his national team and that would be the usually shaky defence in front of Petr Cech. Bringing in some much-needed stability would be the priority for the Czechs wanting Ignashevich. And no one minds the fact that he's a threat from set pieces to boot.
OUT: ROMAN HUBNIK

 

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