‘Russia can survive without Arshavin’

May 29th, 2012 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Arsenal Moscow, May 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s Euro 2012 squad is more capable of adapting to the loss of key players than a decade ago, and could even survive the absence of star forward Andrei Arshavin, said former midfielder Alexander Mostovoi.

Mostovoi said during his stint with the national team, from 1992 to 2004, the team was too reliant on individuals.

“Earlier, if one person was out, that meant that it was difficult to find a replacement,” he said.

Arshavin and Zenit teammate Roman Shirokov have been at the core of the Russian side in recent years, with 89 caps between them, but neither is irreplaceable, Mostovoi said.

“Let’s replace both and Arshavin and Shirokov,” Mostovoi hypothesized.

“If they both aren’t in the match, the national team loses some nuances, maybe important ones, but it doesn’t lose the quality it’s acquired.”

Arshavin was sent on loan to Zenit, his first club, from Arsenal after struggling for first-team football at the London club. The diminutive striker impressed on loan with three goals and four assists in 10 games, prompting speculation that Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti may seek to make the move permanent.

Mostovoi amassed 50 caps for Russia during his career, which saw him spend eight years with Spanish side Celta Vigo, which at the time made regular Champions League appearances.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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