It is a blow to lose your best player but the top teams can always live without one player, even if it’s their best player. One-man teams really struggle once their star player is missing.
One example of a one man team is Arsenal. This may be controversial: they admittedly have some top players such as Robin Van Persie but the fact is when Cesc Fabregas doesn’t play their performance and results drop markedly. Fabregas was ruled out for the season after injuring himself during the Barcelona game at the Emirates, in the following six games Arsenal won one, drew one and lost four. The win was a 1-0 win at home to Wolves with a last minute goal. Clearly they are struggling without Fabregas.
With the 2010 World Cup fast-approaching it is important for teams to go with more than just one star player or they could find themselves going home early. Perhaps the biggest example of a one man team in recent years has been England. At the 2002 World Cup David Beckham picked up an injury before the tournament and despite playing for England at the World Cup he never looked quite fit, and England went home early. In 2006, Wayne Rooney was the man that made England tick and he played the latter stages of the tournament despite not being fully fit, then he got himself sent off, and England went out. Recently Rooney has had a few injuries and England’s hopes are firmly pinned on the Man Utd striker. If he doesn’t play, England won’t win the World Cup, even with class players like Gerrard and Lampard in the team.
Another couple of teams who fall into the category of one man teams are the two teams that are home to the world’s two best players, Argentina and Portugal. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are streets ahead of the next best players in their national sides and with both countries having struggled to qualification, even having those players probably won’t be enough to win the World Cup.
The best example of a team so strong that one major player being injured doesn’t ruin their chances is Spain. Liverpool have struggled without Fernando Torres over the past couple of seasons when he has been injured, he currently looks set to start the World Cup injured yet Spain aren’t panicking, despite Torres clearly being a world class striker they have an even better striker in their ranks in the form of David Villa.
If Xavi gets injured then they have the likes of Cesc Fabregas who is normally on the bench for them, this is Arsenal’s key player and he can’t get in the Spain team because of players like Xavi and Iniesta. That is serious strength in depth when world class players are on the bench.
Brazil are another side who certainly aren’t a one man team. Even if star striker Luis Fabiano got injured, they still have the likes of Nilmar and Pato (touted as the next big thing in world football) to step in. These may not be names every football fan is familiar with but they are very talented players who will get plenty of goals for Brazil.
Despite England looking to have one star player the England World Cup odds are very closely matched to both the Spain World Cup odds and the Brazil World Cup Odds. Two teams stand out as better bets from the three and England aren’t one of them.