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Fri 31/03
Danish Superliga
AC Horsens v OB Odense
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Guingamp v Nancy
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Sat 01/04
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Are We Missing Bradley Allen?

By: Graham Howes
Date: 29/01/2003

WHEN I look at our squad of first team strikers available. I don't see anybody who is capable of emulating the role Bradley Allen played. Either they are too young and inexperienced and would not know when to distribute the timing of the ball.

Others look too lightweight and have not the strength to fend off a pack of wolves snarling and snapping to get the ball.

We need someone who can control, hold, fend off and still have the vision and skill to slip a ball to Boulding. Out of all the strikers the closest would be Mansaram. In Mansaram I feel he is unpredictable, also he tends to hold onto the ball and not pass. Nothing against that he is a striker and if he scores goals like the one against Burnley its fine. However he needs learn when to hold and when to pass. Its this area I feel may mean Mansaram at the moment might not be the ideal man.

Livvo the man currently entrusted with the job has all the ideal qualities to do the job in hand. For some unknown reason he is not doing the job. Whether this is because of his horrific injury he sustained and he is having psychological problem. Either way Livvo has shown he is not up to the task.

So if there is no striker capable of doing the role and the club short of funds, can we convert anybody else to do the role of Bradley. 3 players look capable on paper to have a range of versatility skills which just maybe capable of doing the job.

Terry Cooke looks to me that he could do an excellent job. The only doubt could be how he can adapt to playing with his back to goal. Wingers being converted to strikers often find it hard to adapt to shielding the ball. However if Cooke can adapt he has the skill to keep hold of the ball and has excellent vision to release Boulding into space or to feet. One major problem would be that Cooke has no height and therefore any outlet ball would always have to be played to feet.

A surprise one here Paul Groves himself actually might be able to do an efficient job. He has the body strength in my opinion to shield the ball. Groves is good in the air and would mean he could be quite a decent target man. Doubts could be on his distribution and his vision to release Boulding. One benefit is that he has played in a strikers role in the past under Buckley and in the past has had an excellent goal scoring record from midfield. His lack of pace maybe a problem in getting into the box for return balls but even Bradley proved you did not need to be lightening quick. Often turning up late caused added confusion to whether Boulding was going to shoot or cross for his partner.

Finally no surprises here big George Santos. He has the strength to hold the ball eternity. Big George has all the attributes to be Boulding's ideal partner in crime. I have visions of him getting the ball releasing Boulding. Turning heading into the box and Boulding crossing it in from the right. Big George rising majestically and planting one his big bomb trademark headers into the back of the net.

This is my assessment on trying to work out who is the ideal partner to clone what Bradley's achieved when he partnered Boulding at the club. Some fans may agree, some may think it would never work. One thing is certain you never know until you try it.

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