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Pompey striker situation

So we have Jermain Defoe as the lead striker - I think that is fair to say, then it is a case of Milan Baros, Kanu, Dave Nugent and at a push John Utaka battling it out to join him...

Baros continues to say all the right things, and has again today been speaking to the papers saying that he knows he will have to take his chances if/when the come up between now and the end of the season - although he is realistic enough to know he will not start all games, but at the same time knows he was not signed on loan to warm the bench.

Kanu has expressed his desire to stay with Pompey amid speculation he 'might' move on, and is now fully focused on earning his contract extension.

Nugent has found the going tough this season, and the chances are that he will probably be the 4th choice, so he is being given the option of returning to Preston on loan, as Alan Irvine refuses to give up this chase. Although he insists that Harry Redknapp will have to instigate such a move - but has he not done this by saying what he has in the media?

With Defoe cup-tied he is out of our FA cup run, for however long it lasts - hopefully right the way to Wembley - so that leaves Baros, Kanu and Nugent battling it out for these places - in all honesty Redknapp sees Utaka as a right winger, so that takes him out of the equation really.

Baros and Kanu are expected to lead the line tomorrow in the FA cup against Preston, but who plays usually will also depend on what formation we play - Redknapp is favouring the lone striker, but this does not seem to work with any of the players we have apart from probably Baros. If we start using Defoe on the right - as we did against Bolton - he is completely wasted so it will most likely have to be 2 up top, or another just off the main striker.

It is a tough decision for Redknapp to have, but a good tough decision but someone, or a couple are always going to be left out and unhappy...

My thinking is Kanu should be used from the bench more often than not and I still think that any 2 from 3 of Defoe - probably nailed on bar the cup, Baros and Nugent would make the best pairing, and a pairing looks like the route we have to take... There will be times when we will have to rotate a bit, but keeping a settled pairing will yield the best results.

Who do we feel 'should' be used, and in what sort of formation?


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 16 2008

Time: 2:16PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Formation, always 2 up front for me. Kanu a great option, but primarily from the bench. so generally it would be Defoe and Baros up front for me. Defoe right mid, please 'arry never again!
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16/02/2008 14:42:00

yep, agreed on all points you make tbh mate - but as said above i would throw nuge into that mix too as i do feel - not just hope - that he could work well alongside either too...
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16/02/2008 15:41:00

Yep, throw him in, but it has to be defoe and Baros to start for me with Nuge or kanu off the bench.
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16/02/2008 15:48:00

fair enough... i think that i probably would agree with that tbh, baros is looking to earn a contract so it is pointless not using him - nuge will come more into the reckoning next season...
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16/02/2008 15:50:00

Good article Rug, I do not think this situation will settle all season. Utaka is best as a striker, not on the backward wing, but has never had a chance. I believe "HR" once raved about the understanding between Utaka and Kanu as a twin strike partnership.
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16/02/2008 16:49:00

I like the idea of Utaka and Defoe up front but there's nobody there to do the hard working runs and there would be a serious lack of physical strength.
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16/02/2008 17:26:00

442. Defoe & Baros leading the line. Kanu & Utaka to change it, if & when required. Utaka more the wing once the full backs are tired or already on a yellow. Kanu can't run but has the brain to find the pass & be in the right place for the odd goal. Nugent will have to wait until neaxt season, if he's still here, when we have 7 subs.
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16/02/2008 19:03:00

take these guys VERY seriosly. we have seen barnsly bat liverpool today, it would be foolish to play anything other than our strongest side. they may set out to defend, but i think we should be autious, as they could equally just go for it, as they have nothing to loose. I would probably expect first 20 minutes to play a cautions 4-5-1, with baros dropping back slightly, untill we have seen how they are aproaching the game, and then hopefully hit them hard. With other results going our way, this really could be our year, but this is no time for a slip up.
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16/02/2008 23:14:00

I prefer 2 upfront. I have never seen the point of bringing any player off the bench for 5 or 10 minutes unless an injury occurs. So if changes are required I hope Harry doesn't wait until the last few minutes.
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17/02/2008 00:02:00

We always look stronger with 4-5-1 but I guess without Benjani that will have to change
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17/02/2008 00:06:00

I think they will come at us hard from the start. What have they got to lose? It's door die for them and they must win (as must we) but if they lose 1 nil or 10 nil it won't matter to them. If we lost 10 nil we would never live it down. However I think the all out attack approach by them will be there undoing if they use it. We should be stronger and faster on the counter attack.
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17/02/2008 08:03:00

oddly, if i were harry, i would just say "shut up shop for the first 20 minutes" - take anything that they had in them out, then hit them hard. they will either be all up for it, or they will just sit back and expect us to break them down- but what we dont want to do is leave ourselves exposed. treat them as a PL club, give them respect, and watch passion play the game.
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17/02/2008 09:14:00

we'll give them respect, but will win... just let them tire if needed...
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17/02/2008 10:40:00

defoe and baros upfront, baros gets subbed at the 65 minute mark for utaka, kanu and nugent warm the bench for another game, they are not up to pompey standards at the moment
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17/02/2008 11:48:00


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