Portsmouth - Muntari: Tough call, but the right one...
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Muntari: Tough call, but the right one...

Before I even begin, remember this is my own opinion - I am not saying it is the right one!

Nothing official has been confirmed by either party, nor have any club commented but Sulley Muntari has all but signed for Inter so I am led to believe...

Muntari had a hit and miss season last time round, although I do believe that he is a quality footballer and probably would have been much more consistent this time round and a big hit in the premier league - which to be fair he hardly bombed did he as he was always getting rave reviews! - but he is being sold for the greater good... at least I hope!

That said, and as I have said plenty of times before, and I will say again a £10m plus offer could have seen us 'bite the hand off' that was offering it, and that appears to be what we have done for anything up to as much as £12.7m! And I think this is the right thing to do to be honest.

By selling the Ghanaian it would not make us a 'selling club', it would be a great deal that represented a huge profit in an investment that is too good to refuse. But it would make us a selling club if another of our 'top stars' were to follow, which hopefully will not be the case.

By selling him we 'could' buy Shaun Wright-Phillips - who as good as he could be and I would like us to sign is one that I still have my doubts about, so I would not want us to pay anymore that £9m absolute tops! - the central defender that we want, and do need - Younes Kaboul? - and also keep Pedro Mendes. 'If' we can do all, or most of this we will be fine...

The main worry for me, should we sign Wright-Phillips, is we would go from a very big, very powerful midfield to a much smaller, less physical one - and a midfield that might not be as willing to get up and down and help out the defence as it did last season?

Lassana Diarra is a small man, but is powerful but Mendes does not have that bite in midfield that Muntari does. We do have Papa Bouba Diop, but I am not sold on him at all. He was good for his first few games but has been fairly poor ever since, although to be fair being played on the right did not help him! Richard Hughes has that bite, but lacks the quality that we need, same applies to Sean Davis, although he does have slightly more about him.

As said Muntari could have come good this season as he is a fantastic footballer but I think it was a risk we could not afford to take, as I feel he lacks the discipline that we needed. If used as cover on the left he would have left us exposed as he drifts into the middle too much and too often, which to be fair is his favoured position.

'When fit' Glen Little, although a right footed player could do what Niko Kranjcar does and play on the left I reckon if needed. I also have this theory that if we get a new left back, maybe even if we do not, we could use Hermann Hreidarsson as a left sided midfielder in order to rest Kranjcar - not ideal I know but he has played in midfield before and can, and will, get up and down the pitch to do the job. It would just be the delivery and his presence in the final third that worries me, but then again this would only be an option now and again.

The main thing that I do know that I want to see is actions taken to bring those in that we want, and keep harping on about signing 'if we could afford them!' I do not want us pissing about dragging on negotiations or waiting until the last minute to sign players.

We said we needed to sell before we could buy, we appear to be on the brink of selling Muntari - and at a healthy profit - so now look like we have raised these funds we needed, lets see them reinvested back into the side with this quality we want...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 24 2008

Time: 2:17PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Hi, new to Vital Football ! so go easy on me! My View, Muntari has to go at that money! it will permit SWP and probably a Left Back. Good profit to help build an overall stronger squad. I cant wait for the season to start!
Report Abuse
24/07/2008 14:48:00

welcome mate :-)
well i basially agree with you - see above article... not so sure a new left back is a priority tho, i think SWP and a central defender should be purchased with this tbh...
Report Abuse
24/07/2008 14:57:00

I actually don't agree that this was a good sale. I think Muntari was much better than Utaka last season, and much more likely to get even better this year. Now I'm not suggesting we could get that money for Utaka, just that Muntari was a big physical presence and I think he would have been fantastic this season. Having said all that, I think it was the right decision because I believe he wanted to go. and you do yourself no favours keeping someone whose heart is set on leaving. I do think we're going to struggle to replace him though because Diarra and Mendes are great in the middle of the park, but we're really going to lack that physical presence, and Diop simply hasn't shown enough quality for me.
Report Abuse
24/07/2008 15:16:00

He's a fool, with all due respect. A good quality player, but not Inter quality. He'll only polish the bench there.
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24/07/2008 15:32:00

Am not the biggest fan of Muntari (yet) but I don't get what Arry's gameplan is here. It seems he could sell Utaka back to Rennes for the same money he paid them, and, assuming he's doing this to get SWP, why do we need 3 right wingers ? (SWP, Utaka & Little). We will still have no real cover on the left side to rest Krancjar. Selling Sulley will also as Rug points out leave a " phisical " gap in the midfield (I don't think anyone rates Diop as top talent in that department). If this does go through and we get 12+ million, we'll need SWP and another talented strong left sided midfielder at the very least. As for defence, having watched a bunch of Bolton games in the last couple of years, I'd take Ben Haim over Kaboul since he can play any position solidly back there and is good in the air.
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24/07/2008 15:33:00

I think this is the wrong move. You can lose matches in midfield a darn sight easier than you can win them in attack. omg!
Report Abuse
24/07/2008 15:33:00

Welcome Appyaree
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24/07/2008 15:40:00

I think it's a bad move as well. Muntari is are only left footed midfield player and as everyone has pointed out he is tough tackling. He can play on the left wing, so would mean cover for Niko if needed. With him out of the way surely Harry will just bring his favourite Diop into the centre of the park. Yes it's a lot of money, but by the time we give Udinese their cut of the sale will we have made that much on a much needed player? Bad bad news.
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24/07/2008 15:54:00

Shorey was left out of an otherwise full strength line up for tonights game in Sweden, I'm guessing he's on his way. Any news your end?
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24/07/2008 16:39:00

No news BUT if Muntari goes at the figure believed it will fund the purchase SWP, Kaboul and Shory which is HR's wish. The possible sale of Mendes clouds the issue somewhat.
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24/07/2008 16:51:00

I think if Muntari goes then we may end up with four new players, not including OJ
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24/07/2008 17:21:00

didn't Arry say he wanted a playmaker in the middle anyway so possible thts his thinkin gt rid of 1 attackin cental mid for a playmaker ad lets face it who'd u rather get rid of Diarra or Muntari lol get SWP as well sds gd 2 me bt yea we do really need cover at center bck and left mid cause sol will nt survive and i've already seen him make a few 2 many mistakes 4 my likein
Report Abuse
24/07/2008 18:10:00

kaboul is off to sunderland so any other cb targets also seen mensah join lyon
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24/07/2008 18:32:00

Muntari is a great footballer, he has fantastic potential - probably to be in the same league as michael essien, or better! selling him for 13 million is going too be a bad deal, as he ahs said that he wants to stay at portsmouth, and next year, he will be even better. his value is only going up! He is also a potential left sided player to come in in an emergency - and we don't have many of those. letting him go is a VERY bad move!
Report Abuse
24/07/2008 18:34:00

Muntari isn't worth 12.7m, so if that is what is on offer, take it, nothing against him, he is a good midfielder, but not in the Viera, Essien bracket by a long chalk
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24/07/2008 19:06:00

Good business, i'm just looking at the potential signings to come from this. He did nothing since December, I know most say he will get better this season. Me personally i'll take the money and spend it on someone more consistant. He is possibly more suited to Italy anyway the way the goes in like a headless chicken.
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24/07/2008 19:10:00

I think it is a wrong move, i dont see why people go on about SWP he is a lightning fast but soft winger who cannot play in the midfield position. I agree we need a winger but we dont have anyone else of the quality or potential that Muntari has. for those who dont rate him why the hell do you think Jose wants him??? Surely we are not pretending Diop is up to it, Pedro is not really suited to the tough games and god knows Davis isnt up to anything, what midfielder is on the market for similar money? i thought we were supposed to be only buying quality players, assuming we pay 9M for SWP what quality are we going to get with the money left over?
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24/07/2008 20:05:00

I'm sorry to see him go, but its a lot of money, and Sulley wanted to go to what is, lets face it, an enormous club that's in the champions league. I believe you have to let them go if they want to - I can understand it and good luck Munters. Arry said we had to sell a few to buy - so now we can buy! We'll have to be quick for Kaboul though! I didn't want to see Taylor, GON or Benjani go either, but players move on, and rather Sulley than Diarra or Krunchy. PS Hello Appyaree!
Report Abuse
24/07/2008 20:29:00

agree totally Russell
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24/07/2008 20:38:00

Too late for Kaboul, he already signed for Sunderland ( despite his agent's comments. ) Mensah's moved on too.
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24/07/2008 20:43:00

Sorry forgot to welcome Appyarry!!
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24/07/2008 21:20:00

Well for better or worse it's done apparently (it's 2 am in your time zone) & by all reports SWP is on his way & Kaboul is off to Sunderland. I know I'm in the minority on this but hope we do a double & get Ben Haim from Chelski. He'd be a great fit and perhaps not that expensive given that they got him from Bolton on a free. Can't think of any other full back that would fit the bill, at least not one with proven EPL experience.
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25/07/2008 02:10:00

time will tell if it was the right call but i feel this would probably come back to hunt pompey this season
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25/07/2008 04:06:00

I have to agree with Toronto. If Mendes goes as well, as seems likely, we will be light on in the middle. The only option is to keep Davis but he's not the same class and Harry wants to get rid of him anyway. Kaboul is signing for Sunderland today after a medical- that's a change of heart for him. I said earlier this week I have a feeling the money coming in won't be used to buy class players so I still thinkSWP coming here is in doubt even though reports are that he has already agreed on a deal. We appear to have no replacements in sight for either the left or the middle. I don't think we should pay around 10 million for SWP and put him on the left side (because all players should be able to play on either side as has been suggested). Harry and the club have got me totally lost with all the statements on top players going no where and buying four top players to complement the ones we have. It all seems like a load of bull now. The CEO of Monaco has even come out and said they never offered any money at all for Niko and it was an unfounded press release put out by Harry. It's an interesting time and will be Harry's undoing if he sells off good players and replaces them with rubbish and we have a poor season.
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25/07/2008 06:12:00

I can't remember who it was with but I heard somewhere that Ben Haim has already agreed terms with another club.
Report Abuse
25/07/2008 06:15:00

I think it's all been said .. and by the time I read all the threads (well done fellas some great points for and against made) the ink is nearly dry on the paper. Me... I think it'll hurt for a while but if the other signings come out of it (not necessarily SWP) then it's for the greater good.. Let's trust in 'Arry .. he hasn't done badly so far.. has he?
Report Abuse
25/07/2008 08:50:00

Ben Haim has been linked to Man City.
Report Abuse
26/07/2008 20:58:00


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