Date:Thursday September 11 2008
The international break is now done and dusted, England picked up maximum points, which was a bonus but it is back to club business with Pompey and a return to Fratton - with us waiting expectantly following a 3-0 win over Everton last time out.
In that win we saw the 3-5-2 formation used to such great success - this was used, or at least appeared to be used - in brief spells against Manyoo but was used from the off, and mostly throughout, with some flexibility at times, against Everton. As fans we have been basking in this and Harry Redknapp cannot stop talking about it, and how much he likes the formation and wants to persevere with it.
After what he has most recently told The News it is highly likely that we will see this for the first real time in all its glory at Fratton, since we won the 1st Division title, when we take on Boro on Saturday: 'we're quite capable of playing 4-4-2 at the moment, but I like the wing-back system. Everton did not expect it the other week.
'We took our chances and played well, but it's a system which should suit us. Glen Johnson is made for that system.
'Sylvain Distin is perfect, it suits Sol Campbell playing in the middle, it suits Kaboul playing on the right-hand side.
'It gets Papa Bouba Diop in off the right-wing. He's not really a right winger, and it suits Diarra - he likes to play in a central role.
'It suits everybody.'
It certainly does suit everybody!
It should bring some really entertaining football - with the results to go with it as well I am sure - and best of all it really looks as if it is going to most importantly carve out openings for Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe - and we will then see this partnership blossom big time!
A new addition to our squad for the first time will be deadline day signing Nadir Belhadj, with it being confirmed that he is a definite for the squad and will play a major role in the next month with so many games coming up - although the highly impressive Armand Traore 'should' I feel start against Boro: 'I'm 100 per cent Belhadj will be in the squad for Middlesbrough.
'He's only been training with us for the past few days but he's looked lively, very lively.
'The lad's a good player, really good, absolutely terrific, and he has really impressed me this week.
'The two left wing-backs were out there the other morning and were fantastic - the pair of them absolutely fantastic.
'They've got pace, skill, can get forward, dribble, cross and run all day. They are made for that system.
'I've got two of them here on the left now and there's Glen on the right. We've got the makings of a decent team. We've got a tough 21 days coming up with seven games and you are going to need the squad. He's definitely going to be part of things this season.'
We have had a lot of players away on international duty, but at the moment the only one that appears to be a doubt is loanee Ben Sahar, with it said an injury forced him off in Israel's game yesterday after only a few minutes... Kanu however is expected to be back in the squad and is set for a place on the bench?
What I do know is I cannot wait for weekend to arrive, a 3pm kick off on a Saturday is ever better - but whatever day we had been playing this weekend this is a moment I have been waiting for since we beat Everton!
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Date:Thursday September 11 2008
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