Portsmouth - Kranjcar in line for October return...
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Kranjcar in line for October return...

Most of us were not expecting to see Niko Kranjcar again until the end near the end of the year, if we even did again before Christmas by the time he recovered and got fit, but Harry Redknapp is hopeful that he will be back sooner than expected, much sooner in fact!

He has told The News that he could return next month: 'Niko is coming back shortly. He's another terrific player for us.

'He'll be out for a few more weeks yet, but when he comes back he's another real talent. It will be nice to have the option of him in our side.

'He's coming on well.'

The Croatian has had surgery on his damaged ankle ligaments and is now back working in the gym and swimming as he steps up his recovery - he will be off his crutches next week as well!

If we carry on playing like we have been recently, and more to the point Armand Traore and Nadir Belhadj carry on down the left hand side of the pitch like they are then by rights Kranjcar should not, and will not get back in in that role - that could see him switched to the right, which ironically is now our problem area, when for so long it was the left that was!

In a 3-5-2 formation I reckon the fella is ideally suited to play a free role in the middle of the park, and if he did then we will have some genuine creative influence through the middle with another genuine goal threat. I - and many others - have always said that a free role would be his best position with us, so there could be a good chance of him playing in this role fairly soon?


Other injured players include Jerome Thomas - his back injury will be looked at by a specialist on Monday, Ben Sahar - gashed knee, which is a shame as I would like to see the fella, Lauren - knee, although his chances are looking like being bleak, even more so after seeing him left our of our uefa cup squad, Richard Hughes - shin, but again he is not likely to get much of a look-in is he and Richard Duffy - groin, who if he plays a single minute of 1st team football again for Pompey it would be because we are playing the smallest of small clubs or we are crippled with injuries beyond belief that we have no other option!

All of these are definitely out of contention for Citeh tomorrow, but could all be available in the coming weeks - although I would have more chance of being called on than some of these I reckon...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 20 2008

Time: 3:19PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Good news about Niko. He is a class player and you cannot have enough of them available. Yes Traore and Belhadj look great together at the moment but Niko gives us different options and can also play in the 'hole' behind the strikers.
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 16:01:00

Niko is gonna have to fight for his place and I'm gonna love watching him do it.. I'm not a Niko lover and it'll be interesting to see if he's got the fight in him... My choice: get him fit, in the reserves and 'match fit' 'til Xmas and then off load for £8+
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 16:09:00

8? he was going for 12 in the summer... If it were me, I wouldn't even consider selling him - unless he could be swapped for traore - as otherwhise next season, we will be two of left wingers down!
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 16:37:00

Was there not a rumour going around that Arsenal wanted Niko in this summer's transfer window?
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 17:26:00

Sell him for 12, get nadir and troare in for a combined 8-10, and give the rest to lassana ; )
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 17:36:00

Yep get him fit & sold in January, rather than selling Diarra. If we have to sell that is.
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 17:40:00

If we're still on our European tour at Christmas then he could be worth keeping...
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 18:08:00

definatly worth keeping - he is a great talent, and should not just be discared becuase traore is playing well at the moment.
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 18:47:00

.. "At the end of the season we'd be two left wingers down".. Well Traore returning to Arsenal is one .. who is the other then ? .. Thomas surely won't be injured that long will he ? .. Overrated in my book.. Big time !
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 19:24:00

You call this overrated ????? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-9GUXEzy7Q and once again Niko is not a winger he doesn't possess pace and will never, but he possess skill in likes of goals assists and making the plays not just like Traore run down the left side and cross the ball that is so predictable play him in the middlefield with Diarra and you will see Diop will cover the hole behind him and you got a fantastic middlefield you English folks are to obsessed with pace and rutine just look at Aaron Lennon he possess fantastic pace but because he is so predictable he will never be a good player i would rather have 1 Kranjcar then 20 Lennon and Traore.
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 19:51:00

krajcar19 - totally agree about lennon (and I'm english!) - however I think that traore is more than just pace. Chix - If we were to sell kranjcar, and traore WILL go back to arsenal, then that would be the two left sided players we would loose. As far as over-rated is concerned, I think he is probably under-rated - as he can change a game so quickly!
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 20:55:00

Yes Kranjcar is not a winger, but has done a job there for us, Like others I would like to see him in the middle he has the skill to put through Defoe & Crouch with telling balls, & we can still attack from the wings it will give us many options, & this can work with 3-5-2,4-4-2 or 4-5-1 don't write him off yet have him alongside Diarra for me sorry Gandor.
Report Abuse
20/09/2008 20:57:00

of course there is a role for kranjcar, and it is unlikely arsenal will let traore go but never say never... in a 3-5-2 kranjcar will be ideally suited to a central role, infact he will revel in it!
'if' we did lose kranjcar what we have to remember is carps, that altho he plays on the left side he isnt a left sided player, as he is right footed isnt he - his playing on the left is that same as jerome thomas, both do this but both a right footed players so even if kranjcar didnt go into the middle he could easily play on the right of midfield...
Report Abuse
21/09/2008 00:59:00

Ahhh yes that is what i am talking about rug you know we need a two footed player we have maybe Diarra and Kranjcar who can play and shoot with left or right foot but for a winger it is much more dangerous if he can play two footed just look at Ashley Young fantastic player totaly destroyed Corluka against Spurs because he is two footed Corluka couldn't anticipate where he will go in our team you can always bet that Kranjcar will cut in (99/100) because he is not a winger you can bet that Utaka will run down the right side unless he is playing atacker also i must be honest i didn't see Nadir Belhadj play for pompey but i checked him he is great player he played for Lyon wich is always a good thing he is worth 3.5 mill euros but there is one bad thing i have been reading what Runje (teammate Lens) said he is prone to mistakes in defense and he often gets to carieed away with dribbling in attack but still i think if we can get him for 2 mill pounds we should because everyone is better then Hreidarsson LOL
Report Abuse
21/09/2008 09:02:00

not everyone... what about dimji traore :-). It is true that kranjcar is right footed - but he has still played down the left for us the past two seasons, and so if we sold him - as chix suggested - and traore returns to arsenal - which he will - we would be two players down on the left. I would like to see him play down the right, although I can see why he doesnt- he doenst have the pace to go round the outside of someone, so he has to cut in on his weaker foot.
Report Abuse
21/09/2008 09:37:00


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