Vital Football

HR not risking Diarra/Sahar hungry to play

HR not risking Diarra/Sahar hungry to play

Lassana Diarra, who has missed our last 3 games with a knee injury and of course suspension, is a doubt for Braga on Thursday - so Harry Redknapp is not prepared to risk him, or anyone else for that matter as he told the Daily Star: 'we have games coming up thick and fast, and we don't want to let someone play who might not be fully fit, and then aggravate the injury and have him out for a longer period.

'Hopefully, Diarra will be ready to return for Sunday's game against Fulham.'

A player of such importance, as the Frenchman is, should not be risked. We could have done with him against Villa at the weekend, but not trying to be funny or disrespectful I would rather that he missed games against the likes of Braga and Fulham - so, even if he was not fit for this weekend it would not be the be all and end all.

In a way, with Redknapp forced into such changes it gives others chances and proves that rotating things around with so many games to be played it is not always a bad thing - and we can cope with this. We have a squad of players, most of whom I would happily see step in and play, so we must use them all and I think this reality is sinking in, to be fair I think it did after the Citeh mauling as it proved 3 games in a week was too much for some...


The subject of using players leads me nicely into the return of Ben Sahar - another I look forward to seeing get a chance in the coming months.

Since we signed him on loan from Chelski we have been restricted to pre-season friendly and reserve viewings of him due to the fact he could not get on or was injured, which came on international duty for Israel.

The 19-year-old is back and he played for, and scored in the reserves win on Monday so he is hungry for a chance as he told the Pompey Site: 'it was a good chance to get through 90 minutes after coming back from injury a couple of weeks ago.

'I needed 11 stitches in my left knee. I slid on the pitch and landed on the sprinkler system.

'But I've worked hard to get fit again. I was lucky to only be out for about two weeks because it could have been a lot worse.

'It was great to score and I feel good. Now I'm just waiting to get my chance in the first team.

'I'm focused and hopefully I'll get a chance. It's difficult when you have two good strikers like Crouch and Defoe ahead of you, but I believe in myself.

'It's good for the team that they're doing so well, which makes me happy, but obviously it's also a bit frustrating personally not to be playing. But I think that if I do get a chance then I can bring something else to the team.

'I'm prepared to wait and if I do play, then I'm sure that I'll show that I'm good enough to perform well for the first team.'

I like what I am hear here, as it sounds promising - we need this to be backed up with actions, and assuming the chance comes along I feel sure we will see what he can do as he is a fine talent from the little I have seen of him.

We know that he will not feature on Thursday in the uefa cup as he is not in the squad, but all being well he will claim a place on the bench against Fulham - if not be given a start should Jermain Defoe or Peter Crouch be rested after the trip to Portugal?

Hopefully Jerome Thomas can be another who is again at least on the bench when we face Fulham, although - and as I keep saying - I would most definitely be more than a little tempted to get him into the starting 11 on the right wing...


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Date:Tuesday October 21 2008
Time: 5:05PM


To be fair though, Diop played the destroyer role superbly against Villa, against Braga and especially Fulham he has earned a middle berth?
21/10/2008 18:05:00
I am with Harry on this one, we need Diarra on Sunday when Sean is out. Hughsey, Sean or Papa for this game with Arnie an outside bet. Utaka has promised to give it his all, so we can look forward to a big game from him again
21/10/2008 18:13:00
Not worth risking Diarra in Braga, to be honest he had a poor game against Vitoria. Yes he will be needed for these winnable games coming up in the league. Sahar & Thomas deserve a run out. The main players should be capable of playing Thursday & Sunday & I can't se them being rested.
21/10/2008 18:38:00
we can't underestimate either of these teams. a win in braga is a must so tht we can afford to just enjoy the game against milan.
21/10/2008 20:02:00
I am pleased to see Harry being forced to give some of the others in the Squad a chance. He had been very reticent to do this at the beginning, but having his hand forced by injury, ManC etc has been a blessing in disguise. I think he has had one or two surprises as well. Sean Davies, Hughes, Pamarot etc have all come good for us.
21/10/2008 23:13:00
maybe sahar should get a shot on the right. He's very very quick, and I am sure would put in more effort than Utaka, and more pace than Little
22/10/2008 03:11:00
The Braga midfield will be interesting. If Hughes and Davis are fit I could see tem in the middle and Diop back on the right, although as paul said, Diop played well in the middle so maybe deserves to start there.
22/10/2008 09:01:00
I forsee us playing 4-5-1 against braga - and so diop, hughes and davis all look like they could start... sahar down the right, I'm not sure about... when will Thomas be fit, we could try him?
22/10/2008 20:58:00
Thomas not registered for UEFA Carps - 442 I reckon... although I have just seen the line up !
23/10/2008 20:03:00
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