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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

The words of a man that cares...

Sylvain Distin's 'outburst' - I will label it that for lack of a better word - has caused varying degrees of reaction and thoughts.

For those of you that have not read what I then the full version, as published in The News, which is below, it is the best place to read what was said as it is virtually in its entirety - elsewhere this has been altered and manipulated to suit the purpose and spin it is looking for...

'I try to be politically correct, but when I came to the club they had a plan and right now I don't know what the plan is.

'Every day I read the newspaper and there is some kind of problem. I don't know what the truth is.

'We have the transfer window coming up. I am worried about it, I'm not going to lie. We just want everyone to be there at the end of it.

'Things do get exaggerated all the time. When Harry left there were 25 managers coming in - the same with the coaches.

'Then we were all supposed to be going to Tottenham.

'You think about it. I wouldn't say it disturbs us, but every day you wonder who is going to come and who is going to go.

'We will see what happens. I don't know any more than what I read in the newspaper.

'When the January window is closed, we will see who has gone and who has arrived, and will then see if what has happened is the best for the club.

'I don't know if they are going to sell the club or sell or buy players. I can't do anything about it.

'What can I do? What can I do to make the owner invest in the club or sell it? There is absolutely nothing I can do.

'I'm here to do my job and what I'm paid for, then I go home and think about it.

'I didn't come here to play for one or two years - I came here because there was a plan.

'There was a long-term plan and I wanted to settle here.

'It will be a shame if there is a change and I think that will be the wrong way.'

What to do next? He will just carry on...

'The best thing is to carry on as we are. We have a tremendous team. No-one expected Portsmouth to have a team like that.

'We should look to bring in new players who are really going to challenge for the starting 11.

'We want to push on from what we did last season. That was the plan and that is why I wanted to come here.

'I wanted to see the stadium and everything else that was expected.

'I was attracted by that plan, so I will be really disappointed if it doesn't continue.'

These thoughts, as I say, have provoked different reactions.

Sympathy, anger or disappointment
Some find it difficult to take pity on someone that is picking up around 50,000 per week and would probably be able to easily do that elsewhere, but looking past that fact the thought is that he just wants to do a job and wants to know that he is secure doing his job where he is at this point in time. He could easily move on, but he does not want to so they can understand his current situation and why he is looking for answers!

Others have been angered by this as the feel that the Frenchman would have been better off keeping his mouth shut, as airing his issues in public is not something they are keen for him to have done. Another thought is that he is doing this in order to make other clubs aware that he and others are 'unsettled' by events, so would move on - not something I agree with to be honest. Whereas others are angry at the club for not keeping the players, and indeed us the fans - although we seem to be the ones that are cared about least these days! - more informed with the situation. Peter Storrie's recent 'I am bored, bored, bored with talking about finances' has pushed some over the edge as he is someone that most find hard to trust anymore...

The disappointment has not been a million miles away from anger, but these reactions have been more along the lines of 'I guess I see what he said and maybe it needed to be said but not in public', so this was not exactly anger more alone the lines of acceptance in a way...

My take - for what its worth...
I have thought long and had about what Distin said, and whilst what he said might have been better served staying behind closed doors maybe this is the only way for him to get answers! Lets be honest here, has he really said anything that all of us are not thinking anyway? By speaking out as he has, for me, this speaks volumes about his commitment to the club - rather than just saying 'I want to stay' he has explained why he wants to stay, but why he is concerned he might not be able to. Look at what he has said and study it carefully, it becomes clear...

Yep, he could easily swan off to another club in January, but he does not want to do that. He wants to stay here and help carry on moving the club forward to achieve even greater heights and reach those goals that was sold to him when he arrived.

Look at it this way he left Citeh because the club was in turmoil, he did not have a clue what the future was going to bring - he wanted stability at a club that was moving forward, a club that he could move to and settle down at because he was at the stage of his career where he was not looking for a short term move, he wanted a long term stay at a club with potential and the ability to go somewhere. We were that club, and not because we offered him good money, which we probably have. Sure money helps players these days, but certain players - and the majority of those with us on the whole are motivated by more than pound signs...

Liverpool wanted him, but the vision that the club sold to him was one that made him choose 'the lesser option', which lets make no bones about it Liverpool are a bigger club than we probably ever will be! He could have accepted their offer and looked to coast along for a while, with the greater chance of picking up silverware and probably achieved the ambition of representing his county but he chose Pompey.

Distin, like so many before him and indeed after him, was sold a vision for the club - winning the FA cup was not part of that vision, that was an 'added bonus', but what an added bonus! The vision of a new stadium, a new training ground, bigger and better players and strides up the league at a club that was going places and could even one day seriously challenge the 'big 4' is what was sold to him.

Even before Harry Redknapp left - which was a major blow, but a blow that we can and will recover from - signs of uncertainty were appearing and the thoughts that the dream 'might' just slip away started to appear. All the speculation about our finances is something that has well and truly got into the heads of the fans, but is also in the heads of the players - and getting paid a fortune or not they want to know what is going on.

It is all very well Storrie saying that 'everything is alright' - and Sacha Gaydamak going on the radio saying that things are fine, without actually saying as much, he merely reassured - but we all know that Storrie has been 'economical' with the truth in the past. Distin just like you and I wants answers and without those coming to him he took it upon himself to play a leaders role, or a 'captains role' to seek these answers.

He could easily up and leave if he wanted to, but my impression is that he does not want to, he came here for the long term and can still see the potential that we have, but sees this slipping away - he just wants assurances like the rest of us that things genuinely are ok, or at least will be as he has serious doubts that they actually are not. His fears that he has jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, having left the mess at the time that was Citeh to come to Pompey must be major fear that he has - and I can understand and sympathise with that as even though he picks up more in a week than I will in a number of years he fears history repeating itself...

I also feel that he is speaking on behalf of many, and is also speaking in support of Tony Adams, basically saying that he, and the majority, support him and so long as the club are sticking to the plans sold to them, or working on ways to do that - and that for this season would be being in the top 10 come Christmas - then they want the club to stick to the manager and also want the club to stick to them, not just sell them out for a quick buck in the New Year. They want reassurances that they can stay here if they want to, they do not want to be forced out the door - but if they are going to they want to know this will happen. They also want to know what is really going on with the takeover talk. Believe it or not, I still believe, and maybe naively so, that even in this day and age some players do still have loyalty - and we have a fair few here now, but as also said before loyalty cuts both ways.

All in all, my underling thinking is that Distin has said what he has, on behalf of himself and others, for the right reasons and not the wrong ones - basically these words were spoken by 'a man that cares'...

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 12 2008

Time: 4:12PM

Your Comments

Sounds convincing - he doesn't need to hint about wanting to go - the only way he's going to show anyone he's worth buying is on the field. When people complain like this it is because they want things to change not because they want to get out. For Sylv to speak out is to put pressure on the Sacha/Storrie axis by saying "Sort this all out and stop playing moneybags with people's lives, their careers and - for the fans - the love of their life" (with apologies to significant others of Pompey fans but they know the score, surely!)
hammersmithblue
Problem is the club say everything is fine and nobody (well not many) believe them, how can they convince the players and us that we don't have money problems? I can't see that there is any way if we chose not to believe what is said. Discuss.
NorfolknBlue
ok - I will take a little pity on him. Sol Campbel is earning twice as much as him, he could have gone to liverpool, newcastle, west ham - and earned more - and could still go - however he chose pompey becuase of the "the plan". We all KNEW we had a plan. we could see we were going places. There is no reason why we can't keep going places - however it is undeniable that everyone has been slightly unsettled recently, and that maybe sascha has been hit by the credit crunch more than others.
pompeycarpet
Rug, that was perfectly put and I couldn't agree more. Harry was crossed when Muntari was sold and he couldn't have any more players. Instead of throwing a tantrum, he just kept quiet and walked (or rather, ran) when the opportunity presented itself. Looking back, we should all have realised then that this was not normal behaviour for someone who cared. What Distin has done, is! He has always struck me as someone who cares, along with David James and one or two others. That said, it is time for creepy Storrie to tell the players and us, what is going on. If you or I were working for a dicky Company and there were jobs going along the road, what would we do? Exactly!
Gandor
What's done is done and what has been said can't be unsaid. If it was a POSITIVE mesage then he' IS looking for answers and who can blame him... He's respected by the fans and by the players so if anybodycan 'get away' with questioning what 'the plan' now is then surely Distin is the man.. Imagine of Kranjcar or Johnson would have said the same words.. we would definately think they'd be off...
Chix
If however it was a NEGATIVE message I'll challenge him and ask .. Why he thinks the entire strategy of the club has changed just because Redknapp has left .. IT HASN'T.. I'd also ask him if he really expected the plan not the have had the odd hiccup or deviation from it's goal along the way .. he'd been naive if he said he didn't... I'd finally ask exactly what to date hasn't been delivered aginst the plan he was sold.. the answer.. nothing !
Chix
Come the end of January everything will be a lot clearer for better or worse, at least I hope so, as Distan himself has said. I also think it unlikely any take over or investment before January as you only have to look at the situation at Newcastle & Everton who can't sell themselves on an open market, & we are not, or so we are told.
pompeyyong
he seems to expect to stay till february and beond - or at least that was the message I got from him - however if too many players leave, then we'll see the back of him in the summer, and if too many player's leave early on, maybe he'll skoot off then too...
pompeycarpet
Chix, I think your negative scenerio is spot on. Distin should just give 100% on the pitch and collect his estimated 1/4 million every month and nothing else.
007
He is just concerned, its normal. He does not want to move on, and i dont think anyone does. My main concern is, for what its worth, we the fans have become solid as time has gone on, and our dreams have become real. Storrie is not doing anything wrong, he is simply answering questions, as limited as paossible to keep the wolves at bay, not to upset us. The club has become quiet since Milan left, and we are better for it, NOT giving the media the info they crave to slate us. But now the media is sneaking a few bad slants on whatever they can get their hands on, enough to cause concern, enough to cause the fans to start questioning things, which in turn is causing the club to have to respond, causing more cracks in our bond between players, fans and club, with the media then pouring more petrol on. All that is being achieved, is the media are winning, the bad press is returning, and the players are getting dragged in. Its time we all reunited as one, and dont allow the media to get into our club and cause more distress than they already have. Leave us alone to lick our wounds, regroup and get back to business.
Midge
The problem with an organisation with no media strategy is that the media will rush to fill the vacuum and will fill their pages with stuff they've made up. We need a communications specialist and a proper strategy (sorry, a bit 21st century business-speak but it's not rocket science)
hammersmithblue
Players/coaching staff can't get it right. If they say everything is rosy and they're going to stay for ever, then they leave, we berate them for lying in the first place. But when they tell it how it is, we say they should keep quiet. I can understand Distin being uneasy, I'm uneasy too. I like to hear a player say something that I believe to be true. I just hope everything feels a little less uneasy in a few months and then we can all settle down.
tracyc
The news is a filthy tossrag. They say that 'today' Distin has spoken out. Actually I read his comments on the net yesterday, so stop trying to make out you have spoken to him, I wouldn't line my rabbit hutch with your pages. Sure it's a slow newsday and I'd rather they re-hash something off the net than write BS about takeovers and fabricate quotes from ex chairmen.
Liquor&Poker
erm a stadium, new facilities and a training ground apart from that NOTHING!
russellm
Wow, this artcile has really got the debating going.
sneakay
it must be hard on the players that do like playing for us.. all this speculation. I know its hard on the fans!
nodster
i know we have heard it time, and time, and time, and time again but the 'proposed' new stadium and the training ground are what have been sold to players that have come - with these facilities in place the sky is the limit, unfortunately these thingsa cost money dont they! i dare say that those are the 'plans' that distin means are no longer plan that are going as said, players being sold also were not part of the plan - 1 or 2 is fine, but should this turn into the mass exodus that 'the media' claim it will be then the plans and the dreams end... reasurrances, and genuine truthful reasurrances, to the players and the fans would not go a miss - is that alot for us to ask to be given?
pompeyrug
It doesn'y take much for a reporter to ask a simple question & get a personal answer from a player. It ain't anything we didn't know, it's just the annoyance of it being made public & the disruptive influence it could have in the dressing room. Time for strong minds.
storagematt
He's only asking the same questions as all of us, Pompeys "mushroom philosophy" (keep us in the dark and feed us on *****) far from stopping rumours is actually making them worse. We hear Rumours the Players hear rumours but the club refuse to comment on anything. I hope the rumours of a takeover are true because it seems apparent theat Sacha no longer has means to take us forward, in fact it's looking like he doesn't even have the funds for us to maintain the Status Quo. I believe from his comments that Distin wants to stay but he wants to continue progressing. I only hope that we are not selling players wholesale come January.
Steve C
the whole bloody worlds in a crisis, it would be nice if pompey wasnt!
nodster
Steve C, love your "mushroom philosophy"
007
 

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