Portsmouth - O'Neil to return in time for Citeh?
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O'Neil to return in time for Citeh?

Putting aside the fact that the opening lines 'The News understands' do not exactly fill me with complete belief or optimism that whatever is claimed will happen will actually happen, it is good to actually read something positive about Pompey if nothing else - maybe that is the point of it...

Well the local rag is running an article on Gary O'Neil today that 'claim' talks have advanced with Boro to bring him back to Pompey in a £3m deal - and he 'could' return in time to face Citeh on Saturday.

One thing I do know is we need a central midfielder and we need him quick, for me O'Neil ticks all the boxes that we require from a midfielder in our current plight - and play him in the middle, not on the right - so 'if' we can afford him please lets bring him in.

In my earlier article - 4-3-3? 4-5-1 it is then... - click here - I was missing a central midfielder to slot into the 4-5-1 formation, put the fella in there and voila!

Boro insist that he is not for sale, and that is fair enough - at least we are going about business in the right way, by the right way I mean as a club with officials from it not constantly mentioning him by name in the media to 'unsettle him' like others do (and please do not blow my theory up in flames now guys!) although word is he has never actually been settled in Boro anyway...

I will believe it when I see it, but lets have some positive actions to lift the mood and the return of a favourite son, who I think is a realistic arrival could do us the world of good - and realism is something we must be dealing in, none of this '£5m player' or '£10m player' bull, as that is not going to happen!

Oh, and he is not cup tied either, but unlike a certain striker who will remain unnamed he did not cry off with 'Spurs flu'.


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 7 2009

Time: 11:58AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think signing O'Neil is a step backwards. We need more quality if we are ever going to be consistently pushing for top 6 finishes, which we are capable of. Whilst I know he is a good player, he won't ever be a Muntari/Diarra/Kranjcar. We need a big name!
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07/01/2009 12:02:00

i think we need to forget thoughts of top 6 finishes for the time being mate - staying in the premier league is what we should be looking at now...
we are not going to sign 5m, 10m, 15m player anymore - we spent well beyond our means as it was, i think we have to accept that those days are gone, for the foreseeble future anyway...
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07/01/2009 12:06:00

I have to say i disagree gino. It would be nice to get some real quality in, but unfortunately I don't think we have the funds. Yes Gary isn't exactly a Diarra or Muntari, but he is a hard working player who loves Pompey and can do the job, so for these reasons I think he will help us avoid relegation and push on up the league.
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07/01/2009 12:08:00

Reports suggest that Sidney Govou has rejected us...
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07/01/2009 12:09:00

I'd still like a Viera/Engellar big fella too, we've freed up a european loan slot so maybe it could still happen. shame about govou, but id give utaka (when fit) a few more games on the right to prove his worth...he played okay at anfield if i remember correctly
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07/01/2009 12:11:00

yep utaka was good at anfield, but how many more chances can he get...
vieira on loan 'could' still happen, it depends how much of his wages inter would pay tho i reckon, and they would have to play alot!
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07/01/2009 12:16:00

jb sums it up 'loves Pompey and can do the job'. Those are qualities we need at the moment and GON will have benfited from the experience of playing elsewhere.
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07/01/2009 12:23:00

All fair points - but the Premiership is SO tight at the moment anyone can get relegated anyway. The more I look at it, the more I blame that ginger cockney. Adams needs more help though, he's been tactically inept for the past few games, I'm not understanding some of his decisions. Vieira is someone I'd be looking at, plus the Arsenal connection could prove to be the persuasive factor - he could be a Paul Merson type and inspire everyone else.
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07/01/2009 12:28:00

Hope it's true. Love to see GaryO back. Totally committed & a better player than a lot of detractors make out Proper Pompey player
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07/01/2009 12:30:00

Good thing with O'Neil is that he will give 100% every game and he will be committed to the Pompey cause. He may not be a Diarra, but what he lacks in outright skill, he has in abundance 'heart' and that is a damn good starting point. We aren't going to get 20M to spend, so we need to get balance and strength back in the side and then once we can maintain our Premiership status, go for more quality in the summer. Gary will if played in the centre alongside Davis give us the robust midfield we so desparately need.
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07/01/2009 12:44:00

I'd hope that if we do get Gary, Boro won't be letting any other midfielders leave. So the spuds wont get Downing. It's all about those small victories!
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07/01/2009 12:44:00

I'm with the majority here Gary O'neil is a fighter who can be relied on to give everything he has and more if the team needs it. Fighters are what we are going to need this season, O'neil knows exactly what it takes to survive when the chips are down. It will be easier to sign the quality players we need in the summer, hopefully the club will have been sold by then and the funds will be there for the quality. But even then O'neil will be a fantastic squad player.
Steve C
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07/01/2009 12:45:00

I really honestly hope I'm proved wrong and that Gary O is a hit - certainly a player I loved when he was here, but I am a bit tentative about whether or not he will be able to take us forward - again, I hope I'm proved wrong!
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07/01/2009 12:55:00

O'Neil has done well from his spell up at Boror, so its not a a move backwards, its a to get Back a player who never wanted to leave, will give us 100% can play Centre of midfield, and after being trained to play on the right, can now play on the right professionally, as opposed to just being thrown out on the right. And is claimed as their best player this season, by their fans.... Go get him Tony, bring back some passion to this club. Harry has gone so players like O'Neil, Nugent and who knows maybe Taylor could benefit from his departure?
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07/01/2009 12:56:00

Right now, with our current position and expectations, GaryO is just what we need. We've seen where we get with overpaid prima-donnas - lets have some good attitude, passion, and hard graft please!
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07/01/2009 13:03:00

Definitely Midge. We need to bring back "some" of the fighters who helped us stay up last time, if indeed we are in a so-called "Relegation fight", although I don't thin there will be much between Europe and Relegation.
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07/01/2009 13:10:00

O'neils job for the time being would be to keep us in the Premiership, after that we can worry about moving forward.
Steve C
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07/01/2009 13:15:00

Your right jbaker, there is not much between Europe and Relegation, and that is about the only thing I agree with what Harry has said over the last few days, the being that "there are 13 clubs in the relegation battle". You can put a bad spin and say we are only 3 points off the bottom 3, but hey as the old adage goes, its better to have them, than need them'. We are clearly not going to win the Premiership this year, but a couple of good results see's us back up in 8th or 9th and safe again. It must start with the minimum of a Draw against City and then go and stuff Spurs at the Lane. (Oh god how good would that be?)
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07/01/2009 13:29:00

id like to see gon come back - he left under false pretences. also does this mean if we sell kranjcar we will get taylor back. its a shame we are going backwards and i maintain that the club didnt push when they needed to. an fa cup winning team, a uefa cup team ... harry leaves ... we had the chance then to find a top european manager and we didnt take it. gaydamak shouldve put the club up for sale earlier than he did and now its severly backfiring. he said he wanted someone to take the club forward but the longer he stays now without any cash injection the less saleable the club becomes (training ground or not!). so i would reinvestigate the two offers made for pompey and salvage what we have before others (kranjcar, crouch, johnson, james, distin) leave with dissolusion. remember they came here coz harry told them that pompey was on the up (stadium, training) and now hes gone, and the ideas behind the ground have gone, i think they will all leave. its a shame, we were on par with villa for the last season or 2 and look at the difference a couple of months makes. we shouldve been pushing for the top 6 again this season. instead i think we will finish 16th and will lose all the better players in the summer. its a shame and until a BIG investor comes (if ever) will we see success again. poor management AGAIN from pompey. when will we EVER learn?!
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07/01/2009 13:44:00

I'm in the bring Gary O back camp, still think he is a good player and one we should try and sign if we can. I remember a few seasons ago sitting at a soggy/freezing Blundell Park in Grimsby in amongs about 200 hardy Pompey Fans and sat next to Gary through out the match.
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07/01/2009 14:04:00

Sky are reporting the Pompey-Barton thing. This isn't going to be a popular view and i await a torrent of abuse for voicing it, but I think Barton could be just what we need. I agree that it's tough to get past his temperment and off the pitch trouble, (I doubt many will forgive what he did to Pedro) but hes definitely someone with something to prove and could provide the midfield engine we're missing. We forget hes a class player and was in the england frame. Also if anyone can be a rolemodel for change and sort him out its Tony...I'm gonna regret writing this arent i...
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07/01/2009 14:24:00

Sky Sports web site are claiming that Joey Barton is Adams no1 target in the window. We need fighters not Thugs Tony. If he comes in i will seriously consider whether or not i want to contribute to his wages by spending my money with the club. Well i'd like to say that but I'd probably still have to go it's in my blood.
Steve C
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07/01/2009 14:25:00

Rug, you say we're not going to sign players for 5mil, yet weve just signed Belhadj for 4 and a bit, I don't think we've ever signed a player over 10 mil anyway! GON is deffinately not going to set the world alight, but! he is a fighter, and thats always handy when we're under the cosh a bit, like now!....so, what abut the Barton then?? Sky recons he's are top target!!!!!.....personally I think hes a good player, but a completed *****-er!!! think he should be ban from playing!!
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07/01/2009 14:30:00

belhadj was always likely to sign signing, and i suspect probably not for as much as we said have said tbh - i guess what i meant was i suspect 'top, top quality' players are not likely to arrive again anytime soon, keeping hold of what we have and bringing through our own is the way to go... barton, good footballer, but he has had too many chances - i would kill (not literally) to do what he does, yet he acts like he does and wastes his talent.
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07/01/2009 14:37:00

Whether this will happen or not, we may find it hard to attract players, whether they come or not & whether they are any good or not. The self destruct button has been pressed!
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07/01/2009 14:44:00

I don't want barton to come, and nothing will change my mind, BUT - SUAC51, you deserve credit for your argument, you raise many good points, and perhaps Tony will turn around Barton, but I would rather we didn't sign him atm.
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07/01/2009 14:58:00

Well said SUAC51, I was worried that I was the only one thinking that Barton could prove to be a quality signing with TA at the helm - not denying the bloke's an idiot though obviously!
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07/01/2009 15:09:00

I'm not suggesting we should welcome him with open arms by any means. The man is a thug and we've got enough going on without having to worry about Barton attacking people. As it stand though I agree with storage that we may struggle to sign quality players this jan. If it gets to the end of jan and we havent filled the gap in midfield, the fact remains that he is a quality player, will be cheap and (i'd imagine) work his socks off. He should without doubt be the last of the last resorts though.
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07/01/2009 15:12:00

i would take barton but only if diop DOESNT go as part of the deal (this is what i reported last week!) im hoping the defoe/diarra funds contribute to it. him and gon will be the midfield, we still DESPERATELY need a striking partner. i think were all in agreement - lita (definitely) & martins (more hopeful than anything). what did barton do to pedro. that was the man city guy. however, how will distin react to this?!
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07/01/2009 15:23:00

real bad tackle: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2007/feb/20/newsstory.sport12 good point. I hadnt thought about Distin...
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07/01/2009 15:28:00

barton put his studs down pedro's achillies didnt he...
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07/01/2009 15:36:00

Barton on Pedro is made even worse because it wasnt like he was even going for the ball. He just saw the opportunity to put an opposition player in a stretcher, and took it.
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07/01/2009 15:42:00

yeh sorry i thought u were talking about ben thatcher. both as bad as each other tbh. at least he would install FEAR into the opposition, something we lacked against bristol city - they didnt look at all worried. the only time i think they got worried when DISTIN dribbled the length of the pitch and almost scored!
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07/01/2009 16:27:00

Rather have Mendes back and Benjani if i have to be honest
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07/01/2009 17:49:00

I've just commented about Joey on the other thread - As for GaryO - Yep I'd have in back and I'd even make him skipper - Sols not doing much in that department at the moment is he - We need a leader on the park as well as a central midfielder - Who better to lead by example and show some passion that Gary O ?
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07/01/2009 18:43:00

Well we are going to need 11 generals on the pitch, all dying for the cause. Desperate for passion & playing as a team.
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07/01/2009 18:49:00

It just might happen Matt ...
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07/01/2009 19:55:00

You are right Matt - and us right behind them. Can't fail!
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07/01/2009 21:01:00

Pompey this season is all about consilidation, the guts have been ripped out and now its time to to step back, reassess and see where we are at the end of the season, for that reason I would welcome Gary back
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07/01/2009 21:33:00

totally agree with that paul.
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07/01/2009 22:02:00

As far as the captaincy goes, yes make O'Neil the captain if he returns. As for the weekend, providing we don't sign anyone, I think that with or without Campbell, Davis should be made captain, for exactly the same reasons that Chix wants O'Neil to be captain.
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07/01/2009 22:40:00

Gino we aint looking at a top 6 finish, i think were more concerned on staying above the drop zone now mate. So we need players that will give all they got, and Gary definatley will do that
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07/01/2009 23:26:00


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