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

Shut that door... err, window!

Finally the transfer window has shut, we can now get on with the important issue of playing football matches without fear of players leaving - focus on the job in hand must now be the main thing.

In all fairness we were promised 5 players at the start of the transfer window - we got these 5, plus we turned a deal into a permanent one, and there was not the 'mass exodus' that was feared, and in fact forecast by many media outlets so was it really that disappointing a window?

Lassana Diarra and Jermain Defoe both went, Diarra was always likely to go and when Madrid come calling you do not say no - and how could we say no to 20m! Defoe made it clear he wanted out, so he got out, and again at 15m we have not done bad on the deal - we are better off without the likes of him anyway, and 'unfortunately' the fella has now busted his foot, it could not have happened to a nicer guy!

By selling these two we have cut a massive chunk, I would imagine approaching 400,000-500,000 per month off the wage bill, and have also helped recoup some, if not all of the debt we were in. The summer might, and probably will see more departures, but we will also see arrivals - we must be realistic in our thoughts on who these arrivals will be though, but that is for another day...

We signed Nadir Belhadj on a permanent basis and also bought in Jermain Pennant on loan along with Hayden Mullins and Pele last week, add the captures of Theo Gekas and Angelos Basinas - who although fairly defensive has an eye for a pass if I recall - in the last 24-hours, although not 'star names' still bodies, and bodies are what we needed. Remember star names are not always the answer though.

Had we been able to bring that creative element in as far as an attacking option went, midfield/attack linkup we would have been laughing - so to see the Giovani dos Santos deal fall through was a blow, but to pay 5m for a player that was some 4-6 weeks off full fitness, and risking a longer term injury had we tried to rush him back, was the right thing to do when all is said and done.

His arrival would have been a major boost, but we are not in a position that enables us to take any kind of risk - same goes for Javier Saviola and why his deal did not go through.

Imagine how Tony Adams and for that matter Peter Storrie would have been slated had either the Mexican or the Argentinean been signed and broke down due to a lack of fitness and the need to rush them back? Permanently in dos Santos' case for 5m or on loan on big wages as far as Saviola was concerned, the grief would have been unbearable!


In our position we cannot afford these, being stuck with a 5m player on decent wages who might never pull on a Pompey shirt should he break down then the unthinkable happen at the end of the season, it does not bare thinking about does it!

Not getting one, or both, was disappointing but after much soul searching, looking into facts put to us and weighing up the pros and cons I think we must understand and accept the right call was made with both of these players...

We now know what we have and must now make the most of it, everyone needs to pull together and we need to hope that these latest arrivals can hit the ground running, and the sooner Pele is up and running the better - an attacking midfielder is what we need and that is what he is so we must utilise him to the fullest. He must be in the plans of Adams despite his thoughts to the contrary, it goes against the grain of our transfer policy for this window if he has been signed without the intention of being used!

Had we gone through yesterday and today without signing anyone we would have been totally deflated - the names might not be what people wanted or expected, but we must start to reassess the types of players we will sign, and to be fair in this window the names were always likely to be different.

At the end of the day we have some names and have kept the majority of others, others that must now really knuckle down and prove they want to be here and play for the shirt, the club, the fans and the money they earn to keep us up. They can swan off in the summer, but lets hope they swan off - if they do - having left us, the fans who will be left behind regardless as we do love the club, in the premier league!

Lets get it on...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 2 2009

Time: 6:38PM

Your Comments

we did make 'some' good signings, would have been nice if the ones like saviola went through, they would have been very, very usefull for us this season. I think that refusing brilliant players on fitness reasons, if that was the real reason, is stupid, they may not be fit now, but they will be by the end of the season, when we will proably need them most. but thats probably not the real reason so...
Well said Ruggers and well played Peter and Tony .. You said no more big names would go and they didn't (bids for Davis, Crouch and Johnson were rebuffed). You said five would come in including a central midfielder and a striker (that happened) You addressed every position we claimed we were weak in before the window opened (RW/Mid, Def Mid & Striker) .. You worked within your budget (or so it appears) .. You tried to get some bif names Saviola, Emerson, Edmilson (but decided against it) You tried to reclaom a fans favourite in GON, but despite your best efforts could not get him.. and you didn't take the risks (as Rug pointed out) with Dos Santos, Saviola and Sunny !... It remains to be seen wheter these players can play the part and get us away from the relegation zone .. but as I see it you have acted wisely with the (long term) future of PFC at the forefront of any deals.. Well Done fellas..
I can see why the "must be fit now" sounds annoying but put it into context: if someone is six weeks off fitness, they miss about 40% of the rest of the season so if they are hoovering up big wages then this doesn't seem a good idea. Get a settled team playing well is presumably the idea...Can't help feeling that anyone REALLY worth having wouldn't commit to more than staying here till May so if they miss 40% of their entire PFC playing career, a bit ropey.
Just also want to add that I think Rug needs a round of applause for keeping us up to date with what was going on today and providing us with an ever changing forum for comment and debate.. Well done the Landlord Fantastic effort.. Sit back and pour yourself a large one..
Agree HSB.. And it's interesting also that nobody else snapped up Dos Santos, Sunny or Saviola... it seems the right decisions were indeed made .. also if Pompey do have a stringent fitness policy .. I think that is a good thing .. not something to be frown upon because us fans know best.. nah on this occassion hats off the Peter and Tone..
Well said Chix, I agree with that. Of course many will be disappointed with the lack of star names, but that's the reality of the situation we're in. I'm happy with that, and especially that the window is now shut for a while, and for a short while we can forget talk of anyone leaving. I wonder how many of the new faces we'll see on Saturday.
By the way I was responding to Chix's first post - blimey you guys are quick!
the greek striker we DID sign was top scorer in the bundesliga - for a club threatened by relegation last season. I reckon he could be our "star signing"...
I think we have done OK bringing in players within our budget. I am quite excited about seeing some of these new players playing and will get behind them all 100%. A new striker in Theo might give us a different edge? Who knows.
Well done Rug, as ever the voice of reason. With the closing of the dreaded Transfer Window, 50% of our worries are now gone, and we must set to and get on with what it leaves us with. Its OK moaning about not having big names come in, but there are plenty of teams above and around us in the league with only half the big names we have. So come on everyone, lets stop acting like spoilt kids and start supporting our team, whoever they are, and thank the lord that we have a team worth moaning about. If the Press had been right, we would be having a very different posting today. PUP!
Blimee, when I started my post, there weren't any. So I am not ranting at you, the above, who have all made most reasonable postings! (Probably another five posted by now.....)
Right then, this is out lot now. Stand up & be counted or we will get slaughtered. To be honest we have some tough games coming up irrespective of our form. However I do believe that games which may be classed as 'winnable' will come our way come April & May. It will be cutting it fine but I'll take it if it means survival. Tin hats on lads.
That's right, we have to expect that the barren spell may continue a while longer, but we can pick up towards the end of the season. The way the league is, it only takes a few points to lift us out of it. Gandor's right, the press had us expecting a 'fire sale' and they were stirring trouble yesterday with lies about a board meeting to sack TA.
not forgetting jermaine pennant so that makes 5 arrivals plus one loan into a permanent deal so not at all bad. but do we need 3 points on sat that is all that matters now!! PLAY UP POMPEY
Furthermore all of the loans seem to have fees already agreed if they impress and we want to take them on a permanent basis (with the obvious exception of Pennant), which I hope might prove a masterstroke. If we can get the best out of Theo and perhaps see a new Manuel Fernandes in Pele we could have two exceptional acquisitions that were essentially brought in this month.
I'm a bit disappointed that the de santos deal didnt go through, but i can understand its in the best interest of the club. otherwise im pretty happy with the newbies and happy we can crack on with staying up rather than be worrying whos coming or going. PUP
Great stuff lads hats off to you Rug,Paul,Chix,& Dave for your hard work in this last month, & always, oh by the way hope your feeling better Rug hope to see you in the Milton arms before the Liverpool game.
Good Article Rug, i especially liked the paragraph "In our position we cannot afford these, being stuck with a 5m player on decent wages who might never pull on a Pompey shirt should he break down then the unthinkable happen at the end of the season, it does not bare thinking about does it!" lol
Steve C
Big name sighing: Defoe ... where did that take us. The "Who is that" signing Belhadj...ok, a bit of a cock up v Villa but on the whole I have been really impressed with him. Big names don't mean big attitude.
Cheers for all you hard work chaps. I hate to be the 1st of the doubters after all your positive comment. Not enough quality there to keep us up in my opinion. Basinas was decent 5-6 years ago, but not now. I'm pleased we got an extra forward in Theo and he has a decent record in the Bundesliga. I really hope i'm wrong and I'll get behind the team 100% to keep us up. I'm just that not confident we'll have enough. I guess if i'm honest and nothing at all against Greece, i can't help but be reminded of the 'Skippy' and 'Charlie Chalk' days under Perrin. On a lighter note at least we didn't re-sign Amdy Faye!
P.S. I hope the bigwigs at the F.A., UEFA and Premier League get together and scrap this *****ty transfer window, there was nowt wrong with the way things were before.
I hated things before, everytime we got a player showing a bit of form the big boys would come knocking and whisk him away. That said it was better than this debacle, instead of losing one player now, you can have an entire team dismantled in a month. The old way had it's faults but i'd go back to it straight away given half a chance.
Steve C
PFCmatt - do stoke, westbrom, middlesborough, west ham, hull, blackburn, newcastle...etc. Have 3 england regulars? how many of them have the quaity we have in goal, centre forward, right back - even right wing, left wing and left back? we may still be lacking a centre forward, but we DO have the players to stay up. its if we have the confidence to do so that I worry about.
What happened to Marlon Harewood ?.. I'm gutted
Im quite happy with the 5 players he brought in.. just hope that our defence will hold up.
Great effort all day Rug - well done mate!!
fantastic reading last few weeks some good laughs, like all my bets usually i lost my yankee with my tips, mind talk about out of left field...Theo, Basinas and Mullins. I was initially disappointed a bit because these aren't names I know( The Greeks) but all 5 transfers fit the bill of what we were linked with, an older experienced midfielder (Vierra Edu etc) a creative midfielder , a right winger and a forward. We now have what TA wanted positionally, what now remains to be seen is whether they are good enough. I think TA is no mug, contrary to popular belief, I like him and he will sort us out
plymouth graham
Well said PGraham. I would like to add my thanks to the boys who keep this site going. I think ours in the best Vital Site there is.
whats done is done. adams has (rightly so) 3 games to start getting results. looking at the opposition and the position pompey are in i would say to keep his job he needs at least 4/9 pts. yes, this means we actually WIN one of the three! i think city are there for the taking, stoke are trying to stay up, bought well, but still there for the taking as well, liverpool i think we could get a draw (on a good day - which we havnt had for a year now). worrying statistics on the conceeding front. theres one game a month where james keeps a clean sheet, whether thats him or the defence or BOTH is irrelevant. i think this should have been addressed more so than getting 25 defensive midfielders. there my 2 cent.
It's not going be a fun rides fellas .. but I think we'll do it... The wins (and the points) will come and then we will all wonder what the fuss was about ;)
Well done for keeping us posted guys. Well done too, to Adams and Storrie for actually preventing a clearance sale. Onwards and upwards. Also, no Barton, Harewood or Earnshaw - RESULT!
great article, some good buys/loans in there. Definitely a very sensible transfer window. AS for going back to the old transfer system, this just won't happen. The EU wanted to stop all buying during the season to conform with EU employment regulations.... The transfer window in January was the compromise. I think we will stay up, we absolutely have the quality and the ability, we just lack the confidence! Everyone get behind the team and give it our all and the results will follow :o) PUP!
Nice one to everybody, seems little else for me to say new now, bugger!!. Going to be very interesting who he is going to pay in the midfield now! I guess the right and left side are pretty certain with Pennant and Belhadj/Traore, but Davis or Mullins, Hughs or Bassinas, then were to Kranjcar and Diop fit in when fit again? Nice problem to have I guess. Mind you who will be up front as well? Guess Crouchie will always start and possibly Nugget to start with him and then bring on Gekas. Can't wait now for the remaining games and get some results. Lets just hope we start with at least a draw on Saturday and at least shut the pratt Linekar up. PUP
Kranjcar... I reckon when fit, he will play - either down the left, or through the middle. Diop would then be fighting with davis, mullins, hughes and basinas for two places in midfield, nugent fighting with gekas for a role alongside crouch (well, he could play alongside gekas I guess. crouch needs a rest sometimes). I'm not sure whether it's a nice problem to have though. It was a much nicer problem when we had diara, mendes, muntari and davis fighting for two places wasn't it?
No doubt TA will use Bssinas when the game dictates a more defensive stance, just like this weekend I suppose and maybe sit him in a middle holding sweeper role just in front of the defence, with a 3-2 formation in front of him, with Pennant on the right, Mullins in the middle and Belhadlj on the left , and then Crouch, Nugget up front with Gekas coming on in the second half??
hmmm sounds good blarmy, we need to be able to get the team (except the defense) into their half, and attack when we need to!

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