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

We have options, why not use them?

Are we ever going to see Pele or Gekas?
Why has Basinas been dropped from the squad?
What's happened to Traore, Mvuemba and Wilson, who cannot get a look-in now?
Oh, how we miss Big Papa now!

Just some of the questions, and views being asked and shared...

But why - despite our obvious need to fight - and have those that will in the side, are some, if not all of these not being given more of a chance? Or even a chance at all! Even if this is only from the bench...

When Pele, the Portuguese midfielder we have that has just been called into the national 'B' side, came in on loan in January we were told by then manager Tony Adams that we would not be seeing him this season? At the time these thoughts seemed bizarre given we had only signed him on loan until the summer and had also said we would only sign players that 'could come in and make an immediate impact', yet plenty thought these were just 'shielding him from expectation'...

Yet, several months down the line and we still wait to see the former Inter man pull on the Pompey blue at all, well other than a reserve outing, so the thought that we might never actually see him do this is realistically becoming something that seems more and more likely - so this means we would have wasted money on another loan that we have not taken advantage of, something we have done all to often...

It does seem as though Paul Hart does not fancy Theo Gekas or Angelos Basinas, let alone Pele, as the Greek pair have both slipped out of his thinking even for a 7-man bench, with the striker failing to even set foot on the pitch!

I know we are battling for our lives and needs must and all that but too many of our players are 'samey', by this I of course mean 'they do they same job', but do not really offer us enough of an outlet going forward. Sean Davis, Hayden Mullins and Richard Hughes basically do the same role and do not really offer us any creative outlet - I know we can argue that Niko Kranjcar does this from his free role, but he cannot do this alone can he! I know that Basinas is basically a similar type of player to those 3, but to be fair he is an international standard player and one that has the eye for a pass, can spread and switch the play too and you have a real belief, well I did, that he could do something going forward - so is surely worth a place on the bench at least? We have not seen Pele so do not know what he can do, but surely he offers something much different, and best of all also offers us some pace, trickery and what would appear a real goal threat, so again is he not worth a place on the bench?

When I look at the bench we had on Saturday there was not really anything there you felt 'could change a game' - the most 'likely' to have featured would only offer something in the offensive sense, and then that leaves you overloaded with players doing a defensive job that can then leave people far too compact and not quite knowing who is picking up who, which for me which is what led to the goal on Saturday. The defence had been dealing with this, but the more we dropped off and the more we invited the pressure, the more compact and basically dysfunctional we became, so the worse it got.

We know what the players can do that we have, I know Gekas and Pele are unknown qualities to us and are unknown, untried and untested in the premier league - but it is also opposing teams who will regard them as 'the unknown', as they will be as much of a surprise to them as they are us! That said we train with them so we get some idea of them - if they simply are not good enough come out and say they are not good enough, we cannot keep reeling off the 'everyone will play a part' line...

These fellas might not need to start but with 7 places available on the bench surely at least one of these should be able to force their way onto it?

For that matter, and I know he has been up and down, where is Armand Traore? Surely another that is at least worth a place on the bench? We also have Arnold Mvuemba who is crying out for some football (click here), but cannot get a look in not to mention young Marc Wilson who would appear to have the ability to put some dangerous crosses into the box and spread the play nicely - the problem with him is I do not exactly know his best position! Maybe sitting in front of the back 4 would be ideal for him... A guy that we are missing, and I did not think I would see the day I said this, is Papa Bouba Diop! The big man would give us a huge presence in the middle of the park and to be fair looked to be coming into some form before injury. Thankfully he is back in training I believe so hopefully he can be back sooner rather than later!

We do have options, and although not blessed with an absolute abundance of them, we have more than enough to churn out 18 on a matchday that could do a job - getting the bench right is as important, arguably more so, than getting that starting 11 right as without options to turn to on the bench that can change the game for you you will never be able to do this... Yep, we need to battle doing our utmost to ensure we do not concede, and of course if you do not concede goals you will not lose games but there is of course the fact that if you do not score goals you cannot win either - and we do need to have this thought in mind too, even if it is only in having options on the bench that we can turn to.

A similar looking line-up and subs bench against Everton this weekend, which is probably likely, may well end in tears as they are a much better side than Boro, and will punish us - but sooner - so without options to call on that could change the game we could be left screwed!

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 16 2009

Time: 1:20PM

Your Comments

Does anyone know how Papa is doing? Will we see him again this season?
Gandor1
Does anyone know how Papa is doing? Will we see him again this season?
Gandor1
PS: Sorry, just read that Papa is back in training. I think the problem with experimenting with other players, like Tony Adams did, is you are taking a chance, and now is not the time to be experimenting - in my humble opinion.
Gandor1
PS: Sorry, just read that Papa is back in training. I think the problem with experimenting with other players, like Tony Adams did, is you are taking a chance, and now is not the time to be experimenting - in my humble opinion.
Gandor1
I think the thing at the moment is, we're stable. This is so important right now. I know we've been a bit disapointed over the past couple of games, but we arn't leaking the goals. I would say he could at least try out one of the above guys you mention...I really want to see Gekas...I know your all gonna give me stick, but Im still not convinced about Nugent.
CharlieChimes
I think the thing at the moment is, we're stable. This is so important right now. I know we've been a bit disapointed over the past couple of games, but we arn't leaking the goals. I would say he could at least try out one of the above guys you mention...I really want to see Gekas...I know your all gonna give me stick, but Im still not convinced about Nugent.
CharlieChimes
i think the point that i am trying to make really is the subs bench is such a key area we need options on this that you can look to in a positive way to think 'they could change the game', i am not really seeing that with what we have - but i feel we have players to do this...

Charlie, to be fair tho would it not be better to give nugent a crack right up to alongside crouchy before bringing theo in? in all honesty tho i cannot see hart going with anyone right up alongside crouchy - like he needs! - for some time, if at all again this season...
pompeyrug
i think the point that i am trying to make really is the subs bench is such a key area we need options on this that you can look to in a positive way to think 'they could change the game', i am not really seeing that with what we have - but i feel we have players to do this...

Charlie, to be fair tho would it not be better to give nugent a crack right up to alongside crouchy before bringing theo in? in all honesty tho i cannot see hart going with anyone right up alongside crouchy - like he needs! - for some time, if at all again this season...
pompeyrug
Ive stopped trying to read managers minds years ago but this does seem bizare
denno4
Ive stopped trying to read managers minds years ago but this does seem bizare
denno4
I agree with most of what you're saying there Rug. We are conceding late goals, and in my opinion by and large we haven't been playing badly at all this season - we've just been so unlucky!! I really don't think I've ever seen anything like it before, it would be interesting to look at each game where we've dropped points when we shouldn't have done, and amend the table accordingly just to see where we would be. That said, you can't change what's happened and we need to stop leaking goals that really shouldn't be leaked!!
PFCGino
I agree with most of what you're saying there Rug. We are conceding late goals, and in my opinion by and large we haven't been playing badly at all this season - we've just been so unlucky!! I really don't think I've ever seen anything like it before, it would be interesting to look at each game where we've dropped points when we shouldn't have done, and amend the table accordingly just to see where we would be. That said, you can't change what's happened and we need to stop leaking goals that really shouldn't be leaked!!
PFCGino
There is an old adage 'if it ain't broke don't fix it!' Well I think that is Paul Hart's view at the present, he is looking for stablilty and thinks that can be achieved with a settled side. However with Pennant looking doubtful for Saturday changes are inevitable.


Will he bring in Utaka? I hope not but with Little back at Reading what other choice is there? Everyone has liked the look of Basinas in midfield. Fans are crying out for Gekas to be given a run.


Too many questions and not enough answers
eastneydave
There is an old adage 'if it ain't broke don't fix it!' Well I think that is Paul Hart's view at the present, he is looking for stablilty and thinks that can be achieved with a settled side. However with Pennant looking doubtful for Saturday changes are inevitable.


Will he bring in Utaka? I hope not but with Little back at Reading what other choice is there? Everyone has liked the look of Basinas in midfield. Fans are crying out for Gekas to be given a run.


Too many questions and not enough answers
eastneydave
the problem with stability is you give the upper hand to the opposition manager, players and tactics as they know where everyone will be, the formation and the plan. We need to mix it up and have some inspirational subs - gekas MUST be brought on sometime soon, if not just to see if he can be like kanu? 4-5-1 DOESNT work this season for whatever reason , so why do we consistently use it, the players dont have a scooby doo what theyre doing in this system. simples 4-4-2, seven subs (1-2-2-2) if we are 1-0 up with 15-20 mins to go DO NOT go to 4-5-1 especially if the other team is down to 10 men. is it really that DIFFICULT?
pompey--pessimist
the problem with stability is you give the upper hand to the opposition manager, players and tactics as they know where everyone will be, the formation and the plan. We need to mix it up and have some inspirational subs - gekas MUST be brought on sometime soon, if not just to see if he can be like kanu? 4-5-1 DOESNT work this season for whatever reason , so why do we consistently use it, the players dont have a scooby doo what theyre doing in this system. simples 4-4-2, seven subs (1-2-2-2) if we are 1-0 up with 15-20 mins to go DO NOT go to 4-5-1 especially if the other team is down to 10 men. is it really that DIFFICULT?
pompey--pessimist
To be honest i agree with this article why not use gekas , pele and basinas these are great players who have played with good clubs.Pele must ahve talent to play for inter milan ? gekas was top goalscorer in bundisliga ? basinas helped real malorca to survive in la liga.They are all good so USE them. Mvuemba and wilson and traore should be on the bench instead of hughes , pamarot and utaka / kanu. COME ON HART THINK THESE ARE PLAYER THAT CAN MAKE THE DIFEERENCE. if only we had diop now :(
stfc ballboy
To be honest i agree with this article why not use gekas , pele and basinas these are great players who have played with good clubs.Pele must ahve talent to play for inter milan ? gekas was top goalscorer in bundisliga ? basinas helped real malorca to survive in la liga.They are all good so USE them. Mvuemba and wilson and traore should be on the bench instead of hughes , pamarot and utaka / kanu. COME ON HART THINK THESE ARE PLAYER THAT CAN MAKE THE DIFEERENCE. if only we had diop now :(
stfc ballboy
Dave, with Pennant out, I can see Nugget on the right and Belhadj on the left. I was shocked by Saturday, and still cannot understand why Crouch was left upfront by himself when Borough were playing only 3 at the back. I just don't get not making full use of substitutes.
sneakay
Dave, with Pennant out, I can see Nugget on the right and Belhadj on the left. I was shocked by Saturday, and still cannot understand why Crouch was left upfront by himself when Borough were playing only 3 at the back. I just don't get not making full use of substitutes.
sneakay
If only I were there to help you, i would be all over the pitch to help you but you didnt sign me so youll have to put up with what is left. I playerd with some super players, better that what is now at pompey, I mean international players, like d'Allesandro, Koroman, Priske, Taylor and Oneil, all good enougfh to be with you now but they are all gone like the sun in a norwegian winter.
Azar Karadas
If only I were there to help you, i would be all over the pitch to help you but you didnt sign me so youll have to put up with what is left. I playerd with some super players, better that what is now at pompey, I mean international players, like d'Allesandro, Koroman, Priske, Taylor and Oneil, all good enougfh to be with you now but they are all gone like the sun in a norwegian winter.
Azar Karadas
We sure could do with you Azar, nice to see your still taking an interest in all things Pompey. Taking of underrated players, I think Dioup is quite possibly our best midfielder on a good day and should stroll back into the first team when fit. Basinas seemed like a good bet to me as well and I'm very dissapointed at his disappearence. In my humble opinion I look forward to a new manager in the summer but I do not wish to spread discontent and am fully behind PH until his contract is fulfilled.
Pompeyscum
We sure could do with you Azar, nice to see your still taking an interest in all things Pompey. Taking of underrated players, I think Dioup is quite possibly our best midfielder on a good day and should stroll back into the first team when fit. Basinas seemed like a good bet to me as well and I'm very dissapointed at his disappearence. In my humble opinion I look forward to a new manager in the summer but I do not wish to spread discontent and am fully behind PH until his contract is fulfilled.
Pompeyscum
i think after last game where it was like they didnt want to bring on an attacker prob cause Utaka was the only player on the bench.. i feel that Gekas would have been perfect to go on and try and cause some damage against the ten men of middlesbrough.. Where was the other Greek guy? he surely would be good at 1-0 situations, hes the bleedin captain of Greece
nodster
i think after last game where it was like they didnt want to bring on an attacker prob cause Utaka was the only player on the bench.. i feel that Gekas would have been perfect to go on and try and cause some damage against the ten men of middlesbrough.. Where was the other Greek guy? he surely would be good at 1-0 situations, hes the bleedin captain of Greece
nodster
There are times for stability and times for taking risks. Playing safe never gets you anywhere, whether on the football pitch or in life overall. We need to be prepared to change our style and go for it. The inherent danger of conceding late goals diminishes if you've got a decent cushion behind you. And that's the problem, we are not punishing teams when we've had clear cut chances. We need to inject some real venom into our play.
cornypomp
There are times for stability and times for taking risks. Playing safe never gets you anywhere, whether on the football pitch or in life overall. We need to be prepared to change our style and go for it. The inherent danger of conceding late goals diminishes if you've got a decent cushion behind you. And that's the problem, we are not punishing teams when we've had clear cut chances. We need to inject some real venom into our play.
cornypomp
whats the saying 'he who dares wins'... maybe it is worth taking a calculated risk or 2, if nothing else at least naming - and using - some others on the bench.
pompeyrug
whats the saying 'he who dares wins'... maybe it is worth taking a calculated risk or 2, if nothing else at least naming - and using - some others on the bench.
pompeyrug
 

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