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Niemi 'out of retirement'/Claridge/Zaki and more

Plenty of 'rumour' and 'snippets' this Wednesday morning - one totally bizarre one from The Times with the rest from The Mirror.

Niemi coming out of retirement to sign?

According to The Times today Pompey are bringing Antti Niemi out of retirement to act as our no.2 this season?

The Finn, who of course formerly played for the lot down the road, retired a year ago due to a wrist injury when he was with Fulham but it is 'claimed' that the 37-year-old is coming out of retirement to act as David James' understudy. Doing so to let Asmir Begovic be sent out on loan this season.

An odd, very odd rumour and 'if' there is any truth to it then without a shadow of a doubt Jamie Ashdown will be off as if we are more prepared to bring a player out of a year long retirement to be our no.2 as opposed to him then this is a clear sign...

We will see about this one!

==========

Claridge on the current situation

Former Pompey striker Stevie Claridge, never short of a word or two, has told The Mirror - although it would appear he was actually talking to The BBC, The Mirror just 'quote him' - how he 'fears his old club face another relegation battle next season.'

'It's unbelievable.

'Something here doesn't add up. Dr Sulaiman has been able to drive a hard bargain because (previous owner) Mr Gaydamak wanted out. So why are you selling your better players? We were told the players that went at Christmas - Jermain Defoe and Sulley Muntari - would be the last.

'We were told there wouldn't be a fire sale. Well, there aren't that many people left. Just 14 players turned up for pre-season. That's not enough. The quality isn't there now.

'I don't see anything other than a major struggle. They had five or six good players last year - not 11 - and the rest did a job. Of those, four have already gone.'

Tell us something we do not already know Stevie and are not already prepared for!

Once again all I can say is what we keep saying, there is more than meets the eye to Dr SAF's takeover, which of course is still not 100% complete with him still not fully installed as the owner, some form of deal has been done with the club but he has not fully come on board yet, for whatever reason.

But when he does, and he will, things will change this 'new era' will finally begin. It will be a struggle in the short-term, but in the long-term it will be better - at the end of the day at least we will now know we are left with players, albeit limited in number, that will want to play for the club without a doubt, even if their calibre is below what we had before, a calibre that we could not afford!

==========

Zaki, Gakpe and Kalinic

Amr Zaki's agent, Nadir Sawqi, has been rabbiting on for a while about this club and that club that the 'Egyptian bad boy' would be joining and over the past few days he has been more strongly 'linked' with Pompey. According to this agent he has told The Mirror that 'negotiations have been ongoing for the last three days to sign Amr on loan.'

I think that his attitude is appalling and for me he is exactly the kind of personality, despite the quality that he can show, that we have been trying to offload, right?

The Mirror sums it up perfectly for me in saying 'Portsmouth boss Paul Hart is ready to play with fire by taking bad boy Amr Zaki on loan.' And what is that saying, if you play with fire you are going to get burnt!

I would steer clear if it were me, but then again it is not me...

The same paper also says that we 'hope to land winger Serge Gakpe on a season's loan from Monaco' and despite some 'reports' to the contrary, reports that have varied, Nikola Kalinic is 'set to sign for 5m today from Hajduk Split.'

==========

So, there you have it, plenty to view. You now know what to do, comment below as always please guys...

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 29 2009

Time: 8:28AM

Your Comments

I am enjoying the fact now that we are finally getting linked to so many players, and people are not talking about our finances anymore. Worrying to me though is the fact we seemed to have sold Matt Ritchie for 100,000 to Notts County! Was he not 'the local lad' who was going to break into the first team?
sneakay
Niemi I do not understand, Zaki not for me, Kalinic I think will be a good player. I'd like to see the rumours for Stephen Hunt bear fruit as I think he is a good player. Also, Bolton are willing to let Nicky Hunt go who I think could do a job for us.
bluedr
wondered what had happened to Naomi.... Is Ashdown out of contract ? Is Gekpe any better than Belhadj ? Hunt for me would bea good signing.... Lets wrap up Kalinic beforeone else gets in on the act... Zaki, maybe a 6 month loan, no doubt the guy has talent but would have to knuckle down and lose the attitude... Viduka could be another short term solution... is Lita still knocking round on a free...Glad to see we got Finnan in just hope theres more to follow, dont necessarily think we need to/can spend massive amounts but i reckon the right players to see us through the season are out there.....over and out!
southportpompey
klanic will probably end up with droopy
harrissman
my thoughts exactly harrissman!
southportpompey
I can see that getting an older boy in to deputise makes sense. How often does a deputy get to play? So let's get Begovic out playing games. The boy looks good and with some game time could be good enough to take over from DJ next year or the year after. As for Zaki? If it were Droopy Dawg trying to tame him, maybe, but Hart? We'll see. Maybe I underestimate the guy - he had all of the first team on his side last season, and did play under Clough, so should know how to shout at someone!
Pompeytim
Have to look at this Gapke person. Gotta trust Hart, if he's met Zaki and convinced he's misunderstood ... I don't think Hart is the sort of manager to suffer fools gladly or indeed choose to bring them in in the first place.
jim4pompey
Hart himself has said that he could be very confrontational (on the Sky sofa I think last season), and I don't think he does suffer fools at all. He did say he had mellowed a little (with the help of a good assistant - bring back Kidd). Zaki for half a season until the African Cup of Nations could be a good move, especially if he starts as he did last year. Getting points in the bag early on is vital I think, especially this season.
NorfolknBlue
Well for what it's worth, comments from Steve Claridge don't add up to much. This is the guy who lost millions on the horses by tipping the wrong one's. Glad he's not tipping us. As for Ashdown he has back problems which are being kept quiet. (Well not now)
Mike1954
Well said Mike. Claridge is a bit of a knob as a pundit and a tipster, but then most of them are.
NinjaTim
Why start on each other, claridge is a pompey fan with his opinions and may point out the obvious. But why turn on each other when we should be sticking together through these tough times. I guess we gotta trust in Hart he has taken some stick over the last couple of weeks and seems to be the scapegoat for all this confusion. He is going to have a tough job this season, and i for one will be behind the team regardless of who puts on the blue shirt. Just as long as everyone of the players give 100 percent thats all you can ask for and if we go down then i will still be there along with probably the majority on this site. Come on lets think positive. I think if we get Kalinak and Zaki, i would be pretty happy even though i dont know much about Kalinak reports sound good. What we need is a team of fighters with some technical ability out there aswell. Lets just hope we keep the remaining players and add to them, surely we cant do worse than the end of last season when we had a lot of overpaid players who when the going got tough just gave up it seemed. Cant wait for the new season whatever happens and lets get the Doc on board and see what his plans are. Pompey Till I Die
evildwarf
Not sure why so many here are down on Zaki. Watched him play a couple of times on the box last year and he was a marvel - a real game changer. "Attitude" among professional athletes is the norm rather than the exception these days I'm afraid (you should see some of the antics of spoiled brats on this side of the Atlantic - would make your head spin). The point is, he's the very definition of an "impact" player who even if he was brought on for the last 20 minutes of the game has the potential to save the day. As for Begovic, it's personally a bit disappointing since he's Canadian but I suppose it's quite an honour to go play for Chelsea for a spell.
Toronto4Pompey
Can we get some midfield playmakers please (their absence worries me more than any other deficit).
Toronto4Pompey
At the beginning of last season Zaki was being hailed as the new Alan Shearer. I don't know what went wrong with his attitude, however, if he is his positive for Pompey he might be worth a shot for 6 months!!
Mike1954
I'm taking a wait-and-see approach on the takeover. No sense getting excited when we don't know much. Someone should tell Steve Claridge that Sulley Muntari left at the end of July last year, which to my knowledge is not considered Winter. If he's going to go shooting his mouth off about what's going on at our club, he could at least get his facts remotely straight. If he did, I might think he had something worth listening to.
PhilTaglia
Toronto4Pompey, Basinas seems very capable of making good plays in the centre of the park, and I'd like to see krancjar moved to the mddle and have someone with pace on the wing i.e. Belhadj...if we keep him!
Bowlsey
Agree Bowlsey, just worried about Krancjar and injury + while Diop & Mokoena make a formidable "wall" of DMF's, there's not much back up on the playmaker side of things eh ?
Toronto4Pompey
Dwarf, no-one is starting on anyone. Claridge is certainly a Pompey legend but some of the comments he makes are rash and ill-informed and serve only to stir up negative media coverage and fuel the fears of the fans. That said, he's entitled to his opinion - just as I'm entitled to my opinion that he would serve Pompey better by keeping his mouth shut. I agree that we should all get behind Paul Hart and the team. Hart and Dr SAF appear, from what we've heard, to be men of integrity who will not mortgage the future of the club. The old football saying of "if you go for broke you will end up broke", has never be more true. I'm hoping they are going to build a sustainable infrastructure for now and the future. Man City are going for instant glory and gratification but at what long-term cost? They had one the country's best academies, producing genuine talent - that now seems to be on the back-burner. I'd settle for solid, sustainable growth over the next five years followed by a real push to join the elite from a platform of strength without breaking the bank.
NinjaTim
I never thought of Claridge as a legend... whittingham, walshie, knight, may be... and who was that thug that used to play in the middle of the park...? Anyway... I'm happy with the middle of the park - especially if Gakpe comes in... I'm seriously worried until someone is signed about: LB, CF and RM... and then cover on the left on the right and in the CBs
jim4pompey
Could Niemi be coming so that David James can be sold to Jamie's Dad?
blueexile
wasn't niemi that cardiff mug in the cup final
PompeyJoe
Letting Begovic go on loan to get some experience makes sense, but surely he can have a clause in it to pull him back if we need him, especially if we still have Ashdown. Even if not - Niemi??!!! Remember him in the 4-1 demolition of the scummers? (let's all take a moment . . . ) I thought we were supposed to be clearing out the dead wood. Claridge is a Pompey fan - many Pompey fans have been worried and expressing their concerns lately, don't see why he should be any different. At least he said what he thinks. A few months ago if Zaki had been mentioned I'd have said he was the kind of player we didn't want at this club, but as things are at the moment I'd take him.
tracyc
I luv Super Stevie Claridge - let the man speak. As a pundit he one of the best (not too hard I admit) and has been around the block enough to know what he is talking about (he was right about Saints last year). Super Stevie for Paul Hart's assistant!!!!!!! (I was going to say no.2 but that could be taken the wrong way)
Pompeyscum
I wouldn't mind Niemi. Ashdown is simply poor and I don't like him. Begovic needs experience if he is to be our number one in some years time.
Pompey Malta
It all leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth & you feel beat even before the first game is here. It could be a very desperate season. Heaven help us if Jamo goes!!!!
storagematt
 

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