Vital Football

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

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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Date:Wednesday July 29 2009
Time: 8:28AM


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?
29/07/2009 08:45:00
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.
29/07/2009 08:45:00
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!
29/07/2009 08:45:00
klanic will probably end up with droopy
29/07/2009 08:48:00
my thoughts exactly harrissman!
29/07/2009 08:50:00
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!
29/07/2009 08:57:00
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.
29/07/2009 09:08:00
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.
29/07/2009 09:46:00
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)
29/07/2009 11:19:00
Well said Mike. Claridge is a bit of a knob as a pundit and a tipster, but then most of them are.
29/07/2009 13:11:00
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