Vital Football

Worth a punt?

Worth a punt?

So, 'cheapies', 'freebies' and some 'loanees' are the order of the day for Pompey - at least in the short-term!

Having studied various 'players available on a free' articles over the summer I think I have finally found those that I would think - from a domestic market - 'might' be worth saving from the 'football scrap head' or 'worth a punt?'

Of course assuming that the deal was right for us!

In no particular order really, although I would guess the ones nearer the top are the ones I would probably subconsciously have thought about more, they are...

Zheng Zhi: I know he is another 'championship', well technically 'league one' reject after leaving Charlton but he has something about him that I know Charlton fans were sorry to lose. I believe that he missed a large chunk of last season through injury, but if fully fit - and indeed if still available - could he be any worse than Eugen Bopp!

Also, and I think commercial - although something tried in the past that failed - we would be onto a winner as the Chinese captain will draw in a lot of interest.

'If' fully fit, and 'if' on the right deal a certain improvement to our squad, arguably 1st team starting line-up?

Moritz Volz: I still believe that we need to be looking further forward than defenders but the 26-year-old German international, or at least had been international, who has previously played for Arsenal was released by Fulham at the end of last season after spending most of last it on loan at Ipswich.

Capable of playing at right back but can play anywhere along the backline and further forward in a midfield role who, so in my thinking, on the right kind of deal would be well worth a go...

Michael Ball: Ball probably still has something to offer the game - until Wayne 'scummer' Bridge was signed he was still part of the Citeh thinking. Injuries have cost him badly over the years but during his time with Citeh he spent 'most' of this injury free. At the end of the day he is a former England international with experience of football with Everton, Rangers and PSV. Depending on what he is looking for wages wise 'if' we really are looking at another left back would he be any worse of an option than Lee Naylor?

Although upon doing some further digging it appears and injury picked up in January 2009 is quite serious with him said to be facing 7-12-months out!

So, in hindsight maybe not such a good idea!

Peter Lovenkrands: A Danish international and at 29 still has something to offer and showed glimpses of this in a struggling barcodes side last season. He can play as a winger or a striker and has genuine quality about him - but I suspect he would not come that cheap? My main problem with the guy is he was 'said' to have been one of the first, within days of them going down, to express a desire to leave?

I would suspect that he would be looking for more than we could/would offer, but on the right deal I cannot see why he could not do a job for us?

A very high 'mercenary' potential rating though methinks...

Tugay: I know the guy is what, 38-years-old or something and he retired at the end of last season but there has been some talk that clubs have looked at coaxing him out of retirement - at least this guy has been playing football at the very highest level right up until the end of last season! Snooping around the Vital Blackburn site it would appear that they seem to think that he still had plenty too offer and seemed to be highly thought of, even now?

The guy probably has more quality about him in his aging legs than most of our midfielders put together - we saw first hand last season, home and away, what he could do.

Although looking around t'internet it also appears that a coaching job with Citeh is already lined up, if not already agreed on upon?

Amaury Bischoff: Arsenal released the midfielder due to concerns over his 'ambiguous fitness worries' but clearly the Portuguese youngster has something about him for Arsenal to have even taken him on, even if it was only for a year. Portuguese U21, who actually played against us for the Arsenal side that beat us 3-0 at Fratton in May.

Andy van der Meyde: Former Holland international who was released by Everton. Ok, you might think 'released by Everton' will mean not good enough for Pompey... lets face it Pompey and Everton are world apart now! Totally gone off the rails since signing for Everton due to injuries and off the field issues, said to be one that likes a drink! 20 games in some 4-years with Everton is a shocking stat though, but having played for Ajax, Inter and of course Holland on plenty of occasions the winger has a pedigree - problem is though is though now more a 'pedigree chump'...

On a pay-as-you play to prove yourself worth of a deal on 'the right contract' could he be worth a calculated risk? On the right terms, with the right contract in place, if it does not pay off then we cut him adrift. Although I suspect that he may well be done in football now, that said I think I read somewhere that he was on trial with Blackburn?

Most likely a complete waste of money, and I suspect he still would not come cheap even if no one else wanted him!

Mark Viduka: I know he is a crock waiting to happen and I would rather we looked elsewhere for attacking options but at the end of the day we need strikers! On the right deal, and the right terms maybe we will have to bend to this and bring him in? I cannot imagine him coming cheap though?

And the mercenary b*****d is said to have turned down £30,000 a week on a year-long contract as he wants £40,000 on a 2-year deal - he can f**k right off...

I think I have changed my mind, which was not that set on him to be honest, already!

Jerome Thomas: Yep, we let him go at the end of last season as he had barely played a game for us. Why was he included in the squad that went to Wigan? Were we that desperate that we called him in or was he 'maybe' part of our plans?

He has already had trials with Hull and Wolves, where I think he remains, but once again on the right deal, maybe performance related - given his injury history - he could be an option to left or right problems?

I think he is actually signing for Wolves though?

And just a few overseas options that came into my head...

Sam Dalla Bona: I always remember the guy from his Chelsea days a few years back - I thought he was 'ok' and it surprised me when he left them but I think it was Milan that tempted him away.

The midfielder is 28 so still plenty of time on his side, but why did Napoli release him? More to the point why did West Ham and Fulham, who are both 'said' to have looked at him, not offered him a deal?

Marko Pantelic: The Serbian, who is now 30, has done well in German football with Hertha Berlin, averaging around a goal every other game over a 4-year spell, having been pretty impressive in Serbia prior to that - his previous record is not so good though...

Having left Hertha Berlin this summer has had been 'linked' with Fulham and Everton, who both know a good player.

Problem is despite being a 'goalscorer' he is also said to be something of a loose cannon! Sounds right up our street then...

Jerome Rothen: A former French international that has been 'linked' with us before - still available after his release by PSG, although Blackburn are looking to move in for the kill apparently.

The problem with some, if not most or all of these would be the wages I suspect - as in not being able to agree deals to sign them, even if they were of interest!

Basically all in all I have just wasted my time as the likelihood of any of these pitching up at Fratton is not that good is it - and most are probably still on the 'scrapheap' because they deserve to least I finally decided, enough looking at 'players available' lets put something in print...

So, some food for thought - what do we make of these names? Any that you think 'hmm they could do a job for us', or do they leave you thinking 'you cannot be serious!'


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Date:Friday August 7 2009
Time: 11:06PM


Im lovin the thought of van der meyde! He is class. With some nurturing, and shown that he is wanted, like any player wants, he would be a fantastic asset. Thats a very good call rug. Im liking Volz, he has always seemed a sturdy and reliable player which, is at this time, exactly what we need. Tugay, would sit perfectly in the middle of the park, even for a year, would be something to just add that little bit of hard man style, while creating a bit of magic once in a while. I think he would be great for a year, while the new owner comes in and settles things down and starts his projects properly. Lovenkrands, is someone i have always liked, and given the chance, has always delivered! Deffo worth a punt. Viduka can **** right off, well, with that sort of attitude. Would be a great squad player, but who does he really think he is? At 33, seriously, he is only ever going to be a squad player, who cannot seriously demand that much money, and be worthy of a 2 year contract. He should be greatful a club like us wants him.
07/08/2009 23:21:00
Viduka offered 30k on a 1 year deal comes back with 40k and a 2 year deal? Does he think he's on Dragon's ******** Den? What *****es me off more is that some other club will probably pay that for him now. I think Premiership clubs should rally together and vow not to sign him, even if he is willing to settle for 10k, teach the greedy bugger a lesson. And it took a lot to use the word bugger there.
08/08/2009 02:15:00
Great article Rug. You just never know what you'll find in the bargain bin eh ! I like the Volz idea, but Tuguy ? Sooner or later, even thoroughbreds have to be put out to pasture mate !
08/08/2009 07:18:00
Amaury Bischoff and Jerome Thomas are the pick of the bunch for me but I doubt if they would pass the medical.. Still if Finnan did and Viduka does suely they can.. A good article Rug ,, Hope Paul Hart reads it ;)
08/08/2009 07:35:00
None of them, all injury prone, drunk prone or just plain too old to run and we already have one like that. They also might want the price of a pie in salary; when your as fat as Viduka you need a lot of pies hence the £40k price tag; be fair a cobber has gotta eat!
08/08/2009 08:37:00
All of them are quite frankly rubbish, to be considering cast offs and rejects shows how far we have plummeted. Face facts we cant afford a decent player, and we will have to manage with the dross in the squad, and the cast offs from other clubs. Eugene Bopp is an example of what we can expect to see in the shirt and that is very frightening.
08/08/2009 09:40:00
Giles Barnes? Once touted as an England prospect, seemed to have the world at his feet and then he got injured. He spent the latter part of last season on loan at Fulham with the opportunity to make it permanent for £2m. Fulham never played him though and he's back at Derby again. £1m bid (not that we've even got £1m) with further incentives. Might be a risk but he's definitely got something.
08/08/2009 15:18:00
Michael Ball? Last time I saw him he was dressed up in drag in Hairspray in the West End. Great performance though!
08/08/2009 19:31:00
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