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The final countdown...

The clock is ticking, we are inching ever closer to Tuesdays 5pm transfer deadline - and there is still plenty of business to be done you feel, both coming into Fratton and also players probably still leaving...


There have been so many names 'linked', but some more strongly than others - we will add to the names that arrived last week, the question is how many?

I think that it is safe to say that at least 1 central defender will arrive, I would suspect 2 and I feel certain that Steve Gohouri will be one of them. The guy is available on a free and has been training with us for the past week, so lets snap him up, although I guess he could be kept on the back burner as we could still bring him in after Tuesdays deadline if we cannot bring in others?

Mike Williamson continues to be strongly linked but a fee cannot be agreed with Watford, although it is 'said' that this compromise is not far off happening so there is a good chance that a highly-rated, albeit inexperienced, young defender will arrive - and I for one back this, as if he is good enough I would rather we signed him and then nurtured him along than someone else. I would not expect him to be a regular week-in-week-out this season but he would be very much involved in the squad.

Then the name of Tal Ben Haim keeps cropping up, and cropping up strongly now. Yep he makes mistakes and yep maybe he is not as good as he thought he was but for Chelski to wanted him, and signed him, when 'The Special One' was in charge must mean something. Citeh will let him go, so if the price is right why not?

I do not see full back areas as a priority to be honest, I certainly would not be using up the final domestic loan that we have to sign him but Nicky Shorey has been mentioned as another to bring in on a season loan from Villa - a good footballer, and a full back that I like but as I say I do not see a full back being as high on the priority list as other areas, nor would I want to use this loan for this player, but hey ho I am not the boss am I...

Midfielders Hadj Aissa - the Algerian one - and Nuno Assis - the Portuguese one - remain in the frame, although it remains unclear which one is most strongly linked? The News feels Aissa is the one but 'word on the street' is that Assis is a strong possibility... If either can add another level of creativity to the side so be it - bring em on!

Benjani is one that Paul Hart confirmed is on the list, along with Ben Haim, but with Citeh agreeing a fee with Hull it looks like the former Pompey striker will be moving elsewhere - and whilst I have been torn on this issue I now feel it probably best that we opted against this as I feel, as strikers go, we have enough 'work horses' now so do we really need another? What we need is a goalscorer but these are hard to find and do not come cheap!

Again, 'word on the street' has it, that despite Zamalek's claims to the contrary Amr Zaki is another striker that could well arrive? His club say that he will not be released until January - but we shall see on this one, as a main focal point striker with the likes of Freddy P, Aruna Dindane and Tommy Smith alongside, or around him in winger-type roles he, and we, could do well...


There continue to be rumours of this player and that player moving on - again some stronger than others... I still feel that before 5pm on Tuesday at least one player will move on, we just have to hope that their departure will not be felt as much as it might should it be another player...

David James has been subject to 'will he, wont he, he will, he will not' transfer talk all summer - he has expressed a desire to stay but did have a pop back along, which left the media under the impression that this meant he wanted out. The weekend saw plenty of 'reports' again and the general vibe from the media is that he will be gone by 5pm tomorrow... Hart continues to say that he is the best keeper in the country so he wants to keep him, but does he want to stay? Problem is if we want a player out they usually go, but I would have James as a player that I would keep at any costs. Yep, he makes the odd mistake and anywhere up to £2m for a 39-year-old is good business but I think that he is worth more to us than the money we could bring in, he is worth at least 10pts to us that could prove invaluable. That said 'if' he does want to go then get rid - we cannot afford to keep players that want to move on!

Notts County were thought to have been on the verge of signing Matty Ritchie several months back, but this never happened - it is 'said' that they remain interested so there is a good chance a deal will be done. I would keep him, but as he is not looking likely to get much of a look-in this season chances are he will go, but I would only loan him out and not sale...

Niko Kranjcar still flatters to deceive for me - yep there was more effort applied on Sunday but he has made it clear he wants out so why delay the inevitable? I would cash in on him now, Spurs need a midfielder, Jamie's Dad loves him so if he stumps up £6m I think I would take it - in all honesty I am not sure how he will even fit into the side now with new arrivals, and I think accommodating him is what we would be doing - on his day a world-class player but I cannot seriously recall many of 'them days' for us anyway! Talk of an £8m bid for James and Kranjcar from Spurs is being 'reported', l would take money for Niko but not Jamo.

I think that Dave Nugent is a player that we would sell but I am not sure that we will get the offers for him? If it were me I would seriously consider moving on as his career is just stagnating here and just seems to be getting worse - at the very lest Dave accept the opportunity of a loan move somewhere, score some goals and build some confidence and prove that you have a future here, although to be honest I think the vast majority are now losing patience... The new arrivals will see it even harder for him to get a look-in as well now.

The 1-month contract that Kanu signed is coming to an end, weekend reports 'linked' him with Notts County - I would not be surprised to see him go, if not before Tuesday then with him released at the end of his month long contract to make the move on a free... He again showed unbelievable footwork against Citeh when he came on but when he does this around the box or out on a flank who is in the box to take advantage? No one. For me, as effective as he could be most of this is lost when he comes on to replace the lone striker not play alongside him.

What do we reckon guys? What are we expecting, or hoping to happen over the next 24-hours or so?

Share these thoughts, as always, below...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday August 31 2009

Time: 9:34AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Nice article Rug, I think you have made a couple of particularly pertinent points! Whatever happens we need to try and keep hold of David James, he definately makes 10+ points a season with some very dramatic saves, I think it would be a huge loss without him, I have to say Begovic has looked ok but he still doesnt instill the same level of confidence as calamity. Nugent definately needs to take a Loan somewhere to regain some confidence, perhaps a run back in the Championship to build him back up, I think he could probably do a job up front, but his lack of self belief at the present time has had a big negative effect on the boy. We need a poacher, someone around the six yard box who has tanacity, stealth and an eye for the goal, As you so rightly stated these players are not cheap and come under scrutiny by the likes of the Pompey faithful for a seemingly lack of commitment shown by our grafters, if we can do that and bring back De Zeew (im kidding) then we should be able to mount a relegation fight. I have to say Over here they have only televised the Arse and Citeh games, and in both of those we have performed better than I had suspected we would, so maybe things arent looking too bad after all, Only time will tell..... pup
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31/08/2009 10:13:00

NZ Things are not that bad but this deadline is vital to ensure we have sufficient quality and quantiy to get through to January. Zaki would be useful as would Ben Haim. Gonna be an interesting day and I know Chix has an all day special planned,
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31/08/2009 10:26:00

Good points Rug, I for one would let Kranjcar, Nugent, and Kanu all go (ASAP)....indeed if Harry wants Kranjcar, I will drive him to him in the old peugeot!! James is a must keep, at this late stage we will not get reliable cover for Begovic, who I think can make the step; if anything just to signal the intent that the selling has a point at which we stop! (I hope we've reached that point). apart from the obvious defensive gaps, we would still need a quality striker and flair player to fill the gap of Kranjcar, and I think that gap is still there when Kranjcar plays! FFS if you can't beat a defensive wall of SWP, Tevez and the other oompah-loompahs then why bother taking the kick! Van Den Borre was still a concern to me, although he did the "odd" bright thing - I will give him the benefit and say he needs matches !! PUP - Bolton is a MUST WIN
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31/08/2009 10:33:00

We must get rid of Nugent, and as Basinas is not going to play get some money for him, and to strengthen the squad Utaka, Hughes and Ritchie could go as well. Who comes in though? Maybe Shorey, Fernanades, Ben Haim and Dunne would be good for us, but i would think our chances of getting in quality players are diminishing as the days go past, We had the chances to snatch a point on Sunday but our failure in front of goal was shocking.
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31/08/2009 10:36:00

As Eastneydave states I do have a special day planned full of fun and games on Vital Pompey - It'll all kick-off around midnight and take us right to the moment the transfer window slams shut - Those of you that remember last summer and january window articles will no doubt know what you are in for .. In my first game .. I'm doning a beard and will have 25 boxes with me .. which one will you pick ?.. more tomorrow
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31/08/2009 10:38:00

In the meantime... I reckon we will see James, Kranjcar, Nugent and Hughes all go..
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31/08/2009 10:39:00

Good call chix plus Basinas and Utaka for me, and how about Kanu and Richie to Notts County?
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31/08/2009 10:45:00

I may get shot down for this but I think we'd be daft to let Kanu go. I agree that James and Kranjcar will go but I can't see anyone would come in for Nugent and Hughes (I wish they would).
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31/08/2009 10:45:00

Fantastic article rug...you should pusue journalism at teh News as Pompey correspondant...Wiki has Hadj Aissa as signed for us already
plymouth graham
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31/08/2009 10:55:00

some of you are clueless when it comes to kranjcar.BarneyArmy do you want niko to create everything by himself in that hopeless formation with no wingers 1 striker and a bunch useless midfielders he has to play with?out of brown mullins hughes and diop none of them can string 2 passes together and you blame niko for not creating enough.get real buddy and open your eyes.pompey could make messi and kaka look like........ well hughes and mullins.
dwight schrute
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31/08/2009 12:28:00

Just a point Benji was a free scoring work horse until he went to Citeh, I saw Assisi play against us and he was class, halfway between Pedro and Diarra I think he would go down well at Fratton with those like me who would like a bit of flair to break up Harts cloggers. Lots of persistent rumours that Niko, jamo and the now departed Distin have no confidence in the manager buti agree we need Jamo.
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31/08/2009 13:07:00

TBH when I first saw this headline on NN I assumed it was referring to the manager. In line with the current stability theme I consider an assistant; capable of taking over should the need arise, is one of the most urgent appointments. I reckon the boss has 3 games left before the calls start.
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31/08/2009 13:13:00

Chix.. how can we let that many players go?? we need to sign player because we are already well short in numbers
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31/08/2009 13:28:00

dwight schrute so true :) Even Modric played like *****e when Ramos was at Spurs. Spurs midfield when Ramos was in charge: Zokora - O Hara - Modric - GIO. And Modric played DM LOL. Pompey midfield: Kranjcar - Brown - Mullins - Hughes - Smith. It's the same thing :) If you watched the game against City you could see how many times Niko played the ball to the right or the left then he went in to the middle where he expected to get the ball but no one could pass the ball to him because no one knows how to pass the ball. Someone also wrote something about his free kicks all i can say is look at this quality corner vs Belarus couple a weeks ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFI0v8kmQaM
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31/08/2009 13:31:00

All i have to say is: Bugger off David Nugent.
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31/08/2009 13:35:00

I find it hard to believe that Jamo wants to leave. He said as much recently, and whilst he has expressed 'concerns' they have been quite justifiable concerns, and I think he likes it at Pompey. All the noises from the club are saying they don't want to sell him. So I'm going to carry on clutching at straws and say its all media talk. At least until I hear he's gone for a medical somewhere. As for Nugent - easier said than done, he won't go.
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31/08/2009 14:05:00

jamo will go to spurs..not sunderland too far to get back to devon
plymouth graham
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31/08/2009 14:26:00

Benjani has turned down a move to Hull. Is he holding out for a dream move to Fratton Park?
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31/08/2009 16:32:00

Is that true Frippy? I love the guy, and to see him coming back is something I would want, even if he won't make the first team. I agree with the article, I would sell Kranky, he simply gives little on few occassions. I would get rid of Nuge but not James, for sure. And get a central defender, Mokoena is not a Premier League defender. He can be ok in midfield, but at the back he looks poor to me. No full backs for me, we have Finnan (when he comes back) and Hermann (if he gets a chance).
Pompey Malta
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31/08/2009 16:48:00

Would I lie to you? http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_5528268,00.html
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31/08/2009 16:51:00

Kranjcar19 - it may be true, that kranjcar put in one good freekick or corner. We all saw him score against newcastle (I think it was them?) - that was a fantastic freekick. Unfortunatly, he takes ALL our set peices, and one good one every two season is just not good enough!
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31/08/2009 18:17:00

And when it comes to Kranjcar wanting the ball to be played back into him from the centre - I think the problem is, that he is waiting rather than going to get it himself, or creating an option. It is true that the midfield we put out against city probably don't understand how to pass - but Kranjcar should know this, and be able to change the way he plays accordingly. Simply expecting the ball to get to him, or a player to run on to his extravigant back heel is not good enough.
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31/08/2009 18:20:00

pompeycarpet I think that you are mistaking delivery with the ability of players in the box to leap of the ground (Kaboul is exception) . Did you watch the Champions league last season and Chelsea vs Liverpool two goals by Ivanovic... or that last goal Ade scored against Pompey ? Anyway in Croatian National team free kick takers are 1. Srna 2. Kranjcar 3. Rakitic 4. Modric. And how come Modric can take free kicks at Spurs (he almost never scores from a free kick) and Kranjcar cant for Pompey ? ( i don't say that he is David Beckham but he ain't that bad as you make him look) About the problem of "waiting" how the hell do you expect him to play then ?? I mean he gets the ball on left wing go with the ball in to the middle then gives it to Belhadj (left)...... and now what ?? go back to Belhadj to get the ball and then pass the ball to Smith (right) then again oooopss he can't pass the ball either hmmm i must go to him, and by the time he gets there the ball is already lost.
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31/08/2009 19:10:00

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo i am just reading the leading Sports Newspapers on line in Croatia and they say that deal is done and Kranjcar will sign tomorrow for Spurs on a 4 year contract and 4 million quid will go to Pompey. :((((
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31/08/2009 19:21:00

4 million? I know he's been useless recently but he's worth at least 7 million in my opinion.
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31/08/2009 19:26:00

Just got in, and been listening to Talk Sport where Nikos agent is just waiting for a phone call, saying that most of the work and talking has been done (for some time!). Altho I have little time for the "croatian one trick pony with an attitude worse than Mr Grumpy" even I would admit he does have potential and is worth more than 4 million (it's just that he only lives up to that potential once or twice a season). Sorry if I upset you Kranjcar19, but please don't take a potential name change out on me !! :-) PUP
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31/08/2009 20:25:00

Algerian player haj aissa I saw him on you tube it is elusive and has great skills of a truly great, and I think that the club will not regret in the latter's introduction
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31/08/2009 20:57:00

I actually think these targets are all pretty good players and will improve our current squad - and hopefully they won't be getting more than 20 grand a week in wages!
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01/09/2009 02:21:00


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