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Pompey 'close in' on Ball?

How 'accurate' the 'reports' in The Mail today are is anybodies guess, as these - not just in The Mail to be fair - are usually pretty wide of the mark, and most often rehashed and reused thoughts, but today it is 'claimed' that Pompey are closing in on Michael Ball?

Ball is a name that I mentioned back along as a 'possible' that we could save from the football scrap heap, my main concerns were his ability to stay injury fit as he is recovering from a long-term injury problem, and injuries have been a problem for him over the years - although to be fair prior to this setback and the arrival of Wayne 'the scummer' Bridge he was pretty settled as Citeh's number one left back...

Other concerns I have are his 'potential mercenary-ness'... Could he be another of football's mercenary figures, wanting too much for too little, although I guess if we are chasing him if he asks too much you just say on your bike - a lot depends on how much money means to him and how much playing top-flight football does, as it is also 'said' that Notts County are also keen.

Again, quite how much of this is rehashed and reused I do not know, but what I do know is we clearly need a 'proper' left back in the side, so if he can do the job and the price is right, needs must...

Speaking of 'proper left backs' how much do we need The Herminator back! To be fair to Paul Hart here, as he is being heavily criticised for continuing to play Nadir Belhadj at left back, but you have to say who else could do this?

There is quite literally no one else that could! Well, not with experience.

So the arrival of Ball or the return to fitness of The Herminator, or both, is vital - although I must admit with The Herminator knocking on my main fears are his ability to recover from injuries now, as he seems to be struggling to do this at the moment...

Another area we desperately need to get sorted out is the right back area!

I am sorry but Anthony Vanden Borre looks a terrible, terrible footballer - one that I cannot quite understand how he has played something like 20 times for Belgium, it makes me think they must be 'pretty poor!' We also badly need Steve Finnan back, and also need him to stay fit - again, something that is the main problem and cause for concern...

Vanden Borre cannot defend not can he really attack, his first touch is poor, he looks totally out of shape and just appears lost - it is frightening to watch him, and when you do from the stands and see the full picture it is horrifying, his awareness of what is going on around him is nonexistent, the amount of times he was caught ball watching was frightening against Villa, as it has been in other games.

'If' we can get The Herminator and Finnan fit, and can keep them fit our defence is going to have a much stronger look to it and will fill me with much more confidence in this we just need to hope that Tal Ben-Haim then switches on and starts focusing as his lapse on Saturday for the 2nd goal was unforgivable.

I know it is a risk, but it is one worth taking if needs be - lets start thinking about bringing young James Hurst into the squad, he can play at left back or right back and for me looks to be a top talent.

What they hell, whilst I am dissecting the team I think another guy that needs to take a long hard look at himself is Aaron Mokoena. To be fair I thought he started off ok but his last couple of games have been poor, his saving grace is the fact that he carries the captains armband - again something I was pretty happy for, but seen as this responsibility means you play week-in-week-out, having seen his recent form I wish we had given it to Younes Kaboul...

We are missing Papa Bouba Diop, if he can be at his most influential, and again stay fit, he has to be in the team but I would also keep Michael Brown in so we now just have to see if Hart is brave enough to make that captaincy call, as by keeping this with Mokoena he cannot take him out the side!

I would hope Hart is ruthless enough, but I would put my money on him not doing this!

So guys, plenty to ponder here - what are your thoughts on the above? As always leave these comments below...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 21 2009

Time: 1:18PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I would be inclined to hand the captains armband to Diop when he's back. Although when ever i've heard him interviewed he speaks truely terrible english so perhaps this would not be the best choice from a communication point of view. I think it would have to be either Hermann, Finnan or Brown.
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 13:34:00

a friend of mine is very good friends with Michael, if i hear anything i will let you all know....
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 13:52:00

belhadj has had enough chances at left back played about 15 games their now including last season has given away about 5 pens and 5 mistakes leading to goals .. he is not a defender !!!!!! he cant tackle and reads the game like my nan. ben haim could of played their and williamson in the middle. richard hughes is a better left back than belhadj.
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 13:59:00

I think the armband should go to Brown, he's the right kind of gobby character, experienced, playing in the centre of the park and speaks english. As for the second goal on saturday I think you should have a look at Belhadj's contribution for it, wasn't exactly outstanding. What foot does Ben Haim use? If you stick him out on the left (if's he's a south paw) and put Williamson in the middle (or Joel Ward - he looks useful). We'd probably be in a better position than we are currently.
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 14:04:00

This is a very poor team, badly assembled that shows no obvious signs of getting out of the bottom 3. If they ain't good enough drop them & give others a go. Those injured are in no hurry to come back. Easier to be laid up than playing in a dreadful team. PH is clueless & though we agree he shouldn't have been given the job, do we think he can keep going until xmas???
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 15:34:00

Blimey, first time Pompey have got near a ball all season!
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 16:15:00

AvB is garbage, Behadj is not a left, TbH is not fit, and YK is good but lacks experience, I was wrong about Brown and have been impressed me with his commitment ..but to be honest I question if he ever was, and ever will be a premier player? This team reminds me of Derby C a little while back a lot of vim and vigor, but no goals/wins. James will go January if this does not improve I am sure.
plymouth graham
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21/09/2009 17:06:00

completely agree rug but then again i've said most of it meself recently ;P but i admit i completely forgot about Hurst! looked class last time i saw him as well and lets face it he can't do too much worse than belhadj has recently lol, also if williamson is anygood lets play him in the middle or Wilson when he's fit and put kaboul on the right and thats the defence improved 10 fold imo, whatever we need to get rid of hadj and asap
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 19:12:00

Guys i think Pompey made a couple of mistakes 1. Letting Pamarot go he would have been a good cover for CB or LB 2. Letting Davies go i know he didn't want to stay but Pompey didn't do everything to keep him... 3. Selling Kranjcar for 2 million (Pompey bought him for 4 million) I have read a lot of comments saying that Boateng fee was part of the deal but that wasn't true Pompey insisted only to bring O'Hara on loan as part of Boateng deal (only until January ??) And finally i think Pompey has more than enough quality to stay up.... but really and desperately need a new manager someone who can fire up the lads and stop playing 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1 ???) we played like that against England and it bite us in the ass. Simple 4-4-2 will do GK James LB Hermann CB Kaboul CB Ben-Haim RB Finnan LM Belhadj CM O'Hara CM Boateng RM Diop FC Piquionne FC Dindane
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 19:49:00

Pompeyhussler: made me laugh thinking of Belhadj reading the game like your nan. Hope she's not as volatile! To be honest when I saw the name Michael Ball, I was hoping that Paul Hart was going to be replaced by star of stage and ..er.. stage the singer Michael Ball cos at least he's got a bit of energy.
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 20:25:00

We would be better off with Bobby Ball!!
Report Abuse
21/09/2009 20:34:00

Pamarot is horrible.
Pompey Malta
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22/09/2009 00:05:00

Probably Hart surprises us all and give the armband to Hermann when he is back. I would love to see him and Finnan in the team, with Kaboul and a steady Ben-Haim in the middle. That would be solid. Vanden Borre is a waste. I wonder why we do not use Kaboul as RB and bring in Williamson as CB.
Pompey Malta
Report Abuse
22/09/2009 00:07:00

linvoy at left back
Report Abuse
22/09/2009 03:12:00

I, m confused??!!!! Why oh why did we not sign Benjani in the transfer window?, surely he would have been a good choice for us given his previous tenure here? Reason given- we're worried about his history with injuries. I'm sorry but didn't we get finnan whos got an injury list as long as john holmes' schlong! Lets not forget Dindane who is.... injured. Agreed belhadj should be not be played as a defender as he is a complete liability! However Paul Hart is clueless when it comes to team selection, no balance, and has as much tactical knowledge as my 4 year old. perhaps he would be a good choice for Hart?!! (hes not that bad by the way!). The only way he will surprise us is by parking his stubborness and handing in his notice.
Report Abuse
22/09/2009 11:06:00

Brown is not a Premiership player so i would probably give the captaincy to Kaboul. According to sky and the News Intl papers Belhadj hates playing in that position, has told Hart but Hart wont move him. Here and now im assume we wont see Linvoy for a while; if ever, so Herman is needed back and fast. i would think Hart has one more game, but who is going to take overand where is Harts assistant manager
Report Abuse
23/09/2009 08:37:00

i thought Ball was another sicknote
Report Abuse
23/09/2009 08:38:00


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