Vital Football

Few will disagree but what can you do?

Few will disagree but what can you do?

I do not need to 'quote' Avram Grant's latest thoughts about the Africa nations, do I?

We have all seen it on the BBC, sky sports etc, right?

He knows all to well how disruptive this is from his time with Chelski although to be fair he IS NOT bemoaning the fact that we lose players that much, his main gripe - and something that MOST share - is the fact that Fifa continue to allow the African nations to take place, every other year, during the domestic season throughout Europe, and as the majority of players involved are European based this affects so many...

Grant is right that clubs do pay 'a lot of money' to players, who - with pre-training camps, often going 'AWOL' after etc. - can be missing for nearly 2-months, so that is not fair.

But, what can you do?

He knows it is a pain, and will be tough, but we will fight on: 'for any team that loses more than two or three players, it is not easy. But this is a fact and we cannot change it.

'So we will try to win in January without these players.'

As a club we KNEW this would happen in January, as it does every other year, so I do not have that much sympathy - although from Grant's point of view these were not players that he signed, and were arrivals long before his arrival at the club to be fair.

This IS something that Fifa has to look at, then again it has been for several years and nothing has ever happened so I would not be holding my breath...

All we can hope for is that our transfer embargo is lifted so we can bring in a few loans at least, as all we need is some injuries/suspensions on top of these absentees and we will be in big trouble.

Either way we WILL battle on, it is not ideal but we have ALWAYS known about it so those coming in will need to be hungry to prove a point - so, that in itself could work in our favour?

This too is not ideal, but we must remember, even though they are inexperienced, we have some fantastic youngsters at the club so 'if they are good enough, they are old enough' - even if it is only for a place on the bench, which would itself be wonderful experience for them.


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Date:Wednesday December 23 2009
Time: 8:00AM


The problem is: Who are we going to get in January? Proabaly not the best we can find. It seems that we are close to Vitor, but he is a centre back, and we have loads of them: Ben Haim, Wilson, Kaboul and Williamson. We need midfielders, but again, from were are we getting them?
Pompey Malta
23/12/2009 08:17:00
Rug we talked about this last night and pretty much agree. I again this morning with a Cameroonian colleague on the AV and he responded. African football was told by FIFA to fund and manage it's own development, they get very little help. Their only real way of raising money is tournaments; which belive it or not FIFA take a share of. Finally he noted it wasn't Cameroon, Ghana or Sierra Leon's faults that Pompey have a transfer embargo: not much I could say in response really. He will be supporting Pompey against west ham though!
23/12/2009 08:25:00
Take a look at the team we are playing and wining with.... Not 1 African is playing, that is leaving. Avram is no fool, he has put together a side, that at the moment has No Utaka, No Dindane, and Little use of Kanu. I suspect this is deliberate, so we can use the same team in January, so no major disruptions caused to current picked 11? I dont think this is a coincidence, but the clever thinking of Grant.
23/12/2009 08:32:00
To moan about this competition is to prepare an excuse for failure - It happens.. we know... get on with it - Like Midge says we are we actually going to MISS anyway .. Utaka ?
23/12/2009 08:42:00
I agree with both Midge and Chix. Why all the moaning, and why should Africa change it's schedule to accommodate the EPL? English clubs have the answers - don't sign them or shut up.
23/12/2009 08:59:00
to be fair to grant he was not moaning a great deal about losing players. he says he will deal with this. his - and as i agreed - main issue was the timing of this - and it is NOT just the premier league that is affected, plenty of european clubs have african footballers too - so, i do not think that he is exactly moaning...
as far as moaning myself goes, i think people know that i am VERY MUCH of the thought we signed these players so would know - so, other than the scheduling of it, even then we DO know about this, i have no issue and have not moaned at all, far from it.
23/12/2009 09:22:00
I think the ANC is the least of our problems. Yes we may miss Balhadj & Yebda and we may even miss Dindane & Kanu but as stated we can play well & win without them. More pressing is the transfer embargo & a few added quality palyers to try & keep us up.
23/12/2009 09:32:00
On the signing them front, Yebda and Boateng were not African players when they were signed. By excluding players who's parents, grandmothers, fifth cousin etc are from African countries (and so they could represent a country at the ACN) rather shrinks the pool of players left to chose from.
23/12/2009 09:40:00
Norfolk, that was a point I raised some weekd ago: No one ever thought Boateng would become an African in September. Dindanne wasn't playing on International level for about a year, Yebda was never selected before and Utaka, if I am not mistaken wasn't even called up by Nigeria for the AC. Boateng will stay, but Yebda will depart. You can only say that out of all who will be leaving, Yebda has played most. And i am sure that Grant can find that solution.
Pompey Malta
23/12/2009 15:08:00
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