Date:Wednesday December 23 2009
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.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Wednesday December 23 2009
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