Date:Sunday July 30 2006
Vital Pompey will be reviewing Pompey`s options in different positions. I will sum up where I think we need to improve and where we are strong.
With David Thompson being the latest arrival many thought he would become a squad player but unless we sign someone he could well find himself playing right midfield. David is a passionate player and will be able to create opportunities for the strikers. Gary O`Neil had to play right midfield for most of last year although it is clear his best position is in the middle, Gary does a good role down the right and has as good a cross, as anyone at the club. Lua Lua`s pace makes him useful in this role but not being the hardest worker leaves us exposed when defending down the right.
Healthy? Ok I guess. We don`t have a natural right midfielder, apart from maybe Thompson, at the club. I think Thompson was bought to provide cover which is fine but that means Gary at right midfield all year. Harry will either bring a right midfielder in or stick with Gary. I don`t expect us to sign a right midfielder, if Harry wants Garry to move to the middle then Thompson will play on the right! I would however recommend a loan signing on the right of midfield.
Matt Taylor at left midfield has worked on a regular basis but the player has lost all confidence in taking defenders on. This results in many deep crosses when Matt plays in the midfield. I think Taylor playing left midfield, is a possible role when Pompey are away from home. John Viafara`s inability to cross means that he struggles to have an impact on the left.
Healthy? Far from it! I expect Viafara to leave (as Peter confirmed to Vital Pompey) and I expect Taylor to play left back (presuming another left back isn`t signed.) This leaves Portsmouth with no left midfielders. Harry will need to sign at least one left midfielder, with two probably needed. We have lots of players in the centre of midfield but are having to play them out of position.
Sean Davis played an attacking role for Pompey last year and with him getting fitter he is improving fast. Davis is a great tackler and his distribution complements our attack. Pedro Mendes, played in the holding role last year breaking up play and also contributing some rocket strikes. Gary O`Neil`s passing and battling spirit makes him one of the best centre midfielders in the league. Richard Hughes will always give 100% to the cause and a great player to be able to rely on. Aliou Cisse, although not playing that much last year, loves his football and the fans love him (released?). John Viafara is unlikely to feature next year as Pompey are trying to offload him.
Healthy? Yes. No more centre midfielders Harry, we will turn into Tottenham. I didn`t even include Thompson in that list. We have a strong starting centre midfield but also have fantastic depth. We have midfielders who can attack in games, such as Davis and Gary, along with players that can defend games, such as Mendes and Hughes. Pompey are sorted in the centre of the park.
Midfield Line Up Come August 19th, I recon;
RM: Gary O`Neil
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