Date:Monday December 12 2011
I think it would be fair to say that Tal Ben-Haim has had an 'interesting' Pompey career.
He came in during our final premier league season, and even though we were up to our necks in the brown stuff in all his infinite wisdom Storrieteller saw fit to give him a lucrative, and long-term, contract!
Last season we loaned him out to West Ham for the first half of the campaign but could not give him away after that, and then ended up in dispute with the player all the while handing over his reported £38,000 p/w wages - although it was 'said' that he was not getting paid...
Finally over the summer this dispute was settled, he came back into the team and even though he is still massively overpaid at least he was starting to play football again and was doing 'something' to earn his cash, and to be fair had been doing this pretty well!
Well, this was until our game with Leicester recently when Appy dropped him, having taken him off after just 45-minutes of his first game in charge at Watford, in favour of loan signing Joe Mattock...
I could understand the reasoning behind this, round pegs in round holes and all that but I think that TBH, all in all, could count himself unlucky to have been 'dropped' from the team altogether - take him out of the left back spot perhaps, but why not put him in at right back?
Occasionally this season he has seemed to switch off but TBH had been overall impressive for PFC this season and is up there as one of our most consistent players really, and has really offered us something coming forward from his full back spot.
My thinking was that if the guy kept performing the way he was I had little doubt that he would see himself back in the premier league in January - although would this have seen PFC benefit?
Collecting a transfer fee for him is something that would remain to be seen, and I would be guessing we would not as I am assuming that his 'relegation release clause' - that the said wise old Storrieteller added that only the player himself could activate! - remains in place so if a club wants him they get him on a free?
If they match his wages...
To be honest as well as TBH has played this season if we could offload him in January then I would think it is in our best interests to do so. This would enable us to bring in a couple of players and 'probably' still not pay them as much combined as we are him currently.
'If' we can also get a fee as well it is a complete no-brainer really!
In an ideal world I would, if it suits PFC, see TBH moved on and then a new left and right back brought in - specialist left and right backs at that as it would strengthen our defence, then again it is our midfield and attack that are our main problems as far as on-the-field problems go...
All of this could prove irrelevant if TBH is not given a run in the side again, how can he be in 'the shop window' if he is sitting on the bench, if he even manages that?
At £38,000 p/w you would like him to earn this. As said, slightly in his defence, at least he had been doing something to in someway earn this previously but Appy now has other ideas so he is out in the cold again for now at least.
Can he win his starting place back?
While Mattock might not have set the world alight in his debut (he was better against Coventry, I did not see Burnley) I would not think he was brought in to sit on the bench, so winning this back at left back seems unlikely, even less so with him not even making the bench recently...
Reading between the lines of what Appy has said recently TBH is one of those that has not 'done it' for him, and with him not even making the bench now it would 'seem' that words have been exchanged and his chances of playing for us again are gone.
So, he will not win back his starting place, but will we even be able to offload in the end...
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Date:Monday December 12 2011
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