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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

It came, we watched, it went.

What are we talking about? Well the January Transfer Window, which is more commonly referred to as the January Sales. At one time it was regarded as a rummage at the jumble sales, but now, most of the top flight managers have got used to the idea and use it well. It affords an opportunity for a manager to make relegation saving signings, or to make that final push for Europe or the silverware that little bit easier. For some, it can spell the end as players slap in transfer requests and desert their sinking ships like rats.

It is therefore a bit of a surprise to many that Portsmouth Football Club had a reasonably quite January this year. Manager Harry Redknapp had already stated that he was not expecting to sign any more players over a week ago - so why did people think that there would be a last minute signing? Well, because it`s Pompey, what else.

Over the recent years under the managerial brilliance of Redknapp, Pompey supporters have grown to learn how he manipulates the media, using them to cover up other transfer deals that he wants kept quite by using a smokescreen. This time, he has proven that there can be smoke without fire by doing exactly as he stated - he has not signed anyone else.

The month has not gone by without signings of course. Redknapp has brought in left-back Djimi Traore from Charlton for 1million, central midfielder Arnold Mvuemba on loan from Rennes and a major signing in the shape of Cameroon international full-back Lauren from Arsenal on a two-and-a-half year deal. So if anyone was to say that Pompey has been quiet during the transfer window then they are sorely mistaken.

But the question really is should Harry have signed a more aggressive striker, given the current poor form from those already at Fratton Park? Some would feel that this is surely the case, for as mentioned in another article it is some time now that the current contingent of strikers have made any real impact. Indeed, records show that only two goals in the last nine matches have been scored by the front line, the rest from midfield or defence.

Pompey`s form over recent years is something that tends to drop during January. Certainly since the days of winning Division One in the 2002/03 season there has been a trend; of the seasons played since and including then, Pompey have played eighteen league matches, winning just one of them. Of the remaining seventeen, they drew seven, losing the rest. Only ten goals have been scored whilst twenty seven have been conceded, this of course with strikers such as Sheringham, Yakubu, Lualua, Fuller, Todorov, Pericard and Burton.

So maybe now is not the time to panic, it does appear to be a phase that Pompey go through - every team has a bad run, it`s how they get out of the run which is important. Naturally Pompey fans have a right to air their views and concerns, without them there would simply be no Club, no atmosphere either. They pay good money, hard earned money to watch their heroes who are on more than three times their annual wage in some cases, so have every right to feel aggrieved when they see a poor performance similar to that of the Charlton match.

Some feel that this season is the best yet, maybe it is but only time will prove that. At this present moment, it is almost the same as all the previous seasons, only it is being done the opposite way round this time. Points were hard to come by before Christmas during previous seasons, a hard battle to gain them after the New Year and Easter periods. Now, the points have been gained but any hope of getting more are appearing to be increasingly difficult to come by.

A lot more energy, fight, determination, effort and ability is required from Pompey`s front line if any real attempt on Europe is to be made. Perhaps it`s time that Lualua and Benjani were given a chance to show what sort of partnership they could forge together, leaving the two more aged strikers in the shape of Kanu and Cole to be used as game-changing substitutes. Perhaps as some have mentioned, that Harry Redknapp has tinkered too much with the side and should play the same eleven that he had at his disposal some four months ago.

There is no use complaining about it though, the window has been firmly shut until the 1st of August and now every side must do what they can, with what they have - so let`s get behind the players and give them the support they so richly deserve. I wouldn`t book your travel tickets to Europe yet, but it may well be worth making sure your passport is up to date!

Play Up Pompey!

January Transfer Deals

Djimi Traore - 1million (Charlton)
Arnold Mvuemba - Loan (Rennes)
Lauren 500k (?) (Arsenal)

David Thompson - nominal (Bolton Wanderers)
Dean Kiely - undisclosed (West Bromwich Albion)
Andy Griffin - Loan (Stoke City)
Richard Duffy - Loan (Swansea)
Marc Wilson - Loan (Bournemouth)

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The Journalist

Writer: TruePompeyBlue Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 1 2007

Time: 7:28AM

Your Comments

No striker, no new money??
Yep, acceptance by Harry, Sasch that a mid table finish is acceptable. Dissapointing after a fantastic start but can only see top 10 now I'm afraid.
Oh for God sake, why are yo all born drips. We are still 6th. We have a fantastic squad. We were fighting relegation last year. Get a bloody life.
We are a few players up on last season & they have made a massive difference but it will take an amazing run of performances to keep it up. The last month we have been ordinary at best. At best we will finish 7-8 at worst 12-13. The expectations are too high too soon. Lots of issues as always, some short term, some long term. The answers are the same, God only knows!
i might live to regret these words (and in a way I hope I do). Not signing a striker might prove fatal for our chances of qualifying for Europe. Either that or get the strikers we have got to up the tempo.
The Rabbi
this has the "potential" to be a fantastic season
I still believe that our problem is an annual one; we seem to achieve very little during January, perhaps it's too much of the festive cheer catching up on them? Either way I am confident that things will pick up soon. But neither am I blind to that fact that our forwards really are not delivering.
no they are not, could it be due to the fact that Harry doesn't know what his best partnership up-front is?
May well be, but one thing is for certain - the Kanu/Cole partnership was never going to work. I would like to see Banjani and Lualua given a couple of matches, I am sure that between them they could create mayhem for the opponents.
Agree with true blue, you need a trickster and a shooter, not dissimlair to Jols big man little man plan, therefore you want Benjani with Kanu or Cole and Lua Lua with Kanu and cole or how about this for a totally mad plan - 3 up front 4-3-3 LL, Benjani and take your pick from Cole / Kanu / Toddy (if he's up for it - personally I think at best he's a super sub)
i'd prefer 3-4-1-2 playing with Johnson and Matty as wing backs
hmmm our 1st 4 strikers, one wants to go to holland, one wants to start or leave, one couldnt hit a barn door from a yard, and finally LoL the other one might be gioing mental. Once again i think Midge is missing the point, yes its brilliant that we are in 6th but in sport unless you are winning you start going backwards and we aint winning. These were absolutely winnable must win games and the lads havent done it, lots of us dont think that is acceptable. i have to travel to every pompey gane even the home ones and like the man said in the other article we pay good money and expect to see good football and if that makes me a drip so be it.
6th at the moment, and I want us to stay there or progress, not stall and go back. The only way to progress in any business is to improve. With no strikers firing in goals at the moment, and what has to be seen as dropped points against charlton and middlesborugh, we needed to buy a goalscorer or we will not be 6th much longer. Lets hope one of our current strikers goes on a goal scoring run. Drip, Drip, Drip,Drip!!
TBP the other point i considered about the january slump and one of the reasons this one worries me so much is that previously it seemed said slump was caused by the integration of new faces into the team and therefore was to a point understandable. I guess we need a man city type game to start our season again. i also figured that now Cole cant leave till July he probably wont start.... and yes i know LL is not going mental, its GJ thats going mental
I think the team is excellent in all areas except scoring goals so I'm amazed the owner couldn't find a few million for a top striker to push us on to a 5th or 6th finish. And it's no good saying we already have 6 strikers - we could have got rid of cole to Everton for half a million - made some space for someone who can move faster than a jog.
we have scored a lot of goals this season though!
not since Chrimbo Admin
LoL watch it E_T you carry on like that & old Cole will be putting in a transfer request soon window or no window. and FFS dont criticise LL or that will be considered a death threat. Seriously I do think the two of them will bag a few yet but the issue is what position will we be in when they start.
Things may look a bit gloomy but if the forwards click we could be near unbeatable
IF... it's all about confidence, bare Benjani they all know how to score lol
i dont think taking benjani's clothes off will increase his goal rate mate.
and it would porbably put me off me balti pie
oops!!! I'm not gay HONEST
hey admin i bet you'd have a hot dog wouldnt you ducky
careful russ i have the power to block members lol
your lucky young Lysi me lad is not about he'd be on your case for weeks
LoL start a new word association for you Admin the word is "Partneships"
i would have gone confused, intresting though about Andy cole, i do respect a player who wants to play, it is an honest attitude. I suppose it's one of the reasons i think Pedro Mendes is a top proffesional, he has off games for sure but he is never lacking in the right attitude. i think he is a class act
wrong thread! but yer it's good to see
Yet again the towell is being thrown in too early by so many, why are so many pompey fans never satisfied, moan when we are in the bottom three, moan when we are not, moan when players are signed (I may have moaned about some so I can't talk!), moan when we don't... Just because no one arrived on deadline day this shouldn't change a thiing, every club has a bad patch, we've had our (notice my past tense use!) if 'arry thinks we have enough to see us through we do, granted a striker would have been good but it didn't happen we accept this and believe we can still get in the top 5, 6 or 7 (which could if not should get us in) don't give up yet, why be so defeatist...
The reason why we perform so badly in winter time is that the pitches are rubbish and we play good football - come the good pitches and then good results !

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