January ends on a low key
January, so often a miserable month - it certainly was from a footballing point of view as Pompey only collected one point from it - that we cannot wait to see the back of, came to an end yesterday.
Of course, the end to the first month of 2018 also saw the closure of the winter transfer window, which saw two depart - Milan Lalkovic and Kyle Bennett - and Stephen Henderson return.
Firstly, Lalkovic, 25, had his contact ended by mutual consent. I was disappointed by his lack of impact last season, in fairness he wasn't really given much of a chance, but had hoped he would step up to the plate at a higher level - that didn't happen. Again, in his defence, he has been hampered by injuries this season but all things considered we'll not really miss what we've not had will we?
Was it a shock? Well, it was billed as such, but there had been mutterings Bennett would leave Fratton before the end of the window, which happened when he too was released late in the day on Wednesday.
Ok, perhaps the shock, alright then, surprise, was the decision to mutually part with Bennett, 27, given the fact he was still under a long-term contract. Most, I would imagine, would sooner have wanted Pompey to look towards recouping a fee, but if no one was willing to pay this then saving on the wages for a player who wouldn't have featured under Kenny Jackett make sense I guess.
Bennett hasn't delivered; he's been too inconsistent and is too lightweight. My personal opinion is less would be miffed by this if others had come in...buy for the sack of buying though? We've been there before; admittedly we are still light in the middle of the park!
Finally, which I would say was 'a shock' we saw Henderson return to Fratton.
The goalkeeper, who was forced to leave Pompey in 2011 when he signed for West Ham, was brought back to the South Coast in a loan capacity from current club Nottingham Forest until the end of the season.
Henderson, 29, has to be among the best keepers we've had in recent history, arguably the best since David James - Asmir Begovic aside - but Luke McGee has probably been one of Jackett's most successful signings, so if the former Tottenham goalie drops out in favour of the Irishman I think he'll be disappointed. However, Hendo hasn't come back to sit on the bench...
So, was this an underwhelming end to the month? Maybe, maybe not, but in all honesty I wasn't expecting much, if anything, incoming wise on Wednesday. We cannot judge Anton Walkes - signed from Tottenham earlier this week - before we see him, but he'll be under huge pressure to fill the Danny Rose void, if he doesn't I still feel we would have been better off using our own young talent.
Without a doubt Rose was the man we needed to replace above all else, have we done this? Well, as much as we should use our own talent, hopefully Walkes can do this. No pressure on the kid then.
PLAY UP POMPEY
2017-18 Prediction League - February
Doncaster (h) Saturday 3rd February 2018 - click here.
MK Dons (a) Saturday 10th February 2018 - click here.
Blackburn (h) Tuesday 13th February 2018 - click here.
Southend (a) Saturday 17th February 2018 - click here.
Fleetwood (a) Tuesday 20th February 2018 - click here.
Blackpool (h) Saturday 24th February 2018 - click here.