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What's happened to LuaLua?

I was sat watching the 2005/06 Pompey season review DVD 'the great escape… into a new era' - ESSENTIAL viewing for any Pompey fan - at the weekend, seeing Lomana LuaLua in all his glory - and this made me feel sad thinking about the player we all too often see now, a shadow of the player we once loved and worshiped, of course we still do but things are no longer the same.

Without question Pedro Mendes and 'those' goals proved the defining moment of that season but LuaLua - among others - played a major role in dragging us to safety, until his somewhat self-inflicted decline began, with him now gaining more front page attention for his off the field actions and antics than those unpredictable yet often magical moments on it, with his commitment to the club being severely questioned for the past 12-months.

I can only imagine what it must feel like to lose a child - this has never happened to me, and all being well kids I have will live on long after myself. This moment seemed the catalyst - and understandably so - for the moment things starting going down hill for LuaLua with the club. This moment clearly and obviously affected him, but maybe even more than he knows - and we all know how much he has said it has.

The death of his child and the constant injury and illness he picked up with Congo disrupted the early part of 2006. When he recovered - from the illness and injury, added to the return of his mentor Harry Redknapp a few months before LuaLua shone. He grabbed games by the scruff of the neck and won them for us at times leaving us looking like we would survive with ease! We were flying, LuaLua was flying but after scoring a crucial equaliser against Arsenal he took this too literally! As he attempted his trademark summersault he buggered his ankle and then missed the rest of the season - much to Redknapp's annoyance and ours.

The summer of 2006 looked very much as though it could have been his last, moves away were spoken of, the player spoke out in the media and so did Redknapp. Eventually a deal was struck and LuaLua stayed - as much as I like the fella, as frustrating as he is, in hindsight would letting him have gone have been such a bad thing?

Last season was blighted by injuries, a complete loss of form and a battle to win a first team place. Even when he was given the chance he did not take it, most notably the game with Watford at Vicarage Road. In this game he looked as if he had no interest in the game at all when he had been given a golden opportunity to prove to the club and the fans he was worthy of this surprise start. Needless to say he was soon hauled off! Even the United game before this as Rio Ferdinand scored a classic own goal LuaLua did not seem to appreciate this much - and even looked disappointed.

Like I have already said the fella frustrates the hell out of me, you and every other supporter as well as Redknapp, but he wants to keep him as he can show that unpredictable moment of pure genius to turn or win a game, so I was warming to the idea of basically writing off the 2006/07 season and starting afresh - until the reported Spanish interest. Osasuna - also keen on Kanu - are said to quite fancy the idea of allowing the 'unpredictable one' a chance of trying his hand in Spain and he is said to be more than tempted.

Maybe the fact that it used to be 'LuaLua's Portsmouth' when it was all about him, but it is now 'Portsmouth's LuaLua,' as we have many potential match winners now, is something that he does not really like? Recent comments attributed to him seem to suggest that he feels it should be about him? Maybe it is time to cut our losses and let him take up the challenge, as he seems to want?

Have your say on LuaLua not only in the comments below but also by voting on Sachas_Brother's poll currently being polled by Vital Pompey.

PLAY UP POMPEY!




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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday June 6 2007

Time: 9:23AM

Your Comments

i have always had a soft spot for lualua, even tho he is so unpredicatable that it sometimes hurts but he seems to be taking giant backwards strides these days... it used to be all about him - something that i think he loves - but now it isn't... in an ideal world he will get a good pre season under his belt and come out fighting - on the pitch - next season, but will we end up looking back at the 2007/08 season in the same way? this is my worry...
pompeyrug
I think he likes to be centre of attention and gets the hump when other players are in the lime light. I can sympathise with his loss, I have lost a baby boy through cot death which took a long time to get over but life goes on and he has stated how much he loves football and Pompey, but I think his moral has been affected by him dropping down the pecking order and niggly injuries. He's done well for us in the past and I would welcome him staying for another season to prove me and other doubters wrong. Come on Lua show us what you can do next season.
spencepompey
He's had a lot to to contend with, the death of a child can't be easy, not being told about it must make things even worse. His relationship problems with his ex fiancee and on top of that a host of injuries that stopped him playing when perhaps he needed to play to take his mind away off of things if only for a short while. I am a massive Lua Lua fan and hope he can get back to his best, he is on his day one of the most skillfull players around. I think that he maybe on the way back now, showed a few nice touches in his bit parts towards the end of the season and also in the Kanu charity game. if he gets a full pre season i think we will see the best of him.
Steve C
Sorry, I would cut me losses and flog him. Think about it, if you could rewind 12 months, with what you know now about his form and injuries, almost any other premiership striker would have been preferable - alternatively, Toddy would have been one rung further up the ladder and definitely played more games.
Et_tu_Pompeii
i don't know what to think, i too really like the fella but i was thinking get a decent pre season behind him this time last year and we know what happened - obviously he could not help being injured but if it isn't all about him he doesn't seem happy... like i have said previously i would like him to get this pre season behind him and show his best again but i have this worry we could be saying the same thing again this time next year - i hope i am wrong and he stays and proves me wrong, but if not this will be 2 summers gone that could have seen us get a decent amount of money for a player on the decline - as will certainly be the case if he has another shocker during the 2007/08 season...
pompeyrug
It really does pain my to say it, but I think it is time. I am fedup to the back teeth with lazy forwards! If your a lazy forward who scores goals, then ok by me! sod it, if your a lazy forward who can create goals for other players, I can pretty much deal with that! but a lazy forward who cant score, setup goal, & seems t be moaning all the time is not needed at this club! I have been a massive support of Lua for many years, oftern defending him on this very site, but if he does stay, he better put in a bloody good effort this season! I want to see him running like Benji, I want to see him proud to play for the club he "loves". Harsh? I dont know....o...& good poll Sachas Bro!
CharlieChimes
Once again, i agree with you CC, I wonder how LTLL will respond? I wonder if he reads this site?
Et_tu_Pompeii
i have it on good authority that lualua does infact not read this site at all :) altho it might be a good thing that he did as it could inspire him to do more - either that or convince him, if this is needed, that he wants to bugger off to spain and get a team 'built around him'...
pompeyrug
Anyone that says a team is going to "be built around me" is definately listening to his agent far to much and not the people in the stands..... I think we move on and so does he, I totally agree with you CharlieChimes, Benji works his nuts off and that is why we love him!
Sachas_Brother
true mate - looks like you poll is supporting your theory too... if you have any other ideas for polls and that get in touch - this applied to everyone...
pompeyrug
 

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