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O'Neil completes Boro move

Gary O'Neil has completed his move to Boro, signing a 3 year contract for a fee believed to be around 5m.

Earlier in the evening it looked as though the deal might collapse, as he had failed a medical due to his long standing ankle problem, but these difficulties have been ironed out and he has gone.

We had been told that he would not be sold, but as he has, if he was always likely to be - which might not have been the case - then with Harry Redknapp so keen to have got Yakubu back why did they not do the swap deal when they had the chance, not that I am saying I wanted that, as I did not.

Yep, sometimes you have to accept that players leave but I am more gutted that O'Neil has gone than virtually any other player to leave this club in the past.

Like many others on this very site, as well as thousands off it I saw O'Neil make his debut as a 16 old kid against Barnsley and knew right away that this fella was going to be a star, even back then there was talk that 'bigger' clubs could be sniffing around.

We kept him, he built himself up and made himself every inch the star I bragged to so many people that he would be.

You do not get many like him, so we have not only lost a fantastic footballer but someone who quite literally bled Pompey. He may be someone that can be replaced in the side but Pompey have lost something more, part of this clubs heart, which will never be replaced, has been given away.

I am not saying we have any now, but mercenaries come and go who will bleed this club dry, or at least try to before escaping at the first opportunity they can, he did not ever seem like the kind of fella that would have ever done that.

He has not been forced as the suggestion from some might be, but he has had to do what was best for him and was probably left with an offer that was too good to refuse, so he became the sacrificial lamb to the slaughter that Peter Storrie had spoken about.

Gutted, simply gutted, good luck to the fella who will be missed tremendously and although others will fill in for him he will never be properly replaced as his influence at the club ran deeper than his tireless effort on the pitch, but alas we have to move on, he has now gone, we cannot alter that.


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 1 2007

Time: 12:27AM

Your Comments

The most loyal and long term player currently at this club. Mr Portsmouth moves on but why. Have we bought better, I think not. The only white faces left in the squad would appear to be Nugent and Taylor, assuming Harry's is Red. I am definitely not prejudiced but soon I think we will be known as 'THE ALL BLACKS'.
Nice lad, good play but don't be too romantic. GON has been on sick leave way too much for the team's good. No plaudits from me on the lad who's replaced him although it is hard to dribble past a small cargo vessel at any speed. The Glen Johnson move is a good one for the club. GJ can make some dodgy decisions but he will mature and become a natural replacement for big Sol when he moves on.
|Only Youth product, gone!
Bit stuck to say anything that hasn't already been said by countless others.. So Ill say nothing !
Right guys it's happened now lets be positive and now look forward, Positives still got Taylor and Nugent. Christ I'm gutted!!!!
L L Blue
LL Blue - well you started the positivities but they didt last long did they !! Yep Nugent & Matty are still here,
Pompey will march on... wounded a little from the battle of transfer... but strong enough to continue our push, on all three fronts towards Europe and the ultimate prize of a second round UEFA cup tie in Siberia .... Heads up men, look sharp, wear your badge & colours with pride and march on....
With Utaka & Lauren around (now GJ will be plain right back) was he going to get a regular spot??? prob not...5 mil...not a bad u all hate me for thinking this might b a good idea..
In the cold light of day i think well be ok on the right, and lets not forget that being on the right wasnt GON favoured position either and he was hardly likely to play in the middle this season was he ?
so we have got rid of our only youth product, chix we have replaced him with a player who is no better and to top it all another african, so in Jan we will lose 6 of our squad. With only Bneji likely to be a short term loss.
Yep, sad to see GON has gone. Good luck to him, he served us well & will be remembered in high regard.
I wouldnt hate anyone for thinking that selling o'neil might be a good idea, but i prob would have thought it was if better players had been bought in... looking the overall transfer window tho we can not doubt that we have seen some really quality come in, so as dissapointing as friday was the 3 months or so on the whole has been very productive hasnt it.
that said im still gutted o'neil has gone...
I'm just glad Matty didn't follow him. You'd think Harry would have wanted as many non Africans after the way he's bleated on in the past about the African Nations Cup draining his options. Well, just one peep out of him this year about it and he'll have a bunch of us to answer to.
bloody right mate, on both the matty taylor and african nations points - he will have no one to blame but himself and i will launch on him like a savage dog if he utters one murmour that 'the poxy african nations has screwed him over'...
Sad day now that Gary has left and also Dejan, who was a loyal servant. However lets be positive, if Glen Johnson settles down he will be another great signing and the 'wardrobe' gives us another big physical player who will shoot from everywhere. We have a big squad full of quality and everyone fighting for places. No excuses now Harry
Ive seen Papa Smurf play some great games...granted this was about 2 seasons ago....but the guy can be very comanding in the middle.......I can never make up my mind with GJ...I would really like to see him playin right mid, hes got great pace, some nifty skill, & when in the possition, a good eye for goal....maybe Arry will ty it??
Right had some sleep now! I'm with you Rug, 27M spent!! This is Pompey?! Are we really complaining?! Just remember where we have come from. Shrewsbury away will always stick in my mind, p***ing down with rain, losing, the the only hope from the bench was...(have just sat here for 5 minutes and even now I can't remember), but God (no he wasn't there). We now have a squad packed with International's, okay not all English, but the English players we have have been involved and are likely to be involved again! African cup is an issue but we have the depth to cover this and it is only a few weeks. Just remember those Shrewbury day's we've all had them!! Puts it all in perspective I think. Christ felt like Churchill for a bit!!! Going back to bed for a lie down.
L L Blue
Shrewsbury what a dim and distant memory that is, and all those other non premiership ground we used to troll around. We have a good squad like you say and we now need to push on, Garry was a great servant , and i hope he has made a good move which will help his career, and i hope he does play for England. Being managed by Charisma Southgate though? I dont think so !!
spineless steve is a regular watcher of his 'life partner' stuart downing tho at boro isnt he, so o'neil will be watched closely, plus he has always like the fella so he has a chance of playing for england... the move is good for o'neil in terms of playing football, but in the long term it is a bad move as boro are not a good club!
Ive just figured it!!!!..........Gary chose Middlesbrough cause its Maclarens old team!!!! Mac picks Downing & Woodgate on a regular basis so maybe theirs some chance 4 Gary.......:)
its a case of 'agent o'neil' this time - he will get into the england squad, hang around for a couple of squads then return to pompey in a blaze of glory :)
Rug, so Harry was 007 and now Gary O is 008, he can come back in a few seasons time, mission accomplished. Good luck Gazza, but i am not convinced it is the right move for you.
disappointed to lose him then!
yep, the secret agents usually get their mission completed. gutted to lose him mate, absolutely gutted... but time is a good healer!
this was just taken from the bbc's sunday gossip colum 'Portsmouth's Gary O'Neil had just paid 5,000 annual membership fee at Wentworth Golf Club before he was sold to Middlesbrough (Mirror)'. if true it doesnt much seem like he instigated his move...

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