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Give a bloke a break

Gary O'Neil was Pompey's longest serving player, and on top of that our only Youth product, now he has gone.

Heroes come and go, favourites appear, villans can do no right, a fans favourite can cock up in front of goal and be forgiven, a villan can can play a blinder, make one error and be considered a liability.

On a whole, Pompey fans are considered quite knowledgable and proper football fans.

We very rarely pick out players for abuse, the minority always will but generally we are tolerant lot after being forced to watch some mediocre dross over the years.

I can sense an element of change in the air however, O'Neil has left and fans are not happy with the replacements. Nugent has not had time to change his quilt cover yet, but some fans feel he is not the man, not worth his fee, not worth the effort. In comparison Arsenal have lost a true World-class player in Henry, his number 9 shirt has gone to Brazilian/Croatian striker Eduardo, he has scored 1 so far and mainly had to be content with substitute appearances, he is bedding in, waiting for his chance, sound familiar?

Nugent has stepped up from the Championship and people are expecting 20 goals from him in his first season! Time will tell if he is the striker we crave, I for one will back him as long as he tries his heart out when he pulls the royal blue over his head, Benjani showed the way, now Nugent needs our support likewise.

Papa Diop has arrived with a sicknote tag, an already congested midfield will be forced to stretch even further to accomodate the Senegalese giant, but he cannot be slated before even kicking a ball!

Harry Redknapp has signed him at the third time of trying, once 3 years ago when he slipped through our fingers, last January on loan, and finally last week. The manager obviously rates the man, his record for Pompey has not been too bad in my book.

Finally we come to Glen Johnson. This time last year people were talking of England recalls, now its all about his defensive frailties, one bad pass before 2 other Pompey players touched the ball and Van Persie's penalty win is all his fault!

Johnson is still young, very athletic and obviously when fit is going to be first choice.

Football is a confidence game, when you feel invincible you feel you can take on the world, when you feel you have to prove yourself to your own fans week in, week out, anxiety sets in and the misjudgements creep in, insticts are replaced with over deliberation and split seconds are lost.

So Pompey fans, congratulations on our forthright and honest views are coming from all parts on this site, do we deserve them? Or are we as fickle as the rest? Time will tell.

Play up Pompey, good luck at 'Boro Gary O'Neil, and good luck messrs Nugent, Diop and Johnson, let the next time I write about you be it to laud your names over glorious performances, and Pompey fans keep up the support for which we are reknowned.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 4 2007

Time: 9:25PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Come on then, scream me down and tell me I'm wrong!
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 21:35:00

ur wrong lol oj
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 21:44:00

The News says O'Neil didn't want to leave. Why did he go then?
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:13:00

get the feeling once the club accepts an offer, the writing is on the wall
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:15:00

Didn't see why we could not have bought GJ & still kept GON.
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:18:00

Oh wait, did I just say The News? Nevermind my question then.
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:19:00

I honestly feel Harry thought he had a good shout of Defoe of Gudjohnsen, he was trying to fund it a bit and then it went t1ts up
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:22:00

TH wore 14 not 9. Other than that a very good article.
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:26:00

Probably the most sensible article I've read for a while. Harry has been far more right than wrong and positive, supportive fans is what separates us from the likes of Birmingham and has kept us up in 2 of the last 4 seasons. Whatever's happened, we mustn't judge before it is fair to. PUP
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:28:00

I meant number 9 as in top striker shirt, valid point though!
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:30:00

Nugent has allegedly rejected a loan move to WBA, load of tosh I reckon, why drop down to last years level to prove yourself all over again? Plus we are hardly overflowing with strikers are we, midfielders however....
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 22:51:00

Good article, will have to see how Johnson plays now, if he concentrates all game, and works on his defending(afterall the bloke is a defefnder!) maybe, in time, i may change my opinion of him that i formed last year....until then....come on glen.
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 23:09:00

I think some of us are becoming restless just because we are in the bottom half. I am not surprised at either quite frankly given that the first 6 games looked very very tough on paper - make that 7. We are going to go lower before we climb the ladder again so run with the tide for a few more weeks. When we play the likes of Fulham, Reading and Wigan in quick succession we will be in a much better position to evaluate our likey seasonal aspirations. I predicted that we would be in the lower echelon early on so I am not at all surprised. If apathy is allowed to creap in it will only place more pressure on the Manager and players and possibly send us into oblivion. We must remain calm and optimistic that with 33 games remaining we have a good chance of being here again next season. Europe this season for me is still not an imminent dream. PUP.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 03:45:00

Who do we believe? GON wanted to go or not?, not really important now! I'm fully behind Nugent he will take time but in the forthcoming matches after L'pool we should give him a go and play more attacking formation. Benji and Nugent will give defences a lot to worry about and bring on Kanu mid second half. As for Utaka the fella has pace, we just haven't used it put a couple behind the defence and turn them!!
L L Blue
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05/09/2007 08:37:00

GJ will come good he needs to focus on settling in and starting some hard graft. He has had a wake up call being dumped by Chelsea, it will be interesting to see how much drive he has. At this time he is not England material, he does have the ability but not the consisitency. Ability is natural, consistency is only obtained by mental toughness and training. I want them all to succeed and will support them 100%.
L L Blue
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05/09/2007 08:43:00

Great article, and as you rightly say we must move on, if we had got a result at Highbury or played well we would all be happy to praise Harry and say it was a great deadline day, the team just did not perform, or were Arsenal different gravy? Lets give Diop, Johnson and Nugent a chance and i am sure they will produce for us.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 09:37:00

Totally agree Paultsmouth. Everything you say is correct. The problem lies with the FEW people that do Bad mouth the players, and write to the evening news. But on the whole we are pretty good, and i dont think we are too fickle, not too often. The few that do write to the News (8 i belive regarding O'Neil) are the 8 that the news quote as "Every Pompey Fan"???? ok, so 8 negatives = all Pompey Fans. As ive said before, Gary was on Sky and said he DID want to move on, but not in a negative way to Pompey, Harry or the Fans, but in a possitive way for himself, as he feels he hit a wall, and needs a change. So where do the News get/make up their articles... probably reading the discussion boards and mis-understanding that Fans Views may not actually be facts? But the News prints them anyway. If you want my honest opinion, i think ALL Pompey fans should Boycott the News maybe for 1 month to hit them in the pocket. Liverpool done this to the Sun after Hillsborough and i believe they still do today.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 10:36:00

Absolutely Midge no Liverpool fans buy the Sun and it really impacted the circulation up there!
L L Blue
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05/09/2007 10:50:00

Paultsmouth, reading articale again, just wanted to say Well Done for picking out GJ's good bits, as too many people only ever see someones bad bits, and i hope he proves his critics wrong and makes them eat their words. Bad press sticks unfortunately. Look at James. Before he came here i was concerned about him, and its all because of the "Calamaity" label the papers gave him. Yet in reality, watching him week after week, we all know he is phenominal. Bad press does turn heaads of eveyone NOT seeing a player week after week, yet in reality the player only has to make a minor mistake, and that becomes the opinion of all, thanks to the press.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 10:51:00

Can we organise a Boycott the Evening News campaign then :-) with the Help of News Now, im sure we can shut the barstewards up bad mouthing our glorious club. I for one am sick of only hearing negative vibes from the Rag that is meant to be behind our club, but is obviously only out to create friction.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 10:53:00

Midge look at the Forum thread Pompey v The News full story in there. And I agree great article Paul!
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 12:24:00

Eastneydave, cant get to the forums as work blocks them :-( but will take a look later. Thanks though.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 14:32:00

i hope that given Gary O statements about being surprised that he had been sold we can now agree that he did not want to leave as some , well one in fact said. Anyway too late now and i suppose he will score against us.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 16:36:00

The problem with Johnson is that towards the end of his stay he made it well known that he didn't think his future lay with Pompey as he was going to give it one more crack at Chelsea. That's fair enough - I would certainly give it one more attempt at one of the world's best teams. Obviously it didn't work out and now he's with us. But I also know that the fans were complaining about his performances for the latter part of the season. However, if you remember this was after a spell on the sidelines with an injury and a dip in the whole of the sides form. Truth is, he is a very capable player and i'm pretty sure if the fans get behind him he can recapture the form that will get him back in the England squad. With Diop I think we have a midfielder that will make a formidable partnership with Muntari and will free up some of the dirty work Muntari has to do. I really wouldn't want to play against the two. Nugent just needs time. I've got a running joke with a friend of mine about him and everytime he sees Nugent play the more worked up he gets about him. He hasn't exactly had the easiest of times so far playing against the big 4 in recent weeks.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 17:06:00

DONT FORGET GJs FROM EARLY LAST SEASON!!! - thats the main thing. Attacking, he is great, and probably one of the best full backs in the country in that respect. defending, he can be a bit shoddy, but our central defenders SHOULD be able to cover him, and a decent run in the team should wipe out most of his errors. As for GON, i dont care. Utaka can play wide right, and whilst its a shame, if he wanted to move on, so be it. Nugent IS classy, and i have confidece he can make the step up, just remember, he's not used to our quality, as well as theres!
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 17:30:00

Carpet is right, Nugent is a good player, ask Sunderland and Everton etc. Glen Johnson is still a class act, and if he is allowed to settle in with the other defenders will be a great asset, with Lauren and Crainie as cover. Diop will be a good strong influence in the team, and what with him and Sulley we have two strong players with the craft of Pedro and Nico in there as well.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 18:43:00

russelm, if gary o scores against us, I'm expecting a sean davis hat-trick!
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 21:34:00

the other issue is, it is expected that the CL rules regarding local players are expected to be extended to the next UEFA cup. these rules refer to players having to have been registered with the club from the ages of 18 to 21. gary O was the only one we had compliant, the result is we will be limited to squad of 22 if we qualify for UEFA. although early days our current form would suggest this may not be an issue.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 22:09:00

paultsmouth, i am not quite sure what your point is, dont ex pompey players score against us? Has Gary O scored more goals than Davis since his arrival? clarify for confused of london please.
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 22:14:00

You make some good points, I dn't know much about Diop so won't dwell on that other than the fact that he will in all likelyhood be disappearing in January, provided he's fit of course! Gary O'neil i still think was bad business but what concerns me most about that and ticketing problems among other things the club just refuse to talk to the press or the fans about anything, it is becoming a byeline where Pompey are mentioned that nobody at the club was available to comment. As for GJ, I thought he was a liability in Defence last season, prepared to give him a chance but not holding my breath for any changes, does look good going forward at times though.
Steve C
Report Abuse
05/09/2007 22:18:00

russelm, Garyo's goals record over the last year is only marginally worsened by that of Davis, Gary got 1 last year, Davis 0, I was being a little sarccy
Report Abuse
06/09/2007 06:53:00

Reading the comments and picking up the vibe and my own thoughts - I think to article Headline applies to all three 3 players from all Pompey Fans 'Give a bloke a break'.... Let's give 'em all a chance a assess in a month or so -PUP
Report Abuse
06/09/2007 07:36:00

we have a decent enough replacment for gary in utaka...who, much as i hate to say it, i would take any dayover gary...well, most days...quite a few days... - Nugent, i see no further point discussing, as noone apart from the daily mail want him to leave (do they have a reporter who supports west brom or something???) and diop is there to add more muscle to our midfield ON TOP of muntari. he cant be a replacent, as muntari is better in every way, so can only replace mendes/kranjcar when we need to be more physical (eg, blackburn or man city - for diferent reasons)
Report Abuse
06/09/2007 17:29:00

quality article mate - as ive been offline for a few days ive only just been able to read it... im well and truly on the nugent will be a star bandwagon so he just needs to be left alone. im not convinced by diop, in as much as i do not think that he is an improvement - but he will be given a chance, he is a pompey player now and that is the main thing. johnson, i didnt rate last time round and gave him a hard time after the arsenal match, maybe alittle unfairly and my views from last season clouded me - but ive already said i will give him a chance and have wiped the slate clean. o'neil had to leave, had pompey told him 'weve had bid but we dont want you to go but it's up to you' he wouldnt have gone, when they said 'weve had a bid its up to you' there was no doubt that he could leave, had teams come in for sol, muntari, utaka, jamo etc they would have been refused outright... either way good luck to all these fellas here and o'neil at boro - play up pompey!
Report Abuse
06/09/2007 23:29:00

bit of a surprise sale that one!
Report Abuse
07/09/2007 19:33:00


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