Date:Wednesday September 19 2007
I do not want this to seem like it is a 'get at Harry Redknapp thing' as it is not, I love the fella to bits, but his moaning over the international break, before, during and after do not really leave me with much sympathy, clearly it is a pain but what can you do?
As he told The News he feels the international breaks are basically a joke: 'the international break is a mess. We played at Arsenal two Saturday's ago, I had 10 players go and didn't see or hear from them until Friday morning before Liverpool.
'I asked one of them who he played; he said Burkina Faso, or whatever it is. I've never heard of it. I bet they are good at football. I know where it is now'.
Virtually immediately after the Arsenal defeat almost half of the Pompey squad jetted off for various internationals around the globe, with most not returning until a day or so before the Liverpool match at the weekend.
Clearly, this did not give Redknapp much time to work with the team, let alone talk about the Arsenal match, as had he done that we would have been going into the Liverpool match in a negative mindset, but it is the same for most teams, so what can he do.
To be the best you have to buy the best, which are mostly international standard, these are clearly the best players, but when all is said and done he chooses to sign these players so it is the price you pay with signing international players, particularly the African ones that he is so keen on signing.
These international breaks frustrate me too, but they happen, there is not a lot you can do about them is there, the only way to avoid them is by not signing international players but then we will never get to where we want to go!
If he does not like this now, then he will hate January when the African Nations comes around and we lose a lot of important players for a number of weeks in many cases, but I will be prepared to launch a savage attack on him if he laments this as he had strengthened the team with even more African players over the summer, so he can blame no one at all for this as although the African Nations might not mean much to most of us it is a major deal for Africans, so although the timing is bad for us, it is good for them.
Again, I must stress I am not having a pop at Redknapp but you cannot have things both ways can you, as the saying goes, you made your bed so lie in it - and this applies to all managers, who know what they are letting themselves in for when they sign international players.
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Date:Wednesday September 19 2007
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