Portsmouth - Do not start with that one 'arry!
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Do not start with that one 'arry!

I had feared this moment coming, but the closer the African nations got the more I had worried Harry Redknapp might start looking to this, maybe not for excuses but a way of lowering expectation levels?

And, although a little sooner than I expected the 'African nations could ruin our season' speech reared its ugly head after the Newcastle win.

I have nothing but respect for Redknapp, I have not agreed with some of his transfer dealings in and out of the club this season but he has been more than proved right with what he has done, so my thinking has changed on this score, he has a vision I can now accept this and realise sacrifices will be made, but in terms of the bigger picture it will make a lot of sense.

But I am not going to accept this 'African nations ruining our season talk', sorry fellas but I just will not stand for it and said I would not right back when he continued signing African players - at the end of the day he signs these players knowing full well they will be heading off for the African nations so I will not be having this...

Yep, it will drain us badly but we have a squad of players for them to be used that is why it is called a squad. It will test us but with all due respect to the sides we face in January - Reading (a), Sunderland (a), Derby (h), United (a) - things could be worse.

Even in February things are not too bad - Chelsea (h), Bolton (a), Sunderland (h) so providing those that come from within the squad already step up to the plate, and others that are signed - which will happen - click okay we will be fine.

John Utaka, Kanu, Sulley Muntari and Djimi Traore are all nailed on to go, but even though Papa Bouba Diop will probably go his recent 'snub' on Senegal might go against him?

Whatever happens though you have a squad of players to account for such things as injuries, suspensions and/or the African nations, we feel we have a quality squad, the best squad we have ever known here so January and a bit of February perhaps will be the time for this to be proved, we have players to come in and will also sign others so we will be fine.

Let us not forget that plenty of other clubs will be in the same position as us, maybe not with so many players going but they will be key players in their first team.

Expectation levels are rising with Pompey - no matter how much we try to hide it - so maybe to try and cool this Redknapp is playing this card early, but I just hope he does not play it too often as my patience will soon wear thin with that one, which has probably been made clear by what I have said here...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 5 2007

Time: 12:26PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Too right !
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 14:05:00

No more pessimism, realism is fine - but we're better than relegation battlers now 'Arry, and the ANC isn't going to scupper our season too badly.....you're not fooling anyone you know!
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 16:08:00

No come on lads we will be down to the bare bones you know. At least that is what we will hear from HR. We will need a striker and possibly midfield cover come January. One thing that nobody has commented on how lucky we have been with injuries!!
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 16:09:00

Ouch...tempting fate there! The whole defence'll be in the physio's room before the City game now....
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 16:18:00

Oh no - we might have to play Matty and Pedro in midfield - with Benji and Nuge up front. Hardly a disaster ? ! I agree we've all known about this all along, its no good coming out with it now. And if he's that worried there is a January transfer window.
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 16:31:00

its what the media wants to hear, and Harry is just feeding them the seeds. He knows we have depth, he works with the players allweek. So stop getting upset and smile inside the way Harry is, and come January, we'll still be banking the points.
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 17:11:00

Harry always like to the play the 'bare bones' card. But as you say Rug, he signed them, so it's not as if he can act surprised!
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 18:30:00

All managers play a phycological game with there counterparts. Morihnios was to tell teams they would be beaton, then go into the game knowing that all they had to do was ware the opossition down, in the knolldge they would not be properly attacked. Harrys is the oposite - tell the oposition that we are weak, and they will play for the points. that opens up there defence, and lets us come in with the goals. He (probably) knew the situation we would be in, and knows that we have adequate back up. but if other teams go into the games thinking it will be a doddle, then we can just bounce back and surprise them!
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 18:47:00

It's only a month.
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 19:48:00

Well, he signed 'em! Did they all fool him into thinking they were Pomponians?
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 20:03:00

im looking foward to the african cup of nations! ghana and nigeria! imagine that, ghana and nigeria in the final. on the subject of africans, martins for pompey? he is effectively 3rd choice at newcastle, and at pompey we have kanu and utaka? why not, just as good as defoe, would do great with kanu!
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 20:42:00

but we wouldnt have him in january would we... im not sure on martins tho tbh would rather have defoe, altho some rumours are saying darren bent! i often say to people 'you made your bed, so lie in it', same applies here :-) but we will be fine ayway wont we.
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 21:47:00

yarrrp, benjani = answer to all problems, including homework, trickey question in english, stick benjani into the equation, maths?, no prob, 20 x 2 = Benani!
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 22:02:00

...art courswork: photo of benjani? i dont understand the thing about defoe - he always seems like a lazier version of yakubu (yes, if thats possible) who cant score as well. I just wouldnt be excited to here that pompey had signed defoe...keeping with strikers...ive noticed torres hasnt settled in too fast, maybe we could nab him?
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 22:10:00

ha, no torres is to inconsitent for my liking, : ), like i sed b4, why fix something that isnt broke, must be a bit demoralizing for benjani to see harry searching or aquiring a striker when hes netting every week.
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 22:41:00

players need to be kept on their toes - and altho it might not seem like it at the moment i still feel that 'arry will eventually revert back to 2 up front, if he brings in a 'quality' striker he will basically have to as benji is too good to leave out...
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 22:56:00

i dont know actually, 4 - 5- 1, is working well, and on saturday, i noticed that utaka was drifting towards the centre, and this was on more than one occassion,
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 23:06:00

its a 4-3-3 come 4-5-1 isnt it, but either way i agree it is working - but still feel a 4-4-2, or 3-5-2, which is unlikely i know is something that 'arry will look at, at home anyway as the 4-3-3/4-5-1 is more suited for away games... i dont think he will sign a quality striker just to play him on his own tbh.
Report Abuse
05/11/2007 23:20:00

it'd be hard to ruin a season thats started so well, you guys are flying at the mo, this season so far is great for you
Report Abuse
06/11/2007 10:03:00

i thought last season started well - but when you look back we had quite an 'easy' start didnt we... we had a hell of a run in last season, which we did well in but this season we have an 'easier' one dont we so if we are there or thereabouts for a uefa cup - dare i even say a champions lge place - if we didnt make it i would be bitterly disappointed tbh...
Report Abuse
06/11/2007 11:26:00

yep,agreed,this is the golden age!
Report Abuse
06/11/2007 18:35:00

is your squad strong enough to lose all those to the African Nations Cup? I fear for ours! Without Drogba, Essien, Mikel and Kalou I fear we might struggle!
Report Abuse
06/11/2007 19:18:00

the players going are going to be hard to replace - but i think that we will. those that come in 'should' be hungry to stay, so in theory it should work for us... plus im sure 'arry will also be buying.
Report Abuse
06/11/2007 23:50:00

Don't know about you guys but I'll be glad when the bl00dy thing is over - It's been spoken about week in week out and in all honesty the only player we will find it hard to do without is Muntari.... the other can be replaced or their positions accomodated adequately - If you think about it Djimi is hardly a first teamer, Kanu only plays ten minutes a week, Diop and Utaka are new to the club so when all is said and done our squad (baring injuries) will be no different (except GON) to what is was last year... We'll be fine ... I'm far more worried about Niko, Benji or Distin picking up an injury...
Report Abuse
07/11/2007 00:07:00


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