Vital Football

'Arry will not be amused...

'Arry will not be amused...

As we all know Harry Redknapp is not best pleased with the timing of the African nations - although he should know when this takes place by now - but with Nigerian coach Berti Vogts now insisting that all he members of his squad meet up for a 14-day training camp ahead of the competition itself Redknapp will be even less amused...

'That is the way that things have to be and there will be no exceptions,' Vogts is quoted as saying by the Times in regards to this training camp.

'There will be a two-week training camp and all the players will be there. They will not be allowed to arrive later'.

Clearly we want what is best for Pompey, but we know the timing of the African nations each time we sign an African footballer, so I have made little secret of my thoughts that I have no sympathy at all for Redknapp when he bemoans the competition as he signs these players, so he knows what he is letting himself in for.

However with this latest news that Vogts is demanding that the players attend a 2 week training camp prior to the competition itself I will back Redknapp to on this issue, as I am he will sure be furious at this.

This will now mean that we could be without Kanu and John Utaka for as long as 6 weeks in total now.

The competition runs from January 20th - February 10th, which depending on how far they go - which should be far - would have meant the pair probably missing games against Derby (h), United (a), Chelsea (h) and Bolton (a) but it will now also mean they will miss our FA Cup 3rd round game and Sunderland (a) too, although they may have missed the Sunderland game in any case depending on what day they would have flown out?

This might not sound too bad, but depending on who we draw in the FA Cup this could be very bad news as you would have expected one, if not both to have featured in this game - almost certainly Utaka would have, so Redknapp's need to sign a right sided midfielder as early in the January window as possible will now take on even more importance...


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Date:Monday November 19 2007
Time: 9:00AM


Remember the words 'No exceptions' Our Bertie has made a grave mistake .... He'll have to take on 'arry, Big Sam Rich Roman, Roy Keane and David Moyes if this is to be the case. The premiership will stand firm and stand together I'm sure. Is Bertie really gonna go into a major competition without ; Kanu, Utaka, Martins, Etuhu, Yobo, Obi Mikel, Anichebe and the Yak? I think not... I under stand the need to have all your players together but to suggest they are taken out for up to 6 weeks beforehand is crazy... If he keeps on tlike this Nigeria will no doubt match their performances of '96 or '98 where they withdrew or failed to participate ! Surely the best way for Bertie to prepare for this competition is to work with the premiership managers not make stupid demands which have no substance and will surely not happen
19/11/2007 11:26:00
i can understand that the african nations is every bit as important to the africans as the european championships are to european nations but to expect clubs to release players for even longer than was originally expected - or could be expected - is crazy... i agree with you rev Chix that this cannot be allowed to happen and surely there must be some kind of ruling that means vogts cannot be allowed to get away with this... this is just another example as to why the compeititon needs to be switched to an end of season event...
19/11/2007 12:18:00
So it's not enough they'll be gone for a month, but now they have to leave two weeks before?? We'd be proper fecked if our 6 ANC players left 2 weeks before it starts...
Blue is the colour
19/11/2007 12:41:00
or was it five?
Blue is the colour
19/11/2007 12:56:00
Why exactly is this unreasonable? Is it not reasonable to have a preparatory camp before a major tournament? I do not see why this is a stupid demand. Surely, you cannot expect players to line up a couple of days before the start, and gel into a side. It depends on whether there is a FIFA rule for this, but managers should anticipate this. Pompeyrug, I dont think the weather in parts of Africa is suitable to hold a tournament like this at the end of the season.
19/11/2007 14:02:00
yep, that was my thinking - regarding the weather, as to why it wouldnt be taking place at another time, altho that said if berti vogts is for the idea of playing it in june then the weather cannot be that bad in africa at that time of year can it... thats the thing prits as far as i am aware there isnt a fifa rule that says the players have to be released for this - so if there isnt then clubs will quite rightly refuse to let them go, i know its their country and everyone is proud to play for their countries but it is the clubs - and in some part us! - that pay their wages... the players wouldnt have been expected to fly out and play right away there would have been some preparation time im sure which might have probably meant players missing the weekend games on the 12th/13th january anyway?
19/11/2007 15:00:00
Dont think we do need to worry abouth the right sided player to be honest. Matt Taylor has admitted he likes to play there, and can hold his own against anyone in that spot.
19/11/2007 15:22:00
Its not as simple as 'club pays the wages'. This tournament is huge in Africa, with lots of national pride involved. There is just something extra about it in Africa (from the little I've seen) than in part of Europe. My club is also going to lose 2 key players in Eboue and Toure, and we actually anticipate losing them for 10 games, including a preparatory camp 2 weeks before the tournament. Thats why I dont understand the sentiment expressed currently - should you not have expected this at the start of the season itself, and Redknapp could have probably planned for it better.
19/11/2007 15:51:00
im not doubting how huge the tournament is mate or how much it means to africans... whilst i do not share 'arrys views on the african nations as a whole and how it 'might' impact on our season - he signs the players, so he knows what to expect kind of thing - i didnt anticipate a 2 week training camp prior to the event itself, maybe 'arry did hence his grumblings about it recently?
19/11/2007 16:39:00
We knew the score when we signed the players, no good grumbling now, it happens every time so the Premier league should be prepared for it
19/11/2007 18:10:00
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