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'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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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 19 2007

Time: 9:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
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
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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...
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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
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19/11/2007 12:41:00

or was it five?
Blue is the colour
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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
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19/11/2007 18:10:00

Rubbish, we should not have to give our players up like this, tournaments should take into account the seasons in other countries, we dont have championships mid season, it is a tournament of no interest to anyone and we will not have heard of some of the nations. It is pathetic and i have every sympathy with Harry, planning at club level doesnt take into account national games etc. as the injury to Owen in another meaningless game proves.
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19/11/2007 18:21:00

...about the weather considerations...as i am aware, much of africa is in the sourthern hemisphere, so playing in our summer would be akin to playing in our winter - whats the big deal with that? sure mid-north afric is diferent, but there is equally a massive difference between the playing conditions in southern spain, and northern norway - it surely should be possible to rearange this.
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19/11/2007 18:49:00

and come to think of it, cold there npt be an international break for the ACoN? that might make a little more sence than having one now...
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19/11/2007 18:50:00

and i havnt even got on to how ridiculas the idea of a 2 week training camp is. The england team barely get together before there own international games, when they are mid season, they dont interupt any games, generally have very little impact on the season. It is true that redkapp could have planeed better for the tournament - but loosing players for 4 weeks is very different to loosing them for 6 weeks. 4 weeks, and you can get by with the squad players, and hope not to pick up too many seriosus injuries. 6 weeks, and your are more than likely to pick up injuries, possibly in the same positions, then your stuck. Loosing utaka, we dont have a natural replacement for him, but matty can come in and do a good job. but he isnt "match fit" and could pick up an injury - what then? mvuemba? same applies to him, he gets injured, what then? there is only so far you can go with planning for these things - and we should have adequte measneures, but what if we dont? the extra 2 weeks could be costly if injures come in.
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19/11/2007 18:55:00

Owenspompey, whilst i would agree with alot of what you said above to say the african nations is 'of no interest to anyone' is a touch harsh isnt it... i can accept the fact that players have to go away for this, even tho the timing is shocking - and 'arry knows this when he signs these players - but it is when the goalposts are moved and 'training camps' are added to the schedule that i get totally wound up, as these are not part of the package, this must be in the small print...
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19/11/2007 23:16:00

Hopefully this gets factored into wage negotiations and so on. I hope they all play excellently but get knocked out early on - sorry fellas - or maybe do a Yakubu and get sent home early because they're having too much fun
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20/11/2007 00:16:00

we can only hope cant we mate :-)
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20/11/2007 08:20:00

No rug, no sympathy from me at all, i feel that this competition could be moved to a time more suitable for the vast amount of European teams who are supplying players, after all how many top African players play in the continent? Maybe none, it is ridiculous and should have been sored out ages ago, and training camps two weeks before, Vogts is having a laugh, like he did in Scotland.
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20/11/2007 08:32:00

couldnt agree more on the issue of moving it to another time - i really hope that this can happen, its just a shame that it wont before this event...
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20/11/2007 12:39:00

Fair point pompeyrug. Moving the tournament to the summer would suit everyone. pompeycarpet - I'm certain the England team get together for 2 weeks before the start of either the Euro or World Cups. For the qualifiers, they do not interrupt a season coz they play only 1-2 games at a time, just like the ANC qualifiers. Its a completely different situation and the comparison are not totally fair.
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20/11/2007 13:10:00

I think FIFA has to step in here, make some rules, this kind of stuff could really turn clubs off from shopping for Africans, also I think players, as they are a fickle bunch, will rather chose their clubs than their nations, especially if their contract is riding on it as in the case of Kanu
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21/11/2007 02:33:00


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