Date:Thursday November 29 2007
John Utaka has spoken to The News to say that although he found the going tough at first he soon settled in to life in the premier league: 'I remember the first game I played against Derby, it was very hard because the pace was too much for me.
'It was difficult to breathe!
'When the ball came to me, I tired to slow the game down, but it was not easy.
'I think it took me five games to really get used to it.'
The article praises Utaka and the transition that he has made to become the latest Nigerian to star in the premier league, which although I am sure he will I do not think he has quite been as good as he might be made out to be so far?
Whilst I do not like being overly critical of players my own personal thinking is that Utaka's opening 5 games or so have been his best for us, and since then he has been, to put it bluntly, basically poor on the whole...
I do not doubt his ability and feel sure he will get over this current slump in form but I do not think that he has made as big an impact as had been hoped, but then again he was renowned in France for blowing 'hot and cold'.
He went onto talk about the physical nature of the English game and how he has found this the toughest transition to get through: 'Physically, it is very tough.
'In France, there are fouls that would be given, but over here - no way.
'It is the nature of the game here and Blackburn was probably the toughest team so far like that.
I look forward to seeing Utaka getting back to his very best and while I do hope this happens soon my own thinking is that I do not think that a spell out of the side will do him any harm in the long run.
So personally I would not mind seeing Matty Taylor given a start this weekend against Everton to see what the wing play using Niko Kranjcar and Taylor would be like, which did look okay again City recently when we last played at Fortress Fratton
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Date:Thursday November 29 2007
Stats: Pompey v Cheltenham (Sunday March 9 2014)
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