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Diarra denies 'stepping stone' views

Lassana Diarra hardly covered himself in glory when he seemed to imply that he was basically using Pompey as a 'stepping stone' to further his career...

However he has hit back at these allegations, by insisting this is not the case and we will find out how much he wants to be here when we face Derby today: 'I want to be here and I have come here to focus on my football. Of course, I want to keep my place in the French national team but that will be no problem if I play here and do well.

'This is a really good team with some really good players - and it will be even better when four of them come back from the African Nations Cup.

'I have watched Pompey and I believe we can qualify for Europe with the players we have here. I just want to play and win.

'I am only 22 and many things can change in football but I don't want to talk about Arsenal or Chelsea or even Manchester United. I am with Portsmouth now and very happy to be here. The manager here wants me and that is very important when you join a new club.

'I have trained just one day with the team and have not played for four weeks but you will see how much this move means to me when I play against Derby'.

Ambition is not a problem for me, I can accept that unless we can push on and meet these players' ambitions - which is possible - then players could leave, but if we can meet this they will have no reason to leave.

He just has to be careful what he says from now on, and so long as he delivers on the pitch all will be ok, if he is then sold he would have done a job here but you would like to think that any release clause is a hefty amount...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 19 2008

Time: 1:20AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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OK> Not to suprisingly the media may have quoted him out of context or used the selective editing of words to change the meaning. Lets give him a chance. A couple of good performances and he will soon be a crowd favourite.
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19/01/2008 04:00:00

yep, Wengers saying hes gutted to loose this guy, its all good news to me!!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 06:48:00

"You will see how much this move means to me when I play against Derby' - Well I hope so Lassie .. you didn't come cheap and Harry has put a lot of faith in you... 13 games for Chelsea & 7 for Arsenal isn't gonna make you a premiership superstar - We've given you a fresh start - Make sure you take it youngfellowmelad !
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 07:35:00

Lets face it, he IS using us as a stepping stone, but any player wants to play at the highest level possible, its how you go about it, as long as he doesn't give it the whole badge kissing thing if he scores a goal I've no problem
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 09:16:00

All blown out of propertion. Ask any player in the lower leagues, 'Do you want to play in the Prem?' Of course they are going to say 'Yes'. That doesn't make them disloyal. If you are clever jurno able to ask a certain question to get the answer you want & make the answer from the player be a bit sensational, bingo. I'm getting bored with this. Back the player, give a few games to get match fit & understand us & bingo. Legs 11.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 10:11:00

Well he would not be able to move on without playing well. Spot on Matt.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 10:24:00

Well Muntari supposedly made comments about Man Utd when he joined us, so I'm not unduly concerned. As long as the lad plays like he really wants to make the French squad, then he's going to be outstanding....if a bigger club does make their move (and I'm guessing that could only really be Man Utd/Liverpool or someone from Europe), we're sure to make a tidy profit anyway. I give him one a half seasons.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 10:47:00

agreed fellas as said its what he does on the putch that counts - if he does well we will benefit,, if that brings him the chance to move lets see if he takes it - if he does it should come at a large profit... so long as he watches what he says abd delivers on the pitch we'll all be happy.
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19/01/2008 10:50:00

i think he will come out, and hopefully score some goals for us - he is a talented guy, and given time, im SURE he will move on - but for now, we must support him, and hopefully pursuade him pompey is as big as any other club...or at least that small clubs can still have a very BIG bite
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 10:51:00

For all fans expectimg goals from this man, 2 things, 1, he is a defensive midfielder, 2, he has NEVER scored!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 11:27:00

i know he has never scorred - but he hasnt played that much either! only a couple of games for chelsea and arsnal - and a few for a french side (le havre i think) - so clearly never settled anywhere...
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 11:41:00

I think it'll be a memorable debut. Either a red card for a two-footed high studded challenge or a whopper of a goal to get the crowd screaming "Diarra, Diarra, Diarra…"
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 12:49:00

looks very lively so far - im sure the yellow should not have been, but hey, you do get unlucky sometimes. 2 great goals for benjani, and he is back on track for the golden boot!
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19/01/2008 15:57:00

Benji Benji Benji....another hatrick!!!! ur 3 goals away from prooving me very very wrong!!!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 16:37:00

diara diara diara - great player. him, benji, kranjcar, mendes, johnosn, james - we had quality all over the pitch!!!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 17:30:00

and stillthewhizz - the crowd certainly were singing when diara came off!!!
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19/01/2008 17:31:00

he's young, he's still learning his trade and if he carves out a reputation, he'll get that move to a bigger club - after all you're as elling club!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 19:18:00

not so much now merlin. remember it was you that sold diarra to the arse before he hed chance to shine!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 23:14:00

I think he should be happy being a big fish in a small pond, and like previously said he should be happy just to play and for a good side like ours. Once injected with Pompey blood in his veins I think you will see him very much addicted to life in our Blue shirt.
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20/01/2008 01:03:00

Merlin - you are behind the times mate ... you said "he'll get that move to a bigger club" he already did he moved FROM chelsea TO Arsenal .... Selling club my arse.. climb back into bed with your Russian Sugar Daddy and remember it wasn't that long away that you were walking the streets looking for friends ... Remember Uncle Ken ... weren't so gobby in those days were ya
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 06:06:00

selling club? come on merlin lets play fair eh mate... the only selling we have done in recent years is to move on 'deadwood' or to sell players that 'arry hasnt seen as part of his plans...
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 11:53:00

well i think diarra sold himself to the fans yesterday didnt he!
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 11:54:00

he showed he is here for the club yesterday tackled everywhere only trainined with the squad once shows how good he will become
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 14:15:00


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