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Redknapp pays tribute to Mendes

Pedro Mendes has 'struggled' this season in all honesty. When he has had chances he has not really taken them - on the whole - and has looked far from his best, but he was all that and more against Derby at the weekend, and Harry Redknapp - who says he had told him he had to be - has said as much with what he has told the Pompey Site: 'Pedro played well alongside Diarra in the centre of midfield. I think they had confidence in each other and on the ball.

'I said to Pedro before the game that we needed a performance from him and that's what he produced.

'He passed the ball about nicely which is what I want to see. There's no point having four good footballers in our midfield if we don't pass the ball about.

'Pedro's had a few injuries and has been a bit stop-start so he needed a couple of games under his belt.

'But he looked back to his best against Derby'.

I am a self-confessed huge fan of Mendes', and feel that when he is on form he is one of he best footballers in the top flight, and that is not just at Pompey.

Ever since his 'savage attacks' from Ben Thatcher and then Joey Barton last season he has been nowhere near the player he was and we know he is, I think we have all openly admitted this. Many say he 'lost his bottle' which was fair enough after what he went through, but the worry was this would not return - but the signs are it is.

We had hoped to see him get back to his best, and against Villa at Villa Park he had a fine game, but against Derby - which with respect we have to remember it was Derby - along with Lassana Diarra in the middle the pair put on a show and looked fantastic.

My thinking is that Redknapp will more than likely stick to a 5 man midfield away from home, but at home I feel when he gets the striker he wants - notice I say 'when' and not if! - I think he could go with a 4 man midfield.

In a 5 man midfield I think that Sulley Muntari and Diarra are virtually nailed on, Papa Bouba Diop is the man at risk and Mendes has a great chance of keeping his place... although we cannot rule out Sean Davis who has been fantastic this season, he returns from injury tonight for the reserves.

Lets hope that Mendes keeps playing well, as if he does there are few better - and this will be very much to our benefit.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 23 2008

Time: 5:02PM

Your Comments

Whole heartedly agree Ruyg; it's nice to see this get some exposure on the PFC site as well
UKTony
agree, after the fantasticperformance last week. in the mean time (although not against chelsea), i expect neugent to start up front with benjani at home. he just gives us another attacking option from the start, and benji clearly plays well with him!
pompeycarpet
totally mate - players shouldnt need confidence boosted that much, but that kind of exposure should help him even more... he is a fantastic footballer, one of the very best i kid you not and ive always rated him. i did worry that he had 'lost it' but hopefully he has 'found it' again - as if he has very few will be able to keep him out, papa smurf must be getting alittle anxious...
pompeyrug
If he gets back to his best I'd rather have him in the squad than Sean Davis. Diarra's going to be clearing up the nasty stuff so it's possible he's been pegged back a bit.
stillthewhizz
Mate i agree with 98% of the article, i have always said Mendes is classy but agreed he had lost his bottle. As we discussed during the game he and Diarra seemed to work it out instantly, i accept the other team was derby but such link play after two hours of training, it was good to see. The two percent i disagree with, well you guessed and yes i am in a minority of 2 here is i simply cannot agree with you about Sean the definitely free range jamie headless chicken Davis. I think he is at risk and he knows it, which is why his agent is playing up other clubs. If Papa Bouba miss started get the odd goal i think you would see Davis on the transfer list fairly rapidly. anyway well done Pedro
russellm
you do make me laugh russ with your 'davisisms' - another word ive just made up, i think you get the jist - and altho i still do not agree with your thoughts on him i do respect you views that you have and stick by them... as i say they make me laugh too :-)
pompeyrug
nice tribute to mendez from redknapp but will this boost his confidence and allow him to get some form going?
ozanne park rangers
Whatever happens to Mendes in the long run, he is etched forever in our hearts & minds for 'that goal'.
storagematt
i think i willpolitly disagree russelm, as i think davis was one of the star performers of the first half of the season, and displayed a great aray of passing that we missed when he got injured. i would be sadened to see him on the tranfer list. anyway, well done Pedro
pompeycarpet
Muntari has got his work cut out to get back in the team, not sure how diop will, I think a place on the bench for diop.
Gleams
a p;ace on the bench - at best! he is not an "impact player"and would only really be brought on if we were winning, but looked like conceeding - and even for that, im not convinced harry would ever make such a negative substitution!
pompeycarpet
Muntari will be in the team as will Diarra, Pedro, Sean and Diop will be fighting for places, however with the way we were picking up bookings we will need all the cover we can get. It is good to have this strength in depth and we will need all the players to stay injury free and in form. In all honesty Lauren and Hughsey will miss out the most and Arnold will have to sweat it out in the stiffs for another year. Harry really wants Nico to play so his place on the left of midfield would appear to be safe providing he stays fit.
Owenspompey
Its good to see pedro getting back to form when we need him the most, but like I said before, we have too many central midfielders and we should look to unload some and raise revenue for a right midfielder!!
whitestones
Nothing is better than watching Pedro when he is playing well. He has time skill and vision - and one hell of a shot. A Pompey legend we would all agree and hopefully hear for a long while yet!
eastneydave
Although it was only Derby they did have the pest in midfield sorry I meant the savage and he is no fool but he could not get near the two of them. We may have discovered a great partnership due to the African nations rather than the opposite.
eastneydave
Mendes has quality no doubt, Its up to him to start doing it week in, week out now, Davis still has a part to play, Harry has stuck by the players who are in the shirt when we are winning, so if we are on another unbeaten run when the Africans return, they could ALL be on the bench!
paultsmouth
that certainly wouldnt surprise me! if we were to beat chelsea and man u...IF we were... then i would be very surprised if they came back in... but picking up points against either of them will probably be considered a good performance...
pompeycarpet
I'm a Mendes fan. The 442 format suits him especially when he has a class midfielder like Diarra to rely on. When Harry goes back to the lone striker up front, Mendes will struggle again.
frattonaussie
Talking of Davis, he made his comeback in the reserves tonight
paultsmouth
sounded like he played ok aswell... i like your point dave 'We may have discovered a great partnership due to the African nations rather than the opposite' - you could be very right...
pompeyrug
What's the great partnership though? Mendes and Diarra or Mendes and Kranjcar because from where I was sitting it was Mendes and Kranjcar which destroyed Derby in the second half.
stillthewhizz
Bejani hattrick against Derby.. and I would still say that Pedro was man of the match.. I love the fella but have worried about him recently. If we play 442 then (at the moment, and based on Saturdays showing alone) we have no better option that Lassie & Pedro ... together they were superb.. if all hit form together Harry has got a real headache in midfield...but a nice headache if you know what I mean
Chix
Mendes is great when he's on top of his game, its been a shame that he hasn't been recently, and really good news that he seems to be back to form now.
tracyc
Pedro is a class act, all he needed was games under his belt, he did not become a bad player overnight. I am so glad that he has got his chance and he appears to be taking it, he has time and the ability to pass a team to death, i feel more confident when he is in the team, and when he has played alongside Diarra a few more times i think we will have a really strong midfield partnership.
Owenspompey
 

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