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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Kanu's debt to his country

Setanta sports is reporting that Kanu has 'rebuffed a request from Portsmouth to return to the club for treatment on his knee injury'.

Kanu is said to have injured his knee in the warm up before Nigeria's game with the Ivory Coast but played on before finally being stretchered off, and he has now 'apparently' told KickOffNigeria.com that we wanted him to come back for treatment, but he has refused this. He is 'quoted' as saying: 'they wanted me to come back and get treatment in England, but I cannot leave my teammates.

'Millions of Nigerians are looking up to us to bring them happiness and I cannot leave the team.

'I have to fight to be fit and play against Mali. And I also need to motivate the players because this is a time for all of us to be together as a team.

'I know it would have been better for me to return to England, but I have to make the sacrifice for my country. Millions of Nigerians are looking up to us to bring them happiness and I cannot leave the team'.

It is a tough call, the African nations means a great deal to a great number of people and Kanu is such a 'god' among the African continent so I can see where he is coming from - however you also have to see the other side of the coin too...

The early thought was that his knee injury will rule him out of the tournament, so if this is the case as Pompey pay his wages he would also 'owe' is to us to return, we would have a right to want him back for an assessment as if he plays on and further damages his knee - with the suggestion being he will continue playing - who will pick up the pieces.

Berti Vogts - the Nigerian coach - is a professional, so you would like to think that if Kanu is not fit he will not play him...

As I say it is hard to know the full truth, but the kind of stories that are coming out are not at this point looking like doing Kanu too many favours, and with him already not a 'favourite' among many fans this will probably not help?

I do like the fella, and think that he can do things on the pitch that I have seen few do - but my own thinking is he is not being used in the right way - but if he will not return for treatment then I am not keen on this at all, despite as I say seeing where he is coming from in a way.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 25 2008

Time: 11:42AM

Your Comments

I hope the "I have to make the sacrifice..." quote doesn't mean he will ignore all advice and play when he shouldn't. I can understand the motivational thing and hope that everyone behaves sensibly. Ultimately, would we have a get out clause if he comes back crocked? After all, as you say, PFC is his employer.
UKTony
I can see why King Kanu would need to stay, being a god out there, and captain etc. Also appreciate Pompeys predicament about him not doing more damage. However, he needs 18 games to get the next year extension, so i dont think he will be silly.
Midge
Does it matter? If he's injured he can't play for us anyway, so he might as well be there as here. I am assuming though he is getting treatment for the injury while he's out there - I would hope so!
tracyc
as said its all 'hearsay' the apparent 'quotes' might not be true, but if they are as i also say i can see both sides, but if we do sign a new striker if he defies orders no matter how much 'arry likes him if he crosses him he could be lucky to get too many more chances - history shows that if you get into 'arry's 'bad books' its hard to get out again...
pompeyrug
i dont know what the situatation is like, but how much pressure would vogts have put on him to play kanu even if he wasnt fully fit?
pompeyrug
It's hard to argue with his view point, he way of thinking suits that. To but to be fair he can stay there and/or move on because we have moved on & I can't see Kanu doing much for us anymore.
storagematt
Well if true at least we know where his loyalities lie and as suspected it's not with Pompey - Midge he only needs 20 'appearences' for his contract extension and I think he's on 17 at the moment so only needs three more 'sub' appearences to get the contract.... I think Tracyc is right though as long as he's getting treatment where does it matter where it is ..
Chix
why does he need to come back, surely pompey can send a medical assesment team to him, or just the one person?????
Sachas_Brother
I wouldn't worry about it. Kanu is a law unto himself and we can see if he has still got it when he comes "home"
Pompeyscum
in my opinion - with this always being my thnking - kanu has still got it... but this should be used from the bench - he simply isnt the right kind of player to start in the formation and systems we use, an 'impact' player is the way i have always seen him being used, and hoped he would... sadly this has not been the case and more often than not as a result he has looked washed up big time...
pompeyrug
kanu really is "king" in nigeria, and most of the african footballing nations, so i can see why he wants to stay, and i can see why nigeria NEDD him to stay. and lets be honest, do WE need HIM (as much as they do)?
pompeycarpet
it is a matter of quality of treatment, but i think the Nigerians see him as a talisman and they need to have BIG game performance next cos they only managed a draw today. i think they have to win or the eagles will have landed.... on their rrrrse
russellm
im not sure i want an earluy return of kanu or utaka, i would like to see the Mendes, Diarra, Nugent set up given a chance
russellm
Russell have you sacked Benji as he as not on your list in the set up?
frattonaussie
benji is a given tho isnt he - hence not being mentioned i guess...
pompeyrug
I submitted this post earlier and it went on but has disappeared Rug what does "benji is given tho isn't he" mean.
frattonaussie
Also submitted but has done a Houdini. I hope Kanu repays his debt to his country by staying there until fully recovered. The end of next season should do it. Needless to say I am not a fan of Kanu. Although he may have talent , he is also slow and boring to watch.
frattonaussie
"benji is given tho isn't he" means benji is prett much GOING to start whether or not the africans come back. bit like you would expect kranjcar to be dropped when they get back, or any of the back 5. Kanu is lazy, and should only EVER play the last 20 minutes of a game, when he can run about the same as everybody else, but has the skill of...well...the skill of the greatest african ever!
pompeycarpet
frattonaussie, benji is pretty mutch an automatic first choice, it was good to see him link so well with Nugent, but that wasnt Benji's issue before, it was down to Nugents lack of application in training. Now he puts the effort in ( and we can all see the difference) i think Nugent needs only matches to get sharp and that premier league goal, which i think will be the pre cursor to many more.... just like Benji last year in fact.
russellm
Kanu may as well stay out anyway, if his mind is in Africa, where does it matter that his body is?
paultsmouth
Russell, I wasn't saying Nugent was Benji's issue , I was saying he didn't combine well with Kanu. I think the best one Benji would play with is Utaka in the centre and , strange as it may seem, Nugent has played his best games when he has gone out wide and cut in like Kranjcar does. The only trouble is if Nugent starts out there we are very narrow and Nugent may have gone by the end of the week.
frattonaussie
yep, that is exactly what i meant carpet... again altho i feel utaka 'could' be a fantastic player for us im not sold on him so im not sure about him and benji linking up well together? i would not be surprised to see utaka leave in the summer, if not before... and rumour has it that rennes want him back for what we paid - and this could happen this week!
pompeyrug
I would let him go. He hasn't played well for us or in the African Cup. I made the comment several weeks ago that he didn't seem to like the physical side of the EPL. When he played for the Afican teams last time and did so well, they played a French style of football. This time they are playing much more physical games and Utaka has done poorly. Coincidence or was I right.
frattonaussie
No arguments from me aussie, i think that both Utaka and Lauren are lightweights, and i would still like to see us give Routledge or Chris Brunt a go at least they might mix it and give it a real go.
Owenspompey
 

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