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Kanu and Utaka coming home

John Utaka and Kanu will be coming back to Pompey tomorrow after Ghana beat Nigeria 2-1 tonight to move into the semi finals at the African nations.

Sulley Muntari played a key part in the Ghanaian win - they played most of the 2nd half with 10 men - and it was his pass late on the led to Junior Agogo scoring the winner as they came from behind after former Pompey striker Yakubu gave Nigeria the lead.

Kanu did not play as he is injured, while Utaka was dropped...

To be honest I wanted Ghana to win, but being even more honest must admit that I would have preferred Kanu and Utaka to have stayed in Ghana!


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 3 2008

Time: 7:04PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
so we get John Mikel Obi back!
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03/02/2008 19:11:00

A lot of clubs will get their players back as Nigeria had the biggest number of England based players I think.
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03/02/2008 19:18:00

Hope sulley goes on and wins it now then. Utaka dropped....what must 'arry think? lol
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03/02/2008 19:22:00

I'm not surprised Ghana won but I so wanted them to lose so we can have Sulley back. The qucker he & Diarra get together the better it will be. Utaka could go wide right as before if picked but to be honest we live without him & Kanu.
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03/02/2008 19:28:00

Yeah neither of our Nigerian boys played today. Shame it looked like Nigeria were going to nick it and send our Muntari back. He played some fantastic balls today particularly a long ranger to Gyan but he's still giving the ball away for fun.
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03/02/2008 19:29:00

Nice one storage, good to see someone else thinking about the team over key players....
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03/02/2008 19:31:00

Sulley was blo0dy great to watch today, a real class act. I would like to compare Utaka with benji and say we should be patient but he has nowhere near the same work rate and i cant say i would really miss him nor Kanu, i just feel we have been carrying them too long. I think Kanu should be a bencher and be gone but i still see a use for Utaka providding we accept that he is not ever going to be a prolific goal scorer
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03/02/2008 22:40:00

I would like to see N|ugent get a bit of a run but whats the betting Harry plays kanu first opportunity
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03/02/2008 22:41:00

I agree with Russellm. But maybe, just maybe, HR will decide he doesn't need Kanu next season. He will have to drop him from the squad so he doesn't play 20 matches and get an automatic contract. Here's hoping as he wont fit what appears to be a new style of play with Defoe and Baros up front. I think a faster more direct style will suit Utaka more so we might yet see him fire.
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03/02/2008 23:00:00

Kanu is a bench boy now, even before Baros and Defoe. He can turn a game for us but he doesn't have the effort or stamina for 90 mins. Utaka can be a great player for us, we've seen him do it but how we get it out of him regularly I don't know? I'm still going to stick by Utaka because he clearly has talent. And russ I don't think Nugent will get a chance at all after our current signings. He's had his chance.
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03/02/2008 23:00:00

i disagree whizz, i think that nuge will have a better future with defoe and even baros around, but this future wont be as bright as long as kanu is around... i like kanu, he is a fantastic footballer and if used right could be a real match winner for us, but he has to be used from the bench... i feel his presence will hamper nuge's progression as 'arry loves him so much, but hopefully now he will ove defoe and baros more, and sorry to be harsh he will be as ruthless with kanu as he has so many others and show him the door in the summer, defoe and nuge are most certainly our future and i wouldnt discount baros either...
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03/02/2008 23:22:00

Good for you guys... we were half-hoping Ivory Coast slip up, but it's not possible against Guinea right...
Lou the Gunneress
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03/02/2008 23:31:00

guinea no longer have the genius that is is 'titi camara' so i would say no im afraid Lou the Gunneress... altho tbh i would say that your need to get kolo toure back is greater than our to get kanu and utaka back... senderos has done ok tho since toure has been away hasnt he?
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03/02/2008 23:35:00

Nugent should learn from having them all around. A variety of different competition shouldn't hamper Nugent, he should just work harder. I'm still sceptical though having seen some really quality at FP in Baros and Defoe.
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03/02/2008 23:59:00

my fear is this will not help him tho, as 'arry always seemed willing to turn to kanu before nuge - granted nuge, by his own admission wasnt adjusting to the fitness of the premier league, so maybe no that he has worked on this 'arry will turn to him more than kanu? i just want the fella to be given a fair go and i think working alongside someone up front - in an extended run - he can be highly successful, he was starting to get a good thing going with benji i feel personally... all we can do is wait and see what happens i guess?
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04/02/2008 00:06:00

PompeyRug, yeah we do miss Kolo, but not as much as we thought we would. I'm not one of those Senderos doubters (quite a few among us) but I'm still pleasantly surprised how well he's been doing in Kolo's absence so far. To be honest we can out-score almost anyone (look at Ade and Eduardo, scary), and not facing really strong opponents right now, so there's less pressure at the back. Plus thankfully you guys and Spurs held the other title contenders, we're pretty happy with things at the moment. Just hoping Kolo's injury is short term and can come back in time for Milan - actually Robin van Persie too, but now our other strikers are doing well so it's less pressing. I also wish you guys good luck with getting into Europe!
Lou the Gunneress
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04/02/2008 01:35:00

Nice one Lou ! Good luck to you lot in fending off the evil ones. I see both Kanu and Utaka as benchmen. Kanu still has the touch to change a game late, and agree with many that we haven't yet seen the best of Utaka, bit if he isn't good enough to start for Nigeria, then his role is off the bench for us,namely, in replacing Papa when we need some offence. (from the only guy in N. America not watching the Super Bore right now!).
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04/02/2008 01:46:00

Can't wait to see Sulley & Diarra play together. Top 4 is still not out of the question ye know.
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04/02/2008 01:50:00

...and once the ACN is over on Feb 10th, Arry will have a whole 2 weeks to whip the troops in to shape.
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04/02/2008 01:51:00

Is Harry good with the whip? Can u imagine him in leather gear in the Rocky Horror Show?
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04/02/2008 06:12:00

.... What an awful image to think about first thing in the morning... Have you got some sort of strange fetish involving Harry & and a whip frattonaussie ;).... Mind you I like seeing him dressed up too.. In a blue tracksuit with HR on the jacket.... Anyway back to Kantdo & Utaka ..... Kanu must surely only feature as a bench player but let's not forget he only needs three more appearences of 10 minutes or so to trigger than new contract so if Harry does want him around next year we'll find out pretty quick... Utaka is disappointing so far, he's shown glimpes of what he can do, but not enough for his price tag... I think both wil struggle to get back on the bench let alone the team .... My view is that Kanu should retre gracefully and Utaka should be given another couple of games against the Prestons, Sunderlands etc,, and if he doesn't cut it get rid in the summer... as for Nuge.. games will be limited from now on but he will learn from Defoe and Baros ..it's just whether he is good enough to take it all in... I'm begining to doubt it (but I'm still hopeful)
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04/02/2008 07:14:00

i would rather not imagine that tbh - thats a nightmare waiting to happen... Toronto4Pompey, you know what altho i am not expecting anything - well not too much - i said that exact same thing to someone yesterday, they werent a pompey fan - they said 'if we'd signed jermain defoe 4th could have been ours', so i thought if they thought that with the squad that we have - when all are back - then why not... if villa are thinking that why shouldnt we?
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04/02/2008 08:32:00

If I was Mr Gaydamak, I would be far from happy with millions of pounds worth of players sitting on an elongated bench with the most expensive having not been with us for one season.
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04/02/2008 10:32:00

but wouldnt me gaydamak be even more unhappy if by picking 'the most expensive' this meant that it screwed up our season and meant we didnt get european football - something that he is said to very, very much be wanting come the end of the season...
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04/02/2008 10:43:00

Rug, I am not suggesting we pick them, I am suggesting we should not have bought them.
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04/02/2008 11:32:00

True enough Rug. The schedule is rather kinder to us as well since teams like Everton & Liverpool have Europe to keep em busy, and I'm not completely sold on Villa, but they've certainly come a long way.
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04/02/2008 14:53:00

good that we have some players back, we cant use it as much of an excuse, apart from muntarii, who is questionably (diarra) our best player. did anyone see the game? te ghana number 6 should have been sent off twice and a yellow in the space of 30 seconds. unbelievable. he studded mikel in the stomach, then punched him in the face, then dived and feigned injury enoug to be carried off of the field...
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04/02/2008 15:00:00

Well at least we have picked up some good players; Defoe, Muntari, Diarra possibly Baros and I think Nugent and Utaka will both appreciate a faster more attacking style of play and not Kanu's stand and fail to deliver approach. Aubey hasn't started so we can't really make an opinion. Mvuemba has started to show touches and we've been able to look at Songo (but he looks a bit lightweight). So its not all bad. The next 14 or so games will be competitive for places and will sort some players out so there can be some comings and goings in the summer.
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05/02/2008 09:25:00


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