The Benji debacle
For me at least, having 2 teenagers, I need to have role models in my kids lives - like Rug I was born in Leigh Park and managed with a following wind to make something of my life.
We work hard and are proud of our kids. They are good kids, honest kids - but it's hard to keep them that way when they are exposed to media full of bad morals and poor role models.
Take Benjani for example, my kids love him [Matty, Linvoy, Pamarot, Mendes, Davies, James too] It's not just the smiles or his demeanour, the guy seems to represent values that this country has largely forgotten. The refs seem to think so too - didn't I read that he had/has the best foul to booking ratio in the Prem? i.e. the most fouls conceded for the least number of bookings? He exudes charm, passion, fairness - such that even the refs don't see him as cynical - if he fouls it's because he mistimed his tackle…
Benjani is one of those rare players that lives and dies by the ethics of his performance rather than relying on the water tightness of his contract.
Reading between the lines, it would seem that Benjani, who managed to find his way from poverty stricken Zimbabwe to Auxerre and then Pompey, couldn't find his way to Manchester, despite it being a simple three hour drive up the M6. According to Harry, Benji had known about the need to be in Manchester the night before. 24 hours notice!
Truth be known, he was victim of a transfer he didn't want any part of - and according to the Manchester press, Man City pulled out at the last minute having sensed this. [Regarding the missed flights, if it was so damned important why didn't someone drive him there?]
What of Redknapp and Storrie in all this? A week earlier Benji wasn`t going anywhere according to Harry. Yet, and this is what pisses me off, it's left to the gutter press to announce to us loyal, 'money where our mouths are' fans that Benji is off to Man City. On what basis did the management at PFC act this way? Why were they not more transparent? After all surely it's in PFC's interest that the whole world knows Benji is available rather than just Man City - who incidentally we still have to play away. Sell your best Striker to a UEFA Cup competitor - how does that work?
Three days earlier we were all over the moon at the thought of a Baros and Benjani front line. Then it all changes - at the drop of a hat - now we have Baros and Defoe, and like others I am still pinching myself, but we have no Benjani - and even if he is still our player, then who knows where his mind will be. It certainly wasn't in Manchester was it?
I appreciate I may be unpopular for saying this, but I want Pompey to clean up their act. There is no smoke without fire - Harry's reputation for this, that and the rest may largely be unfounded, but he does himself no favours.
Man City were quoted on Thursday as saying that they would not be pushed into doing something that was not in their interest, suggesting that Pompey were guilty of manipulating the situation.
As it turned out, the whole transfer was a debacle. Why on earth was Harry sitting in the middle of an £18m - £20m game of chance 5 minutes before the close of the transfer window?
Sometimes I think Harry takes us all for mugs - and as much as I love the guy, it can all get a little but too much. Please let's get back to the football - it's not win at all costs. It may be for you Harry, but for most of the players and for most of the fans, of which without us you'd be nothing, there is more to the game than having one over the opposition every chance you get. Written by ChrisW
.The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.