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Portsmouth and their Squad

7:56 am
current portsmouth playing squad, THBN

As you can see from the above image (taken just now from the Portsmouth FC website), Pompey won't have any problems naming their 25-man squad.

Tal Ben Haim is also on the list, which is strange, seeing as he left the club after they got relegated.


Enough about them. Who will Harry include in our 25-man squad? Players up to the age of 21 don't count and Harry has to name 8 "Homegrown" players (players who have spent at least 3 seasons in the English or Welsh league systems).

September 1st looms and yet no signings to speak of.

Maybe it's true that we really are waiting for City to finish their spending spree before making a move?

Source: COYS

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Portsmouth and their Squad Portsmouth and their Squad Reviewed by PoshSpur on 7:56 am Rating: 5

Managers Delight

It looks like we're back to talking about Rafa Benitez losing his job. Liverpool are out of the Champion's League and the world is about to go into meltdown. However, the Kopites don't see it like that and neither do I.

After hearing that Portsmouth had sacked (or removed) Paul Hart from the managers chair, I couldn't help but feel that the majority of Chairman seem to be as fickle as the rest of us. Fair enough, we all know that football has evolved into a business, wherein shareholders need to be kept happy, but where has the loyalty gone?

True Liverpool fans may not be happy with their current lot, but at least they're realists. Portsmouth, on the other hand, have decided to replace Hart. Let's remember that it was Hart that saved them from relegation last season.

After saving the club, Hart was given a new contract and basket of fruit in which to purchase players. The man worked with what he had. He brought in a few players that could not and would not cut the mustard, but then again, Hart worked with what was given to him.

Now here comes the part when all of us pretend to be little fickle bunnies.

Why did Hart not have the funds to bring in the players he wanted? I think we shouldn't be looking over at the manager in answer to this question. Maybe we should be casting our head over at the mishaps of the board.

Whether it was a self proclaimed doctor that was penniless, a Prince from Saudi Arabia that no one had heard of (including the Saudi Royal Family), or the alleged tax evading Storrie, the buck always seems to stop right at the managers door.

I also blame a lot of the Portsmouth faithful for the sacking of Hart. If they had the voice of the Kop, I believe Hart would still be in a job. Instead of calling for the heads of the board members that have truly taken the club down this dark path, many, called for Hart to be replaced.


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Managers Delight Managers Delight Reviewed by Frank Spencer on 2:16 pm Rating: 5

Harry's not to blame

I recently had a chat with Hank, a mate of mine that's a Portsmouth season-ticket holder. He's come along to The Lane a few times and you could say that he know's his football pretty well. The only downer is that he and a lot more Pompey fans blame Harry for their current plight. Now, call me stupid, but how is Harry to blame?

Last I saw, Harry took Portsmouth into Europe and transformed them into a respectable Premier League side. I'm not saying that all Portsmouth fans want to vomit at the sound of Harry Redknapp's name, far from it, but the few that I know, want nothing to do with the man that brought them the F.A. Cup.

It's at this point where the cliché of the common football fan being fickle comes to mind. The majority of us, whether it's Torquay or Tottenham fans, are fickle by nature and maybe it's the fickle ingredient within our game which adds to the spice. Nevertheless, some fans do go overboard.

Portsmouth, at the moment, are a debacle. As Spurs fans, we know a mess when we see one. We've suffered enough torment over the years to know a "mish mash" when we see one and make no mistake about it, Pompey are in one now.

Who's to blame? Surely their Chief Executive, Peter Storrie has to take some, if not the bulk of it on board? Then we have Sacha Gaydamak, a wealthy man that stems from a wealthier family. He though, lost interest in the club after seeing how much money it would take to make his club a force. Faced with a top capacity crowd of just over 20,000, a training ground that even cockroaches would have trouble with and spiralling wages, Gaydamak decided to shut up shop and ceased investing anymore of his cash into the club.

Up steps Sulaiman Al-Fahim, a self proclaimed Doctor (of Real Estate apparently). He was the guy that made us all laugh when he was involved in the City takeover. Talk of "we'll buy Ronaldo, Kaka and anyone we want" immediately set alarm bells off. After a brief love affair with Manchester City, he realised just how much he loved it in England and so bought Portsmouth. I say buy, but no money actually changed hands between Gaydamak and the Doctor. He simply took on the debt. Realising that he didn't have a pot to piss in, sold the club onto Ali Al-Faraj.

What was the one constant in all of this? Peter Storrie. He presided over the Gaydamak, Al-Fahim and is now set to embark on the Al-Faraj reign. We'll just have to see whether the new owner has any clout or not.

I think you get the picture though; Harry built up a team from nothing, yet fans bemoan his spending spree. When the likes of Diarra, Johnson, Defoe, Crouch and Distin were being ushered into the club, I didn't hear any "protect the clubs balance sheet" chants from the Pompey faithful. Instead, what we did hear, was Harry talking up his players and encouraging them to push on.

When a manager is given money to spend in an attempt to take his club on to higher levels, he will (unless he's Arsène Wenger). Harry asked his Chief Executive (Peter Storrie) to get him certain players. Storrie went out and got them. Peter Storrie was the one who brought the players in and escalated the wage bill into oblivion, not Harry.

All this talk about Harry needing ex-SAS bodyguards when he returns to Fratton Park is really beginning to wind me up. Peter Storrie should take a long hard look at his actions over the past few seasons and Portsmouth fans should also lay off Harry and take a long hard look at the real culprits.
Harry's not to blame Harry's not to blame Reviewed by Frank Spencer on 3:18 pm Rating: 5

Who's Harry about to buy?

11:57 am
Our great win against the Brum was truly marred by The Modfather's leg fracturing and Ledley suffering a groin injury.

I suppose the one bit of good news is that Woody came through his first training session on Friday. I'm not sure how long he'll still be out for though, but seeing as we don't play for two weeks, he could be fit in time for our biggest test yet, Manchester United at home, although I don't think he'll be match-fit.

I hope we'll get to hear how long Luka will be out for and of course, we send him our regards.

As regards Ledder's, it all depends on what he's done to his groin. If he's torn it, then we could be looking at 4-6 weeks. A tweak can take him out for up to 3 weeks, as can a pulled groin. Either way, I can't see him being back for Man U game.

I was at the Lane on Saturday and saw that Charlie clearly isn't a centre-half. He's a very good full-back, but that's the extent of his game. He just didn't look at all comfortable, especially when being pressured.

So then, what do we do? I'm sure Harry will be looking to bring someone in. Maybe Sgt. Wilson's mate, Ozzie Chavez, can be brought in on a short-term deal?

As regards our goal keeping position, I think Harry's not too pleased with either Carlo or Gomes and may look to bring in James. I don't think James is the answer, but Harry knows him and so make take the plunge.

In relation to signing a left winger to replace Modric, I've got a feeling Keano will be filling that spot until Luka returns, with Crouch and Defoe playing up front. After all, Robbie slotted into that position fairly okay in Luka's absence.

Whist at The Lane on Saturday, I had a great conversion with a guy named Tony. He obviously knew his football and said that "Harry won't be in for that Dutch Real player (Van der Vaart) as Harry prefers to play two central holding midfielders with the other two midfielders being very attack minded.

I agreed with Tony. Azza is a right winger and The Modfather plays on the left but is given the freedom to do as he wishes. Even though I would love to see the likes of Van der Vaart at White Hart Lane, but what would happen when Luka returned to action? We would either have an unhappy Croatian or Dutchman.

If Harry is looking to bring in James, I would ask that Portsmouth take Cudicini as part of the deal. I would then try my damn hardest to sign another midfield enforcer. Unfortunately, both Sandro and Sissoko are unavailable.

I do believe that we need a short-term solution at centre-half, although that's way easier said then done.

Whatever happens, I think there will be some movement before the window closes.

Niko Kranjčar anyone?

Who's Harry about to buy? Who's Harry about to buy? Reviewed by PoshSpur on 11:57 am Rating: 5

The Prince & The Pauper

2:56 pm
According to the Mirror, Harry is about to sell Kevin Prince Boateng to Pompey and will also ship out Jamie O'Hara on loan to to them until January.

The the £4 million fee quoted for Boateng seems a bit high as he's hardly kicked a ball for us. If memory serves me right, we bought the lad for £4.5 million. This signing was just one of the many magic moments in Comolli's wonderful career at White Hart Lane.

Now, I can't quite get my head around Harry letting O'Hara leave, even if it is on loan until January? We need a squad and a strong one at that. Watching Liverpool this season proves just how important a decent squad can prove to be.

Harry summed Jamie up by saying that he is a down to earth lad and a proper professional. Well Harry, isn't it this calibre of player we should be hanging on to, even if they complain about not playing regularly?

If he does go, I can see us missing him, unless of course, Harry pulls the rabbit out of the hat in signing Kevin Anin or another midfielder.
The Prince & The Pauper The Prince & The Pauper Reviewed by PoshSpur on 2:56 pm Rating: 5

Mental Toughness

1:30 pm
In our game against Liverpool, we showed a mental toughness with Sgt. Wilson and Huddlestone bossing the middle of the park.

When Harry first joined, I remember him talking about our "mental toughness" and how important it was to winning matches.

Harry brought Joe Jordan and that proved to be a masterstroke. A lot of the praise headed up Redknapp Drive at the time, but I'm pretty sure that Jordan must have had a piece to play in the way our fortunes turned around.

I remember watching Joe Jordan in action when he was playing for Milan in the early eighties. They were playing Lazio away in the league and were 2-1 down. He came on for the second half. Milan won the game 2-4. After that game, everyone sat up and took notice of Joe and not because he had his teeth missing. If I've ever seen a player take his team by the scruff of the neck, it was in this game.

I remember the Milan captain, Maldera, asking Jordan to calm down after he screamed his team mates to get on with taking a free-kick. Joe was so annoyed with the pace of the Italian game and it made him mad when his team mates took their time. In the Lazio game, Milan midfielder, Ruben Buriani took his time trying to place the ball the way he wanted it, so Jordan rushed up to him, pulled him away from the ball by the scruff of his neck and took it himself. The fiery Scotsman still burns inside the hearts of the Rossoneri.

If we are to win tonight against Hull, we need to be mentally strong. If we can muster up even an ounce of Joe Jordan's spirit, we'll be okay, not only in this match, but for the remaining fixtures.

Harry is still on the look out for some more players, but they've got to be mentally strong. He spoke well of Pompey's Niko Kranjčar. It's been well reported that Portsmouth need to sell a couple more players, so maybe Harry will take the plunge on Niko, after all, he loves Croatians.

If it was up to me, I'd go all out for Sissoko. He's strong both physically and mentally, but unfortunately costs more than Jordan's two front teeth.
Mental Toughness Mental Toughness Reviewed by PoshSpur on 1:30 pm Rating: 5

Left Wingers Ltd

7:43 am
It looks as though Stoke are the "unnamed Premier League club" that have tabled an offer for Newcastle's Damien Duff.

That's the best bit of news I've heard all week! As far as I'm concerned, Stoke are welcome to him. He's lost his pace, heart and let's face it, we don't want another injury-prone player at the Lane.

Nadir Belhadj has also hinted that he'll be interested in moving to us. Pompey's attacking full-back/winger would like to work with Harry again.

Belhadj is an interesting player. He must be the only full-back I've ever seen that simply doesn't know how to defend. If he could do a job for us as left winger, then I think he'd be a good signing, although I couldn't see him getting into the team to often.

Harry does like to have large squads and it's this reason that I'm quite confident that we'll see another signing before the window closes.
Left Wingers Ltd Left Wingers Ltd Reviewed by PoshSpur on 7:43 am Rating: 5
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