Friday, February 01, 2008

A review of our transfer activity and a look ahead to tomorrow

So the dust has settled and Defoe is no longer a Spurs player. I posted my thoughts on the subject 24 hours ago when it was confirmed that Tottenham had accepted an offer and had allowed JD to talk to his old mate Harry. I am bitterly disappointed to see him go but perhaps not that surprised. What did surprise me though was the last minute nature of it all and the worrying fact that we did not have enough time to bring in a replacement.

It hasn't been confirmed how much cash Pompey had to splash, but it is no doubt a good deal for a player who (a) isn't a first team regular, and (b) only had 18 months left on his contract. There were plenty of passionate speeches from JD about how much he wanted to stay at the club, but there was also the obvious fact that he had bags of talent and wasn't getting the opportunities to showcase it.

I think a few people, the board included, were worried he might see out his contract and leave for free on a Bosman. Other websites are reporting it as "doing a Campbell" but they have obviously forgotten quite how treacherous and under-hand Judas was. Defoe is a completely different kettle of fish and I'd rather fans wish him well and stop speculating that if he'd have stayed he'd have knifed us in the back. The challenge for the board was to balance the timing - if they'd have waited until the summer and he'd have continued to play second fiddle to Keane then his value would have dropped further and he may even have got the hump and insisted on seeing out his contract. Leaving us with nothing.

As it is we have probably earned £7 million or thereabouts for him which is no bad thing. I have to respect Harry and Peter Storrie at Pompey though, as waiting until the last minute put our board in a tricky position where they had to make a quick decision balancing the risks I've just outlined. Perhaps it wasn't good business at all, but a panic move from them as I don't know how long the discussions about Benjani going to Manchester City had been going on.

Anyway, another transfer window ends. We have three new full backs and a centre back; but have said farewell to a striker and a winger, and temporary farewells to a midfielder, a full back and a centre back. Good business? I'm pretty excited about Hutton and Woody; I think Gunter will develop into a great player given time; and I think Gilberto is a solid short to medium term signing. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm just frustrated that we haven't brought in a new forward once we knew Defoe was off. As for the other departures - I don't they'll be missed too much.

Moving forward, I guess the two questions on my mind this afternoon are (1) which of our new faces will we get to see at WHL tomorrow, and (2) which side has improved/learnt the most since our meeting with ManUre last Sunday?

I suspect we'll see Hutton and Woody from the start tomorrow. I've no idea who Ramos will pick at left back (Gilberto, Gunter or Lee?) and who will partner Woody in defence (Ledders or Daws?). As for the midfield and upfront, I can't see many changes from Wednesday night.

We proved last week that we can make a game of it against ManUre and I hope that we play with a similar level of confidence and determination tomorrow - but also defend with more concentration and more solidly than we did at Old Trafford. ManUre are in a rich vein of form at present though, and with it taking some time for our new faces to gel, I expect a tough challenge tomorrow. If we were playing them in a few weeks I'd fancy us to win, but since the match is tomorrow - and I know this might sound very negative - I'll be pleased with just a point.



Anonymous said...

Dawson is suspended

Anonymous said...

did he not jsu serve a won match ban? yes is the answer to that one!

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