Ashdown And Rocha Released
By Jim Bonner
Updated Monday, 21st May 2012
Benjani also shown the exit door.
The Pompey axe continues to swing as Jamie Ashdown, Ricardo Rocha and Benjani will all not be offered new contracts at Portsmouth Football Club.
I can completely understand why Benjani has gone. Sentimentality brought him back to Fratton Park but his return was a disaster, having only scored one goal with his 34-year-old legs just not up to the rigours of English football any more.
However, i find the decision to release our only goalkeeper and an internationally experienced defender slightly puzzling.
Michael Appleton stated on the official site that the decision was partly down to financial reasons so I suppose that will be the main reason they are gone, but couldn't a new deal be negotiated?
I'll be the first to admit that Ashdown had completely changed my opinion of him when he was forced into the side after Stephen Henderson's departure.
A string of outstanding saves and what seemed like an improved ability to command his box in his last outings made me believe that he would be an asset in League One, so it's a shame to see him go.
And whilst Rocha is now a veteran at 34, his cultured way of defending would surely have seen him stand out in the third tier? Perhaps Appy is expecting that his lack of pace would be exposed and lack of height would see many long balls get the better of him?
The Portsmouth squad currently stands at 16 players and that includes the likes of Ward, Lawrence, Huseklepp and Halford who will surely be sold as well as Kanu and Tal Ben-Haim who need to be off the wage bill.
Appy says that there are a few players actually close to arriving at Portsmouth. I hope he's right, otherwise the Football League will kick us out not because of the ownership issues but simply because we'll have no players left!
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