Friday Thoughts

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 16 November 2007
It's the end of the week, there's no domestic football to talk about so here are my thoughts on some of the biggest issues regarding Pompey and England.

Linvoy has had surgery in the US to help solve his knee problem once and for all. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Steadman who is probably the most famous surgeon in the world, and he says that the op was a huge success.

Losing Linvoy is going to be a big blow for both Pompey and the player himself. Even if he was fit, he'd have found it hard enough to break into the first team with Distin and Campbell performing so well but with his injury he's really going to find it difficult to play the 20 games this season to earn his extension.

But then Primus is a player who has overturned the odds time and time again, and once he fully recovers from his operation then I'm sure he will be knocking on the door to the first team once again.

If Linvoy doesn't play the 20 games, then I'd hope that he'd be asked to stay at Pompey anyway. There's no player in the game that I respect more than Linvoy Primus and it will be a shame if he isn't deemed good enough to finish his career at Fratton Park.

To the paper talk now and Harry Redknapp has ruled out making a bid for Andres D'Alessandro because he'd find it difficult to accommodate him in our current system.

I can see where he is coming from as we don't need him on the left with Kranjcar playing so well and Taylor as a replacement. He'd be far too weak to slot into our powerhouse of a midfield and I'm not sure if he'd be too effective on the right.

Harry says that the Argentine's best position is behind the front two and whilst I disagree with him that the position doesn't work in this country (Elano seems to be doing a good job of it), I think it would be stupid to change our system just to accommodate one player, no matter how good he was for us two seasons back.

What we do need is at least one more striker (depending on David Nugent's future) and a right midfielder with John Utaka off for the ANC and possibly injured for next week. I don't rate Benjani in the right wing position so I'd like to see us bring in another right-sided midfielder.

Mallorca winger Jonas Gutierrez has been linked with a £7 million move to Fratton Park but Harry says that the price is too high for him despite his liking for the Argentinean midfielder.

My final thought is about England's qualification hopes for Euro 2008, and judgement day is now just around the corner.

Whilst everyone seems to be pinning their hopes on Israel getting a result against Russia on Saturday, they seem to be forgetting that Croatia aren't qualified yet.

If my understanding of the qualification rules are correct, then should Croatia lose in Macedonia tomorrow then qualification is back in our hands. I know it's unlikely but should it happen then we will qualify at Croatia's expense if we beat them by three clear goals or by two goals if we score more than two at Wembley (3-1, 4-2, 5-3 etc.).

It's a long shot, and I will be the first to admit that if results did go our way on Saturday and we did qualify, then we would have got out of jail big time. If we fail, then McClaren is out of a job and even if we do qualify, I'd suggest getting in someone who won't ensure that we're knocked out in the group stages next year.

Still, at least it makes the international scene a little more exciting...

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