Greek Tragedy?

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 07 April 2009
If there is one thing about Paul Hart's tenure in charge of Pompey that gets my goat it's his stubborn attitude towards the Greek players at the club.

Angelos Basinas has impressed when he's been allowed to play but since he was subbed a below-par performance at Stoke he hasn't played a single minute of football after making way for Hayden Mullins.

The situation is even worse for Theofanis Gekas who has once again voiced his displeasure at being at Portsmouth having not pulled on the royal blue shirt since signing for Tony Adams in January.

As much as Mullins puts in a shift I haven't been overly impressed with his performances because he looks nothing more than an average player. From Basinas' short spell at the club he looks sharp in the tackle, has a better pass ratio than Mullins and can take a good set-piece.

It's pretty clear to me that Basinas is a better player than Mullins and it seems that most Pompey fans agree. However, we're not the manager and we don't see what Paul Hart sees in training.

Perhaps Basinas has a bad attitude? I have it on good authority that Jermaine Pennant didn't play at Hull on Saturday because was out on the lash the night before so it's clear that Hart doesn't play anyone who isn't totally committed to the cause.

But Basinas strikes me as someone who will always give 100% and I'm struggling to understand why Hart chooses to leave him out given our weakness in midfield.

I think there has to be something going on if Richard Hughes can get into the team ahead of a Greek international midfielder with experience of winning a major international tournament (and that's no disrespect to Hughes).

Gekas' situation is slightly different since Hart changed the formation and decided to play one up front. Peter Crouch is rightfully the first choice striker but the thing that worries me is that a striker of Gekas' reputation cannot even make the bench.

It is frustrating to see that John Utaka was picked as a substitute at Hull whilst Gekas missed out like he has done in previous games. The Greek is chomping at the bit to get on the pitch just to show us what he can do so I can understand his frustration when players like Utaka are getting on the bench ahead of him.

But I reiterate, I'm not the manager and Paul Hart has obviously seen something that he doesn't like. Perhaps we are simply too keen to see a player who has a big reputation and that is stopping us looking at the bigger picture. Remember how eager we were to see Collins Mbesuma?

Hart has a good record and the bottom line is that he knows better than we do and has currently got the results to back his decisions. In my fanboy wisdom I'd like to see Basinas in the starting eleven and Gekas on the bench.

But Paul Hart and Brian Kidd know best....

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Tue 13th February 19:45

Portsmouth 1 - 2 Blackburn Rovers

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