Just What We Need...

Last updated : 27 September 2005 By Keith Allman

When you're a club who has only scored five goals all season it's pretty important that you keep your best attacking threats fit and ready so that eventually they can start tucking the chances away. Although you'd never describe him as "prolific" LuaLua is certainly a useful man to have in the team as the opposition never know what he's going to do and he can always create something; his absence was fairly noticeable at Bolton on Saturday with a shoulder injury and a virus which the club believed to be flu.

But it just gets worse as the DR Congo striker collapsed on the training pitch and had to be rushed to hospital, only to be placed in an isolation ward and be told that he's suffering from malaria - presumably picked up on his recent jaunt representing his country against the Cape Verde Islands. Oddly enough this isn't the first time a Pompey striker has been struck down as Yakubu suffered the same fate twice after contracting the disease in 2003, although it is believed LuaLua's condition is far more serious although not life-threatening.

And to think there was a time when damaged cruciate ligaments were the injury of choice for Portsmouth strikers - now seemingly malaria is the way forward.

The gauntlet has been well and truly thrown down to those who remain who will have to do without the creativity of Lua and, due to the conditions of his loan deal, Robert this Saturday. So who have we got left then?

Silva - a good player who hasn't quite shown it yet. Still to score and seemingly suffering from playing on his own up front
Karadas - the fan's favourite for abuse, although he's not doing too bad in his sub appearances recently and at least gives the aforementioned Uruguayan something to feed on
Mbesuma - the club are still reluctant to play him whilst he adjusts to the English game, but they may not now have a choice - at least he's shown he knows where the back of the net is
Todorov - has looked miles off the pace in his (admittedly brief) appearances but again, knows how to score a goal

With Mornar injured (again) and Keene and Pericard on loan, presumably it'll be Silva and Karadas up front on Saturday then, but the midfield is going to have to help out too if we want to get anything off Newcastle. Make no bones about it that this is a massive blow, despite Lua's recent tendencies to hog the ball even more than he used to, but there's no point in feeling sorry for ourselves - it's time to get some goals and points on the board and for our other players to prove that we're not a one man team.