King Kanu

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 30 October 2006
The Pompey fans were in outrage when Kanu was linked to the club in August and that outrage turned to disappointment and disbelief as he was snapped up as a free agent after being relegated with West Brom last year.

The cries of "useless!", "past-it!" and "Waste of space!" were coming from the Fratton Faithful with even the most optimistic Pompey fan thinking he would be a squad player that would fade into the wilderness come January which would mean his release. He was not the high-profile, expensive, ambitious signing we were hoping for and it looked like poor Kanu was going to become a boo-boy before he had even kicked a ball.

So now, I ask "how do your toes taste?" as the majority of Pompey fans will still have their feet firmly rammed down their throat after 7 goals in 10 games means Kanu is currently the Premier League's top hitman. He could have had more too if not for a penalty miss denying him a hat-trick on the opening day as well as Gunnarsson obliging to stick the ball in the net for the tall Nigerian in our most recent game.

Kanu managed to score only 7 goals for West Brom in 54 appearances for the Baggies. He has managed the same number in just 10 for Portsmouth and no doubt there'll be more to come from the imposing African. To say that his goalscoring exploits have surprised virtually everyone involved in football would be an understatement.

Perhaps more surprising is the manner in which he has notched the goals for Pompey. During his time with Arsenal and West Brom I cannot remember Kanu scoring a single goal with his head. The majority of his goals came from a sublime piece of skill followed by a neat finish but with Pompey 5 out of 7 of his goals have been scored with his head.

Blackburn, West Ham, Tottenham and Reading have all fallen victim to the trademark Kanu header so far and it's all down to Tony Adams who has not only got our defence organised, but has also taught Kanu how to head the ball.

Kanu possesses more than just an aerial threat too. His two goals against Middlesbrough proved that he can poach as well as beat defenders on the break despite not having too much pace. He can hold the ball up and pose allsorts of problems for the defence when he puts his mind to it.

The most amazing thing about Kanu is that he cost us absolutely nothing in transfer fees.

Andy Johnson and Nicholas Anelka were two players that we were after in the summer. Johnson cost Everton £8.5 million and you can bet that he's on a higher wage than Kanu yet the Pompey man has scored more than Johnson. Anelka was heavily linked to Fratton Park in the summer but in the end Bolton snapped him up for £9 million. How funny it is that Anelka is yet to find the net in the Premiership whilst Kanu is outscoring such superstars as Thierry Henry and Andriy Shevchenko whose market values must be at least £30 million.

I said in a previous article that we all know that Kanu is not going to get us 15 goals a season and that Harry would find us a striker that could. I'm sure Harry is now thinking that he won't have to splash out millions of pounds on a striker after Kanu's exploits so far and there's no reason why the goals can't keep coming for our number 27.

Harry and Tony should be given a lot of credit for getting more than the best out of a player thought to be useless. They have given a genius a new lease of life by giving him plenty of confidence, a new way of scoring and by playing him in a team that enables him to play to his strengths as Benjani and the midfield can feed the ball to his feet or Taylor or O'Neil can put the ball on his head for a scoring oppurtunity.

And whilst Kanu continues to be the signing of the season by a distance, the rest of us will be getting our knives and forks out for another helping of humble pie.

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Tue 17th October 19:45

Doncaster Rovers - - - Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


Trending on the boards