Papa Bouba Drop?
What does Diop offer to the Pompey side? His long shots are more of the Quashie kind than the Lampard kind, he is more guilty than most when it comes to giving the ball away and his rash challenges have been costing us recently.
I'm struggling to defend him in all honesty. Some would point out that he brings a physical presence and strength to the side when played in his rightful position but even then I think he goes down too easily at times which doesn't benefit the team at all.
I do think the fans (myself included) have been overly harsh on him recently though. He may have been rash in giving those penalties away but replays show that he didn't actually touch the ball with his hands at Anfield and he actually pulled out of his challenge on Bramble on Saturday yet the Wigan defender was happy to take the fall...
When Papa first joined Pompey he was an energetic performer who put himself about, ran from box to box and cut an imposing figure on the pitch so what's happened since then? I'd be damned if I know...
What I do know is that he shouldn't be playing on the right. He is usually completely ineffective there, doesn't get forward and doesn't work well with Glen Johnson. Playing Diop there just makes the team unbalanced but who should take his place should he get dropped?
John Utaka is inconsistent and doesn't give any defensive cover, Glen Little is constantly injured, Arnold Mvuemba isn't very effective there, Jerome Thomas may not be good enough and Niko Kranjcar is unproven there.
It's a shame that Tony Adams can't roll back the years and bring back Steve Stone because we haven't had a quality authentic winger since he left Fratton Park in 2005. It's a key problem to solve so I hope Tony Adams has a few targets in mind when January arrives.
As for Diop, the Pompey manager has said he'll stand by him so it looks like he'll play at Sunderland. I personally think he should be dropped and we should risk Utaka on the right. Either that or perhaps play a diamond midfield and drop Armand Traore who hasn't been impressing me much recently either.
Here's hoping Adams gets it right but perhaps more importantly, gets some luck!