Sol Being Sold?

Last updated : 28 July 2007 By Jim Bonner
Peter Storrie and Harry Redknapp have held talks with Sol Campbell to "clear the air" after some of his comments in the media were taken out of context.

Campbell told the press that he doesn't think Portsmouth will be his last club and that has been taken out of context by some who believe that Campbell wants to move from the club now, with Villareal tracking his situation.

I personally think that Storrie and Redknapp are actually trying to persuade him to stay beyond next year as his contract expires at the end of the season. Harry had already made him captain of the side when we were playing in Hong Kong though whether the move is permanent or not I'm not sure (the official site still lists Stefanovic as captain).

Some of Sol's other comments might also have been taken out of context as some people believe that he has given the impression that he will leave if Pompey fail to bring in a couple more players.

But are statements such as "I still feel we need a couple more players in certain positions to really challenge and move in the right direction" really hints that he wants to leave? All that says to me is that he is echoing the thoughts of Harry Redknapp who also believes that we need to sign a player or two to achieve big things this season.

Sol also said "It might not be for us now, but for the future of the club, getting a new training ground and stadium is a big thing as well. That has to go through for us to get into the 21st century really."

That says to me that he cares about the direction the club is going in and that he wants a bright future for Portsmouth FC because our ancient ground and prehistoric training facilities will deter quality players from the club and we'll get left behind the other Premiership clubs eventually, especially when we lose Harry Redknapp's persuasive voice.

Now if Sol does leave and claims that we weren't doing enough to show our ambition, then I'll hold my hands up for being naive but I believe that Sol wants to progress further and taste success at Pompey as he did at Arsenal and he, like many others, feels that we still need to strengthen to do so.

As for his first comment about not finishing his career at Pompey, that doesn't necessarily mean he will leave after his contract expires. He might end up playing until he's 38, that's over 5 years yet!

If Gary O'Neil had made the same comments would we be questioning his immediate future and commitment to the club? I doubt it very much, unless the media put their usual spin on things to work people up when there's nothing to be worked up about.

Whatever happens, Harry has said that there's no way that Sol is being sold and so it's up to him and Storrie to persuade him to sign a new contract next year. If he does decide to leave for pastures new then we can thank him and move on but if we let him go this season then we can kiss our UEFA Cup ambitions goodbye.

....but I'm sure that he'll stay.