Thursday Night Thoughts

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 16 November 2006
There hasn't been much to talk about regarding Pompey recently. So when I haven't been doing Uni work this week I've been thinking about a few things about the current Pompey squad that I thought I'd let the whole world (or just the online Portsmouth supporting public) know about my thoughts.

I'll start with the current state of the England squad. I watched their friendly against Holland on Wednesday and shrugged as our national side (for most of us) conceded a late goal that our opponents never really deserved. You could see that John Terry and Rio Ferdinand weren't impressed with Paul Robinson's reluctance to claim the ball, and I'm pretty sure if David James was there, he would have claimed it or at least punched it out. So why hasn't he been called up to the squad?

I've always said Robinson and Kirkland, although both decent 'keepers, are over-rated and I'd certainly have James in my team ahead of those two. I know that McClaren is trying to promote youth in the team to build a promising future for the national side but what about the present? James hasn't even been considered by the manager as direct competition for Robinson's place.

Also, it really winds me up to see players like Kieran Richardson come off the bench yet Matty Taylor and Gary O'Neil do not get a sniff at the first team. Could it possibly be because Richardson plays for Man United and Matty and Gario play for an unfashionable club like Portsmouth? Surely not...

David Thompson has recently vented his frustration at not getting into the first team now he is fully fit. I do have a bit of sympathy for him as whenever I have seen him in a Pompey shirt this season he has not disappointed me and he had a great game away to Boro. If O'Neil is any sort of doubt for the game on Saturday then I'd like to see Thommo play the full 90 minutes. His tenacity would be useful against a physical side such as Watford but more importantly he would give us some width on the right, something we really do lack and we all know how much Harry loves his wide men don't we?

Speaking of width, what on earth has happened to Rodolphe Douala? I know he got injured but I assume he's fully fit now. He hasn't even made our bench for quite a while. Same could be said for Manuel Fernandes, what has happened to him? He was supposed to be our new shining star yet he didn't make the bench last Saturday either. Kranjcar too, he hasn't had much of a chance to show what he can do. Is Harry likely to give these players a chance or will he stick with the tried and tested?

The same could be said about our players on loan at the moment. It looks like Richard Duffy will be extending his stay at glorious Coventry. Is he ever going to return here and get a chance in the first team with the way our squad is depleted at right back? My initial answer would be "no" as if he was that highly thought of, he would be back here and in the squad in case Pamarot suffers another injury.

The reality is that even if Pamarot were to be injured, Harry would rather recall Griffin than Duffy and that must say something surely? After all don't forget that it was Harry that signed Duffy in the first place. Not Zajec. Not Perrin. I wouldn't be surprised if he left for Coventry for good in January. Would I be bothered? Not really. I haven't been majorly impressed with his performances for club or country that I have seen and although he looked good in the reserves, so did Ivica Mornar.

That just about ends my ramblings for tonight. Though I do express my sympathy to poor old Paddy Kenny. I mean one of your best friends is bad enough but two!? And now you only have one eyebrow, a messy divorce in the upcoming future and now you have to deal with Neil Warnock ranting at you all weekend!

And there was me thinking I had it bad because I have to write 1,500 word essays for University every week.... unlucky Paddy!

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