Tuesday, September 05, 2006


It will be no surprise to people that I am still struggling. I have only been to two days of classes out of a possible eight days. Probably now is the time to get help. Soon

Everybody loves an underdog. The team or person who seem inferiorly weaker on paper but happens to upstage the favourite is always well liked, because they don't rely on skill or strength or money but heart and courage. It appeals to most people because we are like that, not all of us are blessed with gifts or favours.

Two teams that have started the Premier League well are Portsmouth and Everton. And yes, I will be reviewing them now...

I am not a big fan of Harry Redknapp. He's not a big developer of youth. People said he played young players at West Ham United but he was forced to rely on the youth system because he had no finances. So no young players go through at Portsmouth (he was at Southampton for far too short a time to evaluate).

But he has had marvelous results at West Ham United and Portsmouth, despite having to buy bargain players plus free agents. He managed to keep Portsmouth and West Ham United in the Premier League despite being on the budget. Yet this season he has Russian mafia money to spend thanks to new investment (can't remember who the new owner is). Yet he has had trouble attracting good players to Portsmouth. It is the same predicament with Wigan, Bolton and Reading - despite being in the Premier League and having money to spend, the lack of pedigree and glamour around the club has failed to appeal to players. He has attracted some players but I think they won't improve that much.

Positional review

GK: David James, Dean Kiely, Jamie Ashdown

I didn't understand why Redknapp bought James when he had a better keeper in Kiely. James is dominant in the air and he is more prone to mistakes than any other keeper in the Premier League. It may cost Portsmouth points in the long run.

RB: Glen Johnson, Noe Pamarot (Linvoy Primus, Adrian Griffin)

I think signing Johnson was marvellous for Redknapp. I hate using the word 'potential' in football (it usually means they are young but not very good) but Johnson does have that. He has drive and the skill to become the next England right back but he needs discipline.

LB: Matthew Taylor, Adrian Griffin

Not a major department to invest in but getting Matthew Taylor to stay was the best part.

CB: Defan Stefanovic, Linvoy Primus, Sol Campbell, Andy O'Brien, Richard Duffy

Probably the world's oldest centre back pairing. Not investing or playing younger players will be very detrimental in the long run.

RM: Gary O'Neil, Roudolphe Douala

At least Harry Redknapp has bought what he need in Douala but I don't know about the quality of this player. O'Neil is great but he is better in central midfield.

LM: Ognjen Koroman

Another area Redknapp has invested in but maybe needs a back-up.

CM: Sean Davis, Pedro Mendes, David Thompson, Richard Hughes, Manuel Fernandes, Niko Kranjcar, Franck Songo'o (Gary O'Neil)

Lots of players in this position, so Redknapp won't have trouble picking players. Best player he invested in was Kranjcar, who performed admirably for Croatia at the World Cup.

FW: Andy Cole, Kanu, Lomana Lualua, Benjani Mwaruwari, Ivica Mornar

Following his own tradition, Redknapp has bought in Cole and Kanu - talented but elderly. They are great players but probably Redknapp should be investing in the future and not the present.

Portsmouth will improve slightly but depends if they want to invest in the present or for the future.

Now going to Everton, who have done very well in the transfer market. They may have paid a lot of money (Perhaps too much) but they have bought well and what they need. I think they have been going yo-yo in the past few years but they need stability now.

GK: Tim Howard, Richard Wright, Iain Turner

Getting Howard in must mean Wright probably will be going soon. I thought Wright would get the primary position but it seems Moyes is looking for a replacement.

RB: Tony Hibbert (Phillip Neville)

No need to invest here but maybe requires an secondary right-back

LB: Nuno Valente, Gary Naysmith, Alessandro Pistone (Phillip Neville)

Another area not needing investing but probably one player needs to go - probably Pistone.

CB: David Weir, Joleon Lescott, Joseph Yobo, Alan Stubbs

Lescott is a great signing, investing on youth and quality. Having Weir and Stubbs will help his development.

RM: Leon Osman, Simon Davies

Another area not needing investment.

LM: Andy van der Meyde (James McFadden)

Probably the worst transfer to happen to Everton was letting Kevin Kilbane, due to his quality plus his deputy is not that fit. It may mean McFadden will be playing more than usual.

CM: Phillip Neville, Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill, Lee Carsley

Another area not needing investment but Lee Carsley probably will go at the end of the season.

FW: James Beattie, Andrew Johnson, James McFadden

Probably won't need another forward, with two good youths coming through, but having Beattie and Johnson will be a good partnership.

Just getting what they needed was what Everton needed to do. Keeping the same nucleus is ideal and I think Everton will improve. They will win either one cup or finish top eight.

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