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[Archived] Portsmouth 2-2 Rovers

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Saturday the 8th April sees the mighty Rovers travel south to Fratton Park, home of ‘Arry Redknapp’s Portsmouth. Pompey have had several decent results in recent weeks with victories over Man City, West Ham and Fulham, and with the return to form of Lomana Lua-Lua and Birmingham seemingly on a downward spiral, Portsmouth will be looking to continue their run of form, toward escaping relegation, against us.

As part of this preview I thought I’d take a quick look through the wheeling-dealing career of “Dodgy ‘Arry”™, charting the highs, the lows, and the bloody awfuls.

We’ll start at the top…

Paolo Di Canio, signed by that man Harry in January 1999 from Sheffield Wednesday for £1.7m – the mercurial Italian will always be remembered for shoving a referee, winning the Fair Play Award for catching the ball (maybe Robbie Savage should try that one?), and ‘that’ volley against Manchester United. ‘Arry’s man management seemed to get the best out of him and he finished his career at West Ham (by which time ‘Arry had left) with stats of 48 goals in 117 appearances.

Matty “Batty” Taylor, signed early on in Harry’s time at Portsmouth for £400,000 from Luton Town. A quality left wing back with an eye for a goal, his performances recently caught the eye of Fulham who offered £2.25m for the guy; however they opted for Wayne Bridge, who was ironically at fault for Portsmouth’s first goal on Saturday. A real team player, what Graeme Sounness might call, “a man’s man”.

Yakubu raised a few eyebrows when Harry signed him from Maccabi Haifa in 2003, but he repaid the faith with some scintillating displays and a goal return of almost 1 every 2 games. Although the transfer fee was undisclosed, it was certainly considerably less than the £7.5m than Middlesbrough forked out for him at the beginning of the season.

Other goodies: Teddy Sheringham, Lomano Lua-Lua, Amdy Faye, John Hartson, Trevor Sinclair, Freddie Kanoute, Jermaine Defoe, Paolo Wanchope, Dejan Stefanovic, Paul Merson, Steve Stone.

And at the other end of Harry’s transfer collection…

Marco Boogers, signed for £1m in July 1995 as one of Redknapp’s first signings after taking charge at West Ham. The words “bloody” and “useless” spring to mind as this “striker” managed just 4 substitute appearances, blazed wide of an open goal, fell over a bit and generally looked like a poor imitation of a Sunday league player. Some might liken him to Corrado Grabbi, Ashley Ward, Nathan Blake or Kabi Diawara in that respect!

A name best illustrated in pictures…

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Titi Camara, signed from Liverpool for £1.5m – where he hadn’t had the most glittering of careers – but only featured 7 times in 3 years at West Ham. Quite why Harry was buying another striker when he already had approximately 26 to choose from was a mystery to many, even more so when they saw him play. The t1ts camera eventually disappeared into the football wilderness somewhere in Qatar, with a West Ham career perhaps best summed up by whoever wrote the wikipedia article on him – “At West Ham the only reason he was signed was because the manager, Harry Redknapp, was a wheeler-dealer manager who would bring in really random players in the hope that they would be successful.” LINK

Aliou Cisse had, to be fair, had a good World Cup in 2002 before Birmingham bought him, but when Harry signed him in 2004 for half a million he’d been crocked for about a year and not looked like adjusting too well to English football. Despite appearing 28 times for Portsmouth he’s never looked like recapturing the form of 2002 and spent most of his time on the treatment table.

Other baddies: Rigobert Song, John Curtis, Ricardo Fuller, Florin Raducioiu, Samassi Abou, Javier Margas, Davor Suker, Ragnvald Soma, Christian Dailly, Olivier Bernard.

Going to University in the South-West I have been “lucky” enough to come across a Pompey fan, my mate Chris, who’s agreed to answer a few questions! He’s not quite Adrian Charles though I’m afraid!

Having just done a preview on the man, what are your feelings about current boss Harry Redknapp?

I’ve always liked Harry, he dragged us up by the bootlaces from Division One and brought on board some quality players like Stone, Sheringham and Merson. He’s started to get us sorted this season too!

So you think you can avoid relegation then?

Yer, definitely, we bought more good players in January, particularly Mendes who’s become a real crowd favourite already and West Brom and Birmingham are playing like the Midlands weather, rubbish!

Who can we expect to be your dangermen on Saturday then?

Well Lua-Lua’s the obvious one as, when he’s on form, he’s one of the best attacking players in the prem! D’Alessandro has started to show some of what he’s all about too.

Any of our players concern you?

Bellamy’s been on fire recently, but the likes of Savage, Dickov, Neil and Todd are always going to go in hard, so I’m most worried about us still having 11 fit players by the end!

Come on then, prediction before I let you go back to the student bar!

Can’t see your boys beating us the way we’re playing, 2-0 Pompey. Thank you and good night!

For what it’s worth I’m not exactly brimming with confidence about this one after two lacklusture performances against Sunderland and Wigan – despite the fact they’ve yielded 4 points – so I’m gonna go for a prediction of 1-1. Bellamy for us, one of ‘Arry’s stooges for them.

Edited by Tango
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Really important weekend coming up in the chase for 4th Place.

Arsenal vs Man United

Liverpool vs Bolton

Pompey vs Blackburn

Spurs vs Man City.

I think this week could have a big impact on the final standings. If Arsenal win then i think they will go on and finish 4th. If they dont then it could be wide open!!

Weekend prediction - 2-1 Rovers

Edited by Hughesy
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We are a better side than Portsmouth and Portsmouth wont gibve us the problems that Wigan did. We were also a little unlucky against Wigan. portsmouth will be going for the win which should suit us.

Rovers to win 2-0. Bellamy and Savage

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we're definately going to lose this, Portsmouth are plying with confidence, style and panache.

something we aint

2-0 To pompey - Lua - always scores stunners against us - bloody lua and Mendes with a total rocket.

Robbie savage to get a yellow.

All 4 away fans to get wet

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We are certainly mentally strong enough to stand up to a revitalised Pompey and it is well within our capabilities to win. They will have to come at us and that will suit us, especially if we have the pace of Bellamy and Pongo together.

I am feeling optimistic and will go for Portsmouth 1 Rovers 2.

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i cant see us getting much from this game. draw at best.

i stil think pompey will beat us though 2-1

not good taveling all that way expecting to play like sunderland (wel maybe not that bad)

Edited by JordnRovers
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I previously didn't pin this as being one of our most important remaining games but having failed to have beaten Wigan this is truly a must win game! It is essential we throw our away form out the window now and pull off a masterstroke. Pompeii have been improving a lot lately and if we can dominate them, taking all three points, it will do wonders for confidence and help us to perform more consistently in the remaining matches.

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Same defence, not sure about the front two and the midfield four.

PS: Recently discovered that Zura is just 25 years old (in 2006) - we should really keep playing him alongside the Admiral.

Tugay away is a bit on and off, but I think I want him to start this match. Put Reidy on the right, and let Bentley play upfront with Bellers - or just sit on the bench. Sinama back in?

Bellers' partner is hard to find these days.

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another massive game for rovers. we need all three points if we are going to realize our CL dreams which i still think its a possibility. however in the last two games, rovers have been awful to say the least. playing awful but thankfully getting 4 points out of it.

not sure if i can expect too much out of this game. pompey has been pretty good recently and they are playing at home. i'm going for a 1-1 draw.

sinama and tugay back in, dickov and bentley back on the bench. and what is up with bentley? he has practically been MIA since the man utd game.

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Bolton 0 - 1 Birmingham thumbs-up.gif

4 Tottenham Hotspur 32 15 10 07 46 32 14 55

5 Arsenal 31 16 05 10 53 23 30 53

6 Blackburn Rovers 32 16 05 11 43 37 06 53

7 Bolton Wanderers 31 13 09 09 43 35 08 48

Big 3 points on Saturday and Bolton will find themselves struggling to keep up

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rover.gif POMPEY are on a run off winning 3 games on the bounce,analaze them they beat citeh with a goal in the last second,beat a very understrength westspam before they played citeh in the cup 2 days later.they beat fulham with foolham missing sitters right left and centre tinykit.gif
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