Date: 29th December 2008 at 8:25am
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Tony Adams had to unsurprisingly ‘field questions’ about the omission of Jermain Defoe from the starting line-up against Arsenal yesterday – but did it really take a genius to work out it was the right thing to do?

Anyway, he answered by insisting it was tactical and nothing else, although the striker was not happy at not being included, which Adams was pleased about – these are his post match thoughts on him and more…

Adams on Defoe’s omission
‘Jermain was annoyed and angry – he’s had the hump with me ever since and I wouldn’t want it any other way to be honest.

‘He could easily turn round to me and say ‘Look, you got it wrong boss because you lost.’ But it’s not easy being a manager and you have to make difficult decisions.

‘He’s a fantastic player, scores great goals but at the moment we are struggling with balance. Away at Liverpool and away at Arsenal I chose to keep him on the bench. Those are my reasons and speculate all you want but I have had no offers for Jermain Defoe, not one.’

As far as I am concerned Adams made exactly the right call tactically in leaving him out, and no justification at all was needed.

Had we gone into this game against Arsenal, as with the game at Liverpool back along, with a 4-4-2 formation we would have been ripped apart! As it was we were very, very unfortunate not to come away with a point, and for my thinking we would have got soundly beaten had we included both the England strikers from the start – 4-5-1 was exactly the formation we needed and starting Peter Crouch as the lone man was spot on.

Did ‘the big game’ motivate us today, or was there something more? I would hope that it was not just ‘the big game’ factor… I guess we will soon find out!

Chances are Defoe was going anyway – well that is what all the ‘speculation’ is claiming anyway, but if his reaction to this ‘tactical move’ is to kick off and sulk then he is not one of those that he should want to keep anyway, as he is not a ‘want to play for Portsmouth’ type player we need in that case, although to be honest I suspect this is the case anyway…

Talk of £15m plus offers are doing the rounds today – that hand will be bitten off without a doubt!

Adams on not wanting to sell players
‘I am determined to hold on to all of them but I want people who want to play for Portsmouth. We’re in a scrap with 14 other clubs and if they don’t want to play for Portsmouth then they’re no good to me.

‘It’s not reading the riot act, it’s fact. If your head has been turned, if you’re not trying everything to win games for the club then I don’t want you around.

‘No-one’s come to see me, no-one wants away. I’m really encouraged, not with the results, but with the way they are performing.’

All I can say is what has been said a thousand times before I, like him and most of you, only want players that want to play for us to be playing for us – if they do not lets get rid!

We will find out soon enough who these players are, and will also find out soon enough just how ‘honest’ Sacha Gaydamak and Peter Storrie have been with us about the financial situation and our stance about ‘not wanting’ or ‘needing’ to let the best players leave.

All in all, the main thing is that the best thing for Portsmouth Football Club happens – and I know Adams is taking a lot of flack, and his ability is doubted and maybe time will prove this right, but I still feel – ok, maybe this is ‘hope’ – that he can build a side, reshaping what we have in place, that will hold its own and do a job.

First and foremost I think that he needs to weed out the ‘do’ from ‘do not’ want to play for Portsmouth Football Club players and then bring in those that do, getting us firmly back to players playing for ‘Portsmouth Football Club’ and not the old ‘Harry Redknapp Football Club’, which we had very much become… If this means ‘chasing glory’ and ‘the glory days’ are gone, so be it, these days have been fantastic, but I will be happy with a middle of the range side that has players that want to play for the shirt, the club and us again – far too many, both here and with football in general, do not fit this bill anymore…


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