Date: 30th October 2008 at 12:38pm
Written by:

Talk of players leaving Pompey has been rife since… well since you know what, and to be honest this is not really something that I want to talk about too much as lets cross that bridge ‘as/when’ it happens – either way this is not something we can influence is it!

Peter Crouch however has told The Sun that he has no intentions of leaving the club: ‘I signed for Portsmouth because I believed they were a club on the up, not just because of Harry Redknapp.

‘I am sure Tony Adams will be able to carry on his good work.’

I hope that those thoughts do remain the same come January, and then in summer – although it cuts both ways really, we have to want to keep him too, and actually being able to keep players – financially – is something that is the gravest concern for most.

More following in the footsteps of Crouch and saying they do not want to go would not go amiss though would it – even though thoughts like this do not always hold true in the current football climate…

==========

John Utaka has done his fair share of talking, often ‘talking the talk without walking the walk’, but after a ‘promising’ display against Liverpool yesterday he told The News of words of encouragement from Tony Adams that motivated him.

Being handed a start in a 4-5-1 formation was a surprise but he did ok and says that he enjoyed himself – he also thinks we deserved more than we got: ‘we did well and we worked hard, so we think we deserved better.

‘It’s about enjoying yourselves and working hard for the team.

‘I’m enjoying what I’m doing. We troubled them a couple of times on the counter attack. I just believe we deserved better because we really worked hard.

‘The manager gave me some encouraging words before the game. He told me to enjoy it and to work hard defensively. I did enjoy it and I felt more confident.’

To be fair to Utaka, although I am not saying he was great by any means as he did his ‘strolling around the pitch’ waiting trick at times, but did get back to help out defensively a lot more yesterday, actually moved around the pitch off the ball and made a few defensive challenges, one quite early in the game which he seemed to draw on.

Adams was happy enough with his contribution as well: ‘John did well. Last year he did it for us in that system – occasionally.

‘I think he did a lot better in that role for me last night. He had a good game.’

I am not the biggest fan of Utaka but to be fair to him he offered more yesterday than I have seen him offer for sometime, being at the ground you can see the bigger picture – and that is what I saw, which was a hell of a lot better than it has been, but there is still someway to go though for him to win me over.

The Nigerian did miss a glorious chance towards the end of the game, but he says it caught him by surprise – a confident footballer would have finished this though, and that could be the issue with him… The major problem with him at the moment I think could be a lack of confidence – despite talking the talk he does not look like a fella that believes he can deliver what he promises, hence his tentative approach and reluctance to run at and beat players – something that he is capable of doing.

He should not have to be told that he needs to track back, needs to run and needs to help out the side but if he can build on that performance then maybe, just maybe the real John Utaka could yet still stand up…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

Join the Vital Pompey Debate