Date: 22nd December 2010 at 11:27am
Written by:

Many ‘might’ have forgotten that Tal Ben Haim is still under contract with Pompey?

Whilst others ‘may well’ have also forgotten that his loan spell with West Ham is only until the end of this year – he it due to return, unless they, or another club, decide to pick him up?

With appearances limited at West Ham, even under his former Pompey, Chelski and Israeli manager Avram Grant, all the signs point towards it being ‘unlikely’ that West Ham are going to decide to extend the loan, or better still take up the option on him and pick him up on a free – with the increasing possibility that Grant will soon be out of his job the minimal chances of Ben Haim extended his premier league lifeline, with them anyway, reduce even more…

Put it this way he bombed with Citeh and then had a failed loan spell with Sunderland, his time with us last season was hardly a glowing endorsement for a man that was once so highly sought after, during his time with Bolton, that Jose ‘The Special One’ Mourinho took him to Chelski – that worked out well for him too!

Like so many of the players that we have signed over the years, and even last summer when we were already in dire straits, we offered a long-term high wage contract to him – even more ludicrously we gave him a clause that allowed HIM to decide to leave us, and on a free, should we go down although this did not cut both ways, there was no relegation release clause that allowed us to cut him adrift…

Ben Haim is nowhere near the player that he was some years back, and I suspect that a lot of this is down to injuries – and these keep occurring over and over, yet the possible reality is he is another that we will be stuck with, and for another 30-months or so as he is only 18-months into a 4-year contract!

There were a couple of teams ‘said’ to be sniffing around last summer, one was West Ham, we just have to hope that they return in January or we will be left picking up the bill for another player on £30,000 plus per week, eek!

I would ‘think’ that unless an interested club does give him anything near to what he is earning per week with us then there will be no other movement made, unless this is in a loan capacity again – and even then unless the loaning club are paying the vast majority of what we would be anyway we do not really benefit do we?

I would also think that our best bet of getting shot of him is if a Russian or Qatari club, as they seem to be paying the big money these days, come in for him, but will they?

I know that Steve Cotterill has said that he would welcome him back, if possible, and I know people will say he would ‘do a job’ he is a player that I do not think we have missed at all during the past 6-months and is not, especially for the very high wages he is on, going to offer us anything more than we have.

So, all in all, speaking for myself of course, I will keep my fingers crossed that we can get shot of him…

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