Date: 23rd September 2008 at 6:50pm
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The problems are mounting, with a trio of midfielders set for spells on the sidelines – which means, although we have not yet heard it, we are down to ‘the bare bones’…

Midfielders Niko Kranjcar and Jerome Thomas were already out but they have been joined by Sean Davis – groin and Papa Bouba Diop – hamstring, but most worryingly of all Lassana Diarra – who might have suffered a possible knee ligament problem!

Davis – who got injured on Sunday – and Diop – not sure how or when – are set to be out for a month, but it is not known how long Diarra could be out for – how this happened, again I do not know? All 3 are definitely out of the Chelski game tomorrow and the first 2, maybe all 3, most probably Spurs, Vitoria and Stoke in the week and a bit that follows…

Harry Redknapp, although not saying ‘bare bone’ just yet, did say: ‘we’ve got a load of injuries. Diop has torn a hamstring, Davis has torn a groin muscle and they are out for a few weeks at least.

‘Diarra has got a bad knock on his knee and it could be the ligament, so we are desperately short in midfield.

‘We’ve got another game on Sunday, then the Uefa Cup return in Portugal on the Thursday. Then it’s Sunday again.’

It will be all change for the Chelski game tomorrow, although that is not really a surprise: ‘I’ve only got 17 players who are anywhere near fit. So I will bring a load of fringe players in. Those who haven’t been playing will play.

‘But I don’t think there is any question about character. We were one of the best away teams in the country last season. We had won three fantastic games and these things happen in football.

‘It will happen to most teams like that at some point this season and you just have to carry on and get through it.’

By my reckoning that leaves us with Richard Hughes – who was not fit enough to play at the weekend – and Arnold Mvuemba to select from in the middle of the park. Both will do a job, but if anything happened to these were up a certain creek! We know what Hughes can do and I think that Mvuemba is a fine talent so I have no problems with him coming in – maybe we need Jean Francois Christophe back from Southend and he might have a part to play this season after all!

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With these injury problems in midfield one fella that would make an even better signing at this point in time than he would have anyway would have been Stephen Appiah, but Harry Redknapp has told The News his signing is highly unlikely: ‘I doubt it very much whether he will be coming to us.

‘He’s going to be expensive. He’s going to want big, big wages, so it will be difficult.

‘We have already brought players in. I have got a squad and we’ve spent money to do that. The owner has been great.

‘But we’re not planning to do anything else now.’

His quality is not in doubt and we all know that signing him would be a fantastic move but if we do not have the money, even to pay wages, then there is not a lot we can do is there…

We have been ruing the fact that some fringe players did not go for a while, but must be ruing this even more now, although that said is there even any assurances that had we managed to offload some of these we would have been able to use this money anyway?

Either way we will muddle through, those that need to come in can and will do a job – I mentioned names above but have just remembered another. Marc Wilson, a fella that I had tipped to surprise a few this season as a youngster to watch, so maybe his chance will also come?

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