Date: 1st September 2007 at 12:28am
Written by:

Gary O’Neil has completed his move to Boro, signing a 3 year contract for a fee believed to be around £5m.

Earlier in the evening it looked as though the deal might collapse, as he had failed a medical due to his long standing ankle problem, but these difficulties have been ironed out and he has gone.

We had been told that he would not be sold, but as he has, if he was always likely to be – which might not have been the case – then with Harry Redknapp so keen to have got Yakubu back why did they not do the swap deal when they had the chance, not that I am saying I wanted that, as I did not.

Yep, sometimes you have to accept that players leave but I am more gutted that O’Neil has gone than virtually any other player to leave this club in the past.

Like many others on this very site, as well as thousands off it I saw O’Neil make his debut as a 16 old kid against Barnsley and knew right away that this fella was going to be a star, even back then there was talk that ‘bigger’ clubs could be sniffing around.

We kept him, he built himself up and made himself every inch the star I bragged to so many people that he would be.

You do not get many like him, so we have not only lost a fantastic footballer but someone who quite literally bled Pompey. He may be someone that can be replaced in the side but Pompey have lost something more, part of this clubs heart, which will never be replaced, has been given away.

I am not saying we have any now, but mercenaries come and go who will bleed this club dry, or at least try to before escaping at the first opportunity they can, he did not ever seem like the kind of fella that would have ever done that.

He has not been forced as the suggestion from some might be, but he has had to do what was best for him and was probably left with an offer that was too good to refuse, so he became the sacrificial lamb to the slaughter that Peter Storrie had spoken about.

Gutted, simply gutted, good luck to the fella who will be missed tremendously and although others will fill in for him he will never be properly replaced as his influence at the club ran deeper than his tireless effort on the pitch, but alas we have to move on, he has now gone, we cannot alter that.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

To join the Vital Pompey debate – in the forum or with comments on articles – simply take a few seconds to register an account.