Date: 29th July 2009 at 7:47am
Written by:

New to Vital Pompey jim4pompey tries his hand at an article, looking at what sort of basis we could build a spine around – most teams have a nucleus, but what is ours.

I’m not sure about fleshing this article out and my knowledge of footie is well below many of the people on here… but here goes.

Basically it’s the spine of the team. A lot of pundits have said to have a successful premiership side you have to have an English, or British, spine to the team – to engender work ethic (run around like a headless chicken and kick people in my experience). Now looking at some of the key teams they do tend to lean to one nationality or another as the so called “spine”.

Man U with Rio, Scholes, Giggs, Carrick, Hargreaves and Rooney (okay so that does dampen my running around and kicking people comment – but it’s the exception that proves the rule).

Then Liverpool are on the up with a large Spanish or Spanish speaking contingent – you could go as far as to say Rafa deliberately destroyed the Scouse spine of the team when he took over (breaking up Owen, Murphy, Carragher and I cant remember if Fowler was there at the time).

Arsenal – when at their most potent it was French… Vieira, Pires, Henry, that one with the girlie haircut (though he ran around a lot kicking people so may be not just the English).

Now for Pompey what does this mean? Well we’re a bit of a hodge podge. Under good old ‘Arry (I don’t hate him for leaving or for nicking Crouchie – I hate him for walking out on the morning of a game that unsettled us so much it took best part of 4 months to sort it out) – it was basically African with Utaka, Kanu, Diop, Muntari, et al – and it was generally said big and athletic.

But what now? French CB pairing, Scandinavian left, no right back, not sure where Krancjar fits in (so lets say left mid for now) but Croatian, CM all British except African Diop, no right mid and then Kanu and Utaka (African) and Nugent, British, up front.

Now it seems to me we need cohesion and quick integration of what will be a new squad but who and what shall we build it around. So far I’ve seen no pattern in linked players (except quite a few are from France/French football I suppose). There’s no pattern to the type of football they play – certainly not the “lets make em big and fast” like Arry liked. More than anything this is worrying. Even if we’re on a path of getting what we can afford, it would be nice at least to see a sensible balance and pattern to it.

I’m afraid it’s not the most coherent first stab at an article but may be you get the idea and can turn it into something that sounds like whoever wrote it knew what they were talking about!

Written by jim4pompey.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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15 Replies to “The spine of the team”

  • to be honest Jim, the players that have left have know each other for a year now, so cohesion is not something to worry about with them, it is the players that are going to be brought in. As long as there are no big time charlies that are happy to sit on the bench for a pay cheque then the cohesion should be ok

  • Fair play for the article jim and good views. I personnaly feel that by keeping kaboul and Distin, that will be our cohesion and that strength of backline along with Finnan and the Herminator will help drive a spine through the team. Must be honest, don’t think Hughes or Mullins are the midfield link to continue with that thought, but given the chance I think Bassinas could well be. Don’t mind what mix of players we have as long as they give it 100% week in week out I’ll be happy. It would be great to see a core of British lads in the team and a priority would be to keep Cranie, Wilson and Ritchie at least in the squad to have that new talent to come through either this season or certainly over the next two or three. Oh and add to that Ashdown, who must be getting really fed up at the moment with injuries and not getting much of a chance, but if we keep him and to be honest I think he deserves to be playing first team football, so probably the fairest thing for his development is to let him go.

  • i think there is a very big link to what players PH has had genuine links and it is not being CHEAP, as some might have you believe.
    They are all so far Finnan excepted, 22/25 year olds who give alot of graft, and are hungry to reach their potential..not Ronaldo’s, Rooney’s or Retchedmoneygrabbers ( a well known Prem forward ) I think we will be a team solid in the tackle inventive in the middle and sharo upfront and will finish 9th or 10th and have a good cup run…quote me in may2010

  • Good article Jim – and I think Niko is our nucleus next season. He’s now our most talented player and we really ought to be buying with him in mind.

  • Agreed Gino… and may be that’s the link with Kalinic.

    Also agree with Blarmy about Kaboul and Distin just as long as they both stay I like that pair… my worry there is, who is the replacement when one or other in injured.

    I’m quite comfortable with Diop and Basinas in midfield – especially if Diop can get back to the form he was in some years ago at Fulham and occasionally here. Give Basinas room to make plays. And especially if this Gakpe kid comes in.

    Up front I like the thought of Kalinic more so than McCormack, but is that because foreign always holds a bit more excitment than a Championship side player. Wouldn’t mind Viduka but we’ll never pay his wages and I’ll get blown out of the water for saying Zaki is a bit of potential excitement for us as well should he come.

  • we will have to offer niko a contract and with kalanic comming i think he mite sign .

    would like to see a croatian continent at pompey.. they have some class footballers as england found out.

    and would like to see bilic installed as harts number two. part time as he is croation coach. and after a few years become boss.

  • maybe make a move for eduardo and have kalanic and him up top with nico just behind..

    but also they have some solid defenders and would like to see a few here this summer.

  • Fair play for the article jim and good views. I personnaly feel that by keeping kaboul and Distin, that will be our cohesion and that strength of backline along with Finnan and the Herminator will help drive a spine through the team. Must be honest, don’t think Hughes or Mullins are the midfield link to continue with that thought, but given the chance I think Bassinas could well be. Don’t mind what mix of players we have as long as they give it 100% week in week out I’ll be happy. It would be great to see a core of British lads in the team and a priority would be to keep Cranie, Wilson and Ritchie at least in the squad to have that new talent to come through either this season or certainly over the next two or three. Oh and add to that Ashdown, who must be getting really fed up at the moment with injuries and not getting much of a chance, but if we keep him and to be honest I think he deserves to be playing first team football, so probably the fairest thing for his development is to let him go.

  • Sorry about the double entry, not sure what went on there. Anyhow I’m with you hussler on liking the loo of a Niko and Kalanic link up. could be a very exiting combination. And who knows a confidence boosted Nugget up front as well, could be good times ahead.

  • Good article – well written and makes sense. The worrying things is that it justs spells relagation for me

  • you are all so downbeat!!!
    we are gonna make some signings, and they will be quality players. the finnan signing came out of the blue, so will the rest of them. we only need 3 or 4 players and we could be looking at europe and not relegation

  • I like your positivity Joe – not too sure about Europe, this season anyway, but lets wait and see what happens once the season gets underway, and beforehand in terms of bringing in players, before we get too downbeat.

  • Agrre Joe. Good point. I also think that Kranjcar will be our ‘spine’ next season. I just hope he can be top-form week in week out!

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