Date: 20th July 2008 at 11:38am
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The News is reporting that Harry Redknapp is planning to axe several ‘fringe players’ in the current Pompey squad after being less than impressed by them in the pre-season friendlies to date, most notably on Friday when most were given the chance to shine…

Those most in danger are ‘reported’ to be Djimi Traore, Sean Davis, Richard Hughes, Martin Cranie and Richard Duffy, although Noe Pamarot is another said to be in danger and Dave Nugent could be ‘sacrificed’ as he could command the highest transfer fee with Redknapp looking to raise funds to sign Shaun Wright-Phillips plus 2 others.

After the Swindon game he said: ‘I didn’t think we kept the ball very well or kept control of the game.

‘What you find when you look at the squad is we have some very good players. But when they don’t play and you have to mess things around, there is a problem.

‘When you take the best group out it becomes hard work. I think there is a big gap between the best players and the rest.

‘You look at some of the players and think “I hope I don’t have to play him”.

‘I’d be a liar if I said otherwise.

‘There are some fringe players who are not going to play. They need to move.

‘They have to do that and, and if they do, it may give me the money to go and get a Shaun Wright-Phillips.

‘Someone has to want to buy them. If we get offers they can go. We’ve had no offers so far.’

A pretty damning account of things there, but also a typical Redknapp contradiction? As just a couple of days before this he was saying that he liked everyone in the squad and does not have a problem with any of them – although in fairness his ‘liking them’ could have been on a ‘personal level’ not a ‘professional’ one, which are two different things…

Traore must go, Hull want him but he does not seem that keen on a move to them. Duffy is another, and god only knows how or why we have kept him for so long, to quote my cousin ‘he must be on the longest contract in history to still be here and not been released already!’ I like Davis but think we could get decent money for him so would accept his being sold. The others I would be more than happy to retain, but if selling them is in the best interests of the club and will enable us to move forward even more then this is something that I would accept, as disappointed as I might be at first at some of these leaving.

At the end of the day if players are deemed as not being good enough, then we need to move them on as others coming in will help us move forward and standing still is as good as moving backwards in this league…

Redknapp went on to stoke up the ‘Wright-Phillips to Pompey talk’ even more, and would accept his and another 2 players signings at the loss of 5 or 6 players in the process: ‘I like Shaun very much. He’d be a good player for us.

‘I think he and his dad think it would be a good idea for him to come and play for us. He would be terrific for us.

‘If I get the three we want we will be strong. If five or six leave it will suit me fine.

‘That’s what I need to sell to get them. We’ll see how it goes.’

One fella that has impressed Redknapp, and in all fairness most fans has been trialist OJ. The only reason that he appears to have not stayed with ‘the lot down the road’, having trained with their academy last season appears to be the fact he could not get a work permit, but as he has now married a British citizen – I am making no comment here! – he would be eligible to stay.

Whilst he admits he is not ready for top flight football just yet, he does think he can be in the future: ‘he looks all right. He’s got something. He’s only young, though.

‘I think he is an interesting young player.

‘There could be something there. He’s done well this week. He looked good in training.

‘He’s not ready to play in the Premier League – but in the future he could be.

‘I think he was at Southampton last year and couldn’t get a work permit, but he has got married to someone here since then.’

So then guys, its over to you which 5 or 6 players would you sacrifice in order to sign SWP and another couple, I would suggest one looks highly likely to be Younes Kaboul?


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