So it's Pompey today and there is no room for any more slip ups today, three points really are a must against an out of form struggling Pompey side. Cesc obviously remains out, while Eduardo will be another few weeks, doubts also remain over Djourou and Song who have picked up mild muscular injuries recently.
The welcome news is the return of Ade to partner RVP up front, Gael Clichy will hopefully return to the fray to replace the tired and lethargic Silvestre whose best days are clearly behind him. The midfield is the problem area with the injuries mounting, as well as the lack of cover in central and wide areas. Ramsey is likely to play if Song does not, however the thought of Emmanuel Eboue starting another game in the midfield doesn't fill me with joy. I'd be tempted to stick young Carlos Vela on the left side, then switch Samir Nasri to the right.
The defence is a big problem area, not only are they getting precious little help from the midfield, but we have too many players struggling for form. Gallas' tired error for the penalty appeared the act of a player who didn't really care, while Toure's woeful performance was sad to see, he is but a shadow of his former self. Silvestre hasn't looked like an answer, Djourou has been our only shining light, however it was his error which allowed Keane a free run to score from the long ball for Liverpool. I remember saying at the time that it was strange to be letting big Phil go to Milan and bringing in Silvestre, certainly big Phil would probably walk into our side at the moment.
It's almost silly season time, the January transfer window opens on the 1st for 30 days in total, while we're on the subject I just cannot understand why we have a window, it's so very pointless and stupid. The rumours are starting to fly, some more bizarre than others. There's no doubt in my mind that if we are to bring players in in January then they must be already adapted for premiership duty, there really is little point in bringing in a new player from a vastly different league who then has to get used to a new club, new team mates and a completely different style of football.
Olivier Dacourt is one player rumoured to be available, and he has shown some sense in falling out with Jose Mourinho at Inter, at 33 years he might not be the most stupid piece of short term business as long as he's fully fit. The Newcastle trio of Given, Taylor and N'Zogbia is also doing the rounds. Personally Given is no improvement on Almunia who's had a good season, while Taylor is not the most mobile, I do however like N'Zogbia who is a hard working talented left sided midfielder who could add a bit of bite to our left side, possibly freeing up Nasri to play centrally or on the right.
The speedy Portsmouth centre back Sylvin Distin is also being linked, he is big, strong and quick but I haven't really see enough of him to judge his consistency. One player I know is out of contract in the summer is Jimmy Bullard, he would fit the bill, he's an up and down midfielder with great ability on the ball who isn't afraid to get stuck in. The rumours will continue to flow, and frankly I've no idea who we'll sign, if anyone; we could certainly do with a bit more bite in our midfield though, and I don't think we're lacking in the technical ball playing department.