Premiership Season Preview 2006/07 - Portsmouth

       By: David Walker
Posted: 2006-08-29 20:35:38
PortsmouthOdds: 1000/1Last Five Seasons
2005/06 - 17 (Premiership), 2004/05 - 16 (Premiership), 2003/04 - 13 (Premiership), 2002/03 - 1
(Championship, Promoted), 2001/02 - 17 (Championship).2005/06 Cup Progress
FA Cup Fourth Round vs Liverpool (h) - lost 2-1.
Carling Cup Second Round vs Gillingham (a) - lost 3-2 after extra time.Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: Lomano Lua Lua (striker) and Gary O'Neill - 7 goals each.Players In
David Thompson (Wigan Athletic - Free), Glen Johnson (Chelsea - Loan).Players Out
John Viafara (Southampton - Undisclosed), Brian Priske (FC Bruges - Free), Gregory Vignal (Lens - Free), Vincent Pericard (Stoke City - Free), Gary Silk (Notts County - Free), Andrea Guatelli (Released), Aliou Cisse (Released), Collins Mbesuma (Released), Sander Westerveld (Released).Portsmouth survived the drop last season after languishing in the bottom three for much of the campaign. The rescue act was down to former manager Harry Redknapp, who returned to the Fratton Park hot seat just a year after leaving for bitter rivals Southampton.A six game unbeaten run between March and April saw Pompey scramble together enough points to beat relegation with four points to spare but Redknapp will have his work cut out again this season.With plenty of money to spend, he has been thwarted in the transfer market this summer. Celtic's Bulgaria captain Stilian Petrov was high on the wanted list but he failed with a £5 million bid, despite the player wanting a move to the Premier League. Aston Villa turned down Redknapp's offer of £4.5 million for midfielder Gareth Barry and Real Betis rejected a bid for Brazilian striker Edu, who netted 11 goals in 31 matches last season.Portsmouth were on the verge of breaking the transfer record fee with the £10 million capture of Benfica midfielder Manuel Fernandes but the youngster, who was not selected for Portugal's World Cup squad, but that transfer also failed.Redknapp has managed to sign Arsenal centre back Sol Campbell on a free transfer following five years, five major trophies and 197 appearances for the North London side. Wigan Athletic midfielder David Thompson, a former England international, also arrived on a free transfer, following spells at Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City and Liverpool.Chelsea defender Glen Johnson, who has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge following a £6 million switch from West Ham United in the summer of 2003, has joined the club on a season long loan.Verdict
The arrival of Sol Campbell will provide some much needed defensive stability and Redknapp is slowly shipping out the dead wood, but survival will be the number one priority next season above everything else.
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