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Will Another Forgotten Man Return?
Published : 21 Dec 2010 20:05:37
The answer is "probably not". Tal Ben-Haim's loan deal with West Ham United is set to expire in the very near future meaning that he may well be coming back to Fratton Park. But will the Israeli stay or will he leave permanently.In honesty, I had forgotten that Ben-Haim was even on our books until today. It's not like he was an easy face to remember as nobody would want to recall his sub-par performances for the club last season and he was injured during the majority of the FA Cup run, which was virtually the only memorable stint of 2010.But despite how poor he was in the top division (and West Ham fans assure me that he's just as poor in claret and blue), he may well be an asset in the Championship. After all, he's an international experienced defender who can play at left back, which has been something of a problem position for Steve Cotterill given Hermann's slow comeback from injury and Dickinson's unconvincing performances.The only problem in retaining his services is, of course, his massive wages. There is no way on earth that Chainrai and co. would fund his salary so unless the unlikely scenario where Ben-Haim agrees to take a huge pay cut happens, we can safely assume that he'll be off again.However, he may not return to Upton Park as Avram Grant's position at West Ham is "less than safe" and he seems to be the only admirer of Ben-Haim at this current moment in time. Until Grant declared his interest, it seemed increasingly difficult to send the Israeli away.So if (or when) Grant is sacked, who would be willing to take the defender from us? Perhaps he may return to his homeland or maybe a club in the middle-east will have him? I certainly don't expect him to play another game for Pompey.If he has to stay, that could have severe implications on the rest of the club, with more sacrifices having to be made to keep him on board, despite a relegation release clause in his contract that wasn't activated for some mystery reason.That is just another example of how badly managed this club was by the previous regime, and how the club may well pay for this in the future.