Rookie Portsmouth boss Tony Adams might be waving good bye to star striker Jermain Defoe after leaving the England hitman on the bench against Arsenal on Sunday.
Adams chose to partner Peter Crouch with misfit David Nugent at The Emirates due to tactical reasons, but Adams’ master plan did not pay off as William Gallas headed home a late winner for Arsenal.
Former Spurs striker Defoe was fuming at the decision and with Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp on the look-out for a striker the football odds on a return to White Hart Lane for Defoe are shortening.
Aston Villa are also searching for a frontman and Pompey, who are believed to be deep in financial trouble, will be expecting a rush of interest in Defoe when the transfer window reopens.
Adams, who insisted he had received no bids for Defoe, said:
Jermain was really annoyed with me for leaving him out and he is still angry with me now – and I wouldn’t want it any other way to be honest.
' It was tactical. He might have got a point. He could easily turn round to me and say ‘Look, you got it wrong boss because you lost.’ But it’s not easy being a manager and you have to make difficult decisions.
He’s a fantastic player, scores great goals but at the moment we are struggling with balance. Away at Liverpool and away at Arsenal I chose to keep him on the bench. Those are my reasons and speculate all you want but I have had no offers for Jermain Defoe, not one.
Adams, who has made it clear he will not have players who don’t want to be at Fratton Park, insists he does not want to sell in the window which opens on Thursday.
I am determined to hold on to all of them but I want people who want to play for Portsmouth. We’re in a scrap with 14 other clubs and if they don’t want to play for Portsmouth then they’re no good to me.
It’s not reading the riot act, it’s fact. If your head has been turned, if you’re not trying everything to win games for the club then I don’t want you around.
No-one’s come to see me, no-one wants away.
By Phil Tomlinson