Portsmouth: The Case of Theofanis Gekas

Ryan LynchCorrespondent IIMarch 30, 2009

A few weeks back, Portsmouth's The News ran an interview with Greek striker Theofanis Gekas, who is on loan to Portsmouth from German side Bayern Leverkusen.

The interview with Gekas was largely negative, with the Greek forward claiming he doesn't deserve the treatment he has received from his club.

"I didn't walk away from Leverkusen—a club going for the German Championship—in order to come over here, at a club fighting for survival only, and being seated in the stands," Gekas told The News.

Gekas was one of five signings brought in by former manager Tony Adams during the January transfer window, along with midfielders Jermaine Pennant, Hayden Mullins, Angelos Basinas, and Pele.

But Adams was only given one match in charge after signing Gekas, who failed to appear, but was on the bench in Portsmouth's ill-fated loss to Liverpool.

Since Hart took over the job—first as caretaker, and now as interim boss—Gekas has failed to even make the bench.

"He [manager Paul Hart] should give me a chance first and then, if I fail, he can judge me," Gekas said.

It is definitely a difficult position to be in. With the club in the position it has been in for the past several months, to throw a player into the team, having never played a match in the English league before, could prove a terrible decision.

This could be especially harmful with points as valuable as they are in the relegation battle.

At the same time, however, up until Peter Crouch's recent goal-scoring exploits, Portsmouth has been desperate for goals. We won't be able to cope with another dry spell if the tall forward loses that deadly touch again.

And in a match against a side like Stoke, where we suddenly found ourselves a goal down and in need of some attacking options, why couldn't we look to Gekas as an option?

Or against Middlesbrough, as we needed some forward threat to push back Boro's pressure?

Hart and the club have said that the reason Gekas has failed to appear for the side has been partly due to his refusal to appear for the reserves.

But if you were a proven goal-scorer, both at the club and international level, would you really want to run out with the kids and the old men, when you were brought in to play in the first team?

In addition to all of this, Gekas went out this weekend and let his football do the talking. Against Israel, Gekas opened the scoring despite his "lack of fitness," and has now scored in his last three run-outs for his national side.

While the situation regarding Gekas is certainly muddled, one can't help but wonder why Portsmouth and Paul Hart won't give themselves more options.

Having finished as the top scorer in the Bundesliga in 2006-2007, and as Leverkusen's top scorer the following season, Gekas certainly has a lot offer the South Coast side.

While Hart is understandably worried about going with a lineup that has too much of an attacking presence and David Nugent has been playing well, but shaking things up could bode well for the side. Giving Gekas some time to prove himself could prove a stroke of genius.

And it could prove to be exactly what Portsmouth needs to put relegation fears behind them.