Boateng out to boost Pompey push
Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng is determined to make
Ghana’s loss Pompey’s gain after missing out on the African Nations
Boateng – who qualifies for the Black Stars through his
father – was not selected for their African Nations Cup squad and
so will remain in England to help Pompey’s survival battle, which
continues at Fratton Park on Wednesday night against Premier League
title challengers Arsenal.
The former Tottenham midfielder, 22, believes if he can
continue to produce the goods for Pompey, then there is no reason
why he could not be on the plane to the World Cup next summer.
“Obviously it would have been an unbelievable thing for me to
play African Nations for Ghana – but it looks now like I will not
go,” said Boateng, who was born in Germany and had represented them
at Under-21 level.
“Still, I am just happy to play for Portsmouth and try to
keep them up, so both ways I would be happy.
“Ghana is 100% my future, though. I want to play for the
“In the meantime, I am concentrating on Portsmouth and we
have got to keep going and playing football.
“If we stay up I think there is a big chance for me to go to
the World Cup.”
Former Arsenal striker Kanu has been cleared by Nigeria to
face his old club before heading off to the African Nations Cup,
along with Algeria duo Hassan Yebda and Nadir Belhadj.
The Ivory Coast’s Aruna Dindane may also be given
dispensation to play ahead of the tournament in Angola. Boateng
left White Hart Lane for Fratton Park in the summer and is hoping
to get the better of his former club’s arch rivals tonight, having
been part of the Spurs team which thrashed Arsenal 5-1 in the
Carling Cup two seasons ago.
“I came on as a sub against Arsenal in the 5-1 semi-final
win, and at the Emirates when we got a draw, so I have got good
memories of playing against Arsenal,” he said. “That was one of my
happiest memories from my time at Tottenham because it’s one of the
biggest games for the supporters.
“I am not expecting to win 5-1 again, but just 1-0 would be
“We need the points so we’ll get out there and try to make it
as hard for Arsenal as possible.
“If you play against a big team, you concentrate and focus
because you know if you make one mistake, it’s a goal.
“Arsenal are one of the best teams in the world, so we have
to be focused and concentrated against the teams around us and
switch it on 100%.
“The thing with us is that we know we have to get a result
every weekend because it’s so hard to get out of the bottom three.”