Aborah’s Pompey contribution more valuable than on paper

Stanley Aborah v Cambridge United. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stanley Aborah v Cambridge United. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith in action for Bury against Northampton Picture: Sharon Lucey

Much-maligned striker back to face Pompey

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Football can be a cruel game.

And Stanley Aborah will be feeling the heartbreak of how much it can toy with one’s emotions.

One month ago, he was likely relishing the opportunity to impress during pre-season.

Paul Cook wanted to keep the former Ajax man after an impressive first start in the Blues’ 2-1 win against Cambridge United.

Opportunities came few and far between for Aborah last term.

He joined the club on a free transfer in February when Pompey were mounting a serious League Two promotion assault.

Michael Doyle and Danny Rose were proving to be a winning formula for Cook in the centre of the park.

Amine Linganzi rarely put a foot wrong when he featured, too.

Aborah could well have been a victim of his own talent.

Cook rated the 29-year-old extremely highly and Aborah likely impressed on the training pitch during each session.

With serious competition on their tails, Doyle, Rose and Linganzi all had to find extra gears to ensure they didn’t drop down the pecking order.

Aborah’s performance against Cambridge was a joy to watch.

He was controlling in the middle, intelligent on the ball and had a desire to make things happen going forward.

All of those talents were highlighted when he was fouled on the edge of the box that led to Kal Naismith curling home the free-kick.

On first impressions, the Fratton faithful were upbeat.

With Doyle leaving Fratton Park for a return to Coventry, Aborah would have been savouring the chance to stamp his position in the team and fill the void next to Rose.

Fast forward a month and things have changed with Cook leaving for Wigan.

Kenny Jackett will have had an idea on who he wants in League One and clearly Aborah is not part of his plans.

Looking over his CV, it is patchy.

From a Champions League appearance with Ajax as a 17-year-old, playing alongside Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong and Rafael van der Vaart, he now finds himself out of employment after representing 11 clubs.

Jackett wants a group of core, stable players which may have been a factor behind his decision.

The former Millwall boss is yet to meet up with his new squad but will be aware of the talent in the Fratton Park dressing room.

Jackett will also know what players are available on the market and what young talents could be drafted in on loan from top academies.

Although Aborah pulled on a Pompey shirt just four times, he can leave the south coast with his head held high.

His contribution in the Blues’ League Two title-winning campaign was more than between the lines.

He pushed his team-mates to be at their best and that should not be knocked.

– WILL ROONEY