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The Litmanen Story

Roy Hodgson has taken out some time to explain the situation with Jari Litmanen and the reasons for bringing him on board.

Jari Litmanen will soon be back in contention for a First Team spot and despite a lack of match action Roy Hodgson is confident the Finnish playmaker would justify his selection if called upon.

'Arguably, he`s physically fit to play now but he`s been resting', Hodgson explained. 'He did a light training session on Thursday and Friday. If we were down to ten players then there`s no question he`d play and I have no doubt he would play the 90 minutes and be running as much at the end as in the beginning.

'Of course, we`re not in that situation, so we don`t take that risk. We want to give him a full week`s training before we even consider him.'

'When the opportunity to sign Jari Litmanen came up it seemed like an opportunity too good to miss. He was a free agent and his wage demands were unbelievably reasonable. It was one of those bonuses that sometimes come your way that you`d be foolish not to take advantage of. How much of a part he plays depends on how the other players perform.

'He`s very confident. His confidence can be expressed in I said somewhat jokingly in training that he should train with the attackers because Kelly and I were going to work with the defenders. He reminded me in a Champions League game against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu he played at centre back and his team won on-nil. He`s got no shortage of confidence and he has every right - he`s a very gifted football player.'

The Journalist

Writer: orange_emu Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 3 2008

Time: 7:07PM

Your Comments

Jari Litmanen makes Arjen Robben look like a very fit players (R is by the way out the next 6 weeks again). Litmanen will not play even a handful games for you I am afraid. He was a Great player, but today he is a walking hospital case. he was even out three month almost a while ago for getting a capsule in his eye when the sports director opened a soda bottle. How he could pass a medical exam is one of life's greatest mysteries.
But he's too old and he'll not make any difference!
nice explanation from Roy but he's clutching at straws again!
You'll all be eating your words when JL gets on the pitch and uses his Zimmer frame to score a hattrick in our next game...
He has been playing fantastically for Finland resently!
Superb in his day, but that's long gone now, bad decision by a poor manager imo
Why is roy hopeing Jari can turn things around what we need is to play some sodding offencive football so maby we can score!
I don't think roy is pinning his hopes on Jari turning things around. As he has said it was a free punt and Jari has the undoubted quality and when playing (even recently) he has been influential (for club and country) only problem he's been injured quite a bit. The last game he played in was for Finland was on February 6th where he scored and played fantastically.

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