Because less players equal more space to pass and move

Where in the World is Jamie O'Hara?

“It is a weird one because for the first time in my life I will be hoping Spurs lose. I want to play at Wembley.”

So said Portsmouth loanee Jamie O’Hara today about his permanent club, and the team he has supported since a boy, Tottenham Hotspur.

His comments come in light of the fact that Pompey will face either Spurs or Fulham in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley, a stadium O’Hara is desperate to play at after Juande Ramos omitted him from Tottenham’s Carling Cup final squad against Chelsea in 2008. Should Tottenham be victorious, O’Hara would be ineligible to play in the match under the terms of his loan contract.

Where do a player’s loyalties lie in situations like these? In the summer O’Hara will return to White Hart Lane whereby all accounts he is appreciated by the club and fans alike. Is it worth risking the positive relationship, and potential future, at his boyhood club for the sake of playing at a certain stadium? He seems to think so.

His personal priorities hold greater value to him than those of either of his clubs – if he had come out and said he hopes Tottenham lose because he believes they would pose a greater threat to Portsmouth than Fulham then that would be understandable, even a compliment. He represents the Hampshire club and is obliged to want the best for them regardless of their opposition or personal prejudice.

While his mission statement was no doubt not intended to rile Redknapp and simply a reflection on his omission two years ago, O’Hara needs to beware of his fledgling career becoming defined by finding a club to carry him to Wembley, and not the other way around.