Pompey season in review - October
So far we had 12pts from a possible 24 for the 2007/08 season, which was better than it sounded as we had already played 'the big 4' but you still could not - well I couldn't anyway - help but think we could, and maybe should have had more?
We kicked off the month once again in front of the sky sports cameras with another away win, going to Fulham and winning 2-0 thanks to 2 goals in as many minutes early in the 2nd half from Benjani and another from Hermann Hreidarsson - back to back away wins by Pompey, that was unheard of! Add the league cup win at Burnley and that was 3 away wins in a row...
The domestic programme was then interrupted by the 'international break' - still there was no competitive recall for David James, who sat on the bench again, but Sol Campbell started both games against Estonia and Russia and was superb in both, particularly the Russian game although the defeat in the latter virtually ended our qualification hopes for Euro 2008!
After this break we were again on the road as October rumbled on. This time we had to head to Wigan, the scene of one of our most famous triumphs in our recent history - the glorious day at the end of our 'great escape' season of 2005/06. I had to be pinched at that point as we picked up a third straight away win in the league. Again we needed two quick goals, both coming in the final 10 minutes from Benjani again and a first for the club for Glen Johnson to secure the 2-0 win.
D'oh, another of those 'missed opportunities' games followed though! with us live on setanta sports for the first time we could only manage a 0-0 draw with West Ham as we played our first game at Fratton that month with it virtually over - almost a full month had passed since 'that game' with Reading our previous home game. How different things could have been had Benjani not decided to step up to take the injury time penalty! It was embarrassing really, players were arguing over who would take the spot kick when surely this should have been sorted out before the game? Either way we got the same result as we did for the one against Liverpool, with this also being saved from a fella you would have put money on missing, so why he was taking it still beyond me now. Yep, he was high on confidence after a hat trick in his last home game and the goals were flowing but some players you know will miss and some you have faith in - as much as I loved Benji then, and still do, he was never scoring that penalty so we again picked up a point but it felt like defeat...
The month ended with a midweek league cup tie with Blackburn, and with it the chance to advance to the quarter final stages, Wembley was calling but we failed to answer the calls putting in one of the worst performances I have ever seen us put in at Fratton - and trust me when you have seen us rolled over by the likes of Crewe and so on in the past with some bad showings this took the biscuit... The thing was we put out close to the strongest team possible, yet we just did not seem to want to know, maybe the expectation was getting to players? I have tried to block this game out of my head but things that stick were Benni McCarthy virtually coming into the North Stand to apologise to a young girl that he had blasted the ball at, Dave Nugent with one of the most horrendous misses I have seen and the fact that I did not even move from my seat when Kanu scored the last minute goal that saw the game end with a 2-1 defeat.
Still, we might have gone out of the league cup but we had picked up 7 out of a possible 9pts in the league that month, which should have been all 9 really and were on a run of 3 straight away wins in the league - 4 in all competitions - and were on a run of 6 games unbeaten in the league, so all in all happy days!
PLAY UP POMPEY!