Date:Sunday June 8 2008
19 out of a possible 36pts was a good return so far, 6 league matches unbeaten, an unheard of, and rarely before seen 3 wins away from home in the league on the trot - things were good! But would November see them get even better...
3rd November is always a good date every year as it is my birthday! It was however especially good in 2007 as we started another month with another win, another away win at that and a convincing win as we crushed the barcodes 4-1 at St James' Park, which was almost half empty less than 12 minutes in. Noe Pamarot - with the goal of the season strike, Benjani and John Utaka with 3 goals in as many minutes had the game wrapped up after only 11 minutes and the exodus of 'fans' was amazing... An unfortunate Sol Campbell own goal after only 16 minutes gave the barcodes a glimmer of hope but Niko Kranjcar extinguished that with our 4th 20 minutes from the end. What a day and what a performance, 4 away wins on the trot - was it all a dream?
The following weekend we returned to Fratton as Citeh along with the sky sports cameras once again came to town, unfortunately once again it was a familiar tale and an overall uninspiring 0-0 draw, although both the woodwork and Joe Hart denied us several times, it was also the day that Dave Nugent was denied what would have been a screamer to open his league account for us - would things have kicked on for him after that had the effort gone in...
Cue another International break again; surely England would confirm their qualification for Euro 2008... For this with a massive game against Croatia we would need to call on quality and experience, the scene was set for none other than the mighty, the impressive, the most inform and the vastly experienced Scott Carson... hang on Scott Carson? You mean David James right? Nope, Carson is the keeper with the experience required to guide us through; he can cope with this - wrong!
The pressure was too much for the youngster and a horrendous error allowed Niko Kranjcar to give the Croats the lead, 1-0 became 2-0, but wait we still had hope when we got it back to 2-1, which then became 2-2 when Frank Lampard converted a penalty - virtually his only contribution to the game yet he was still named man of the match! It was looking good until Croatia broke England hearts late on to see us lose 3-2. At least Spineless Steve's England reign ended in the Wembley rain that night, the 'wally with the brolly' as he was portrayed so brilliantly by the papers was no more, but the pain of not being at the Euros has now fully hit home!
So, England and Pompey's English contingent could forget about any plans they might have had of going to Switzerland or Austria in 2008 on hold, well as part of the European Championships anyway a visit to either in the uefa cup later in 2008 could still be on... Either way the season went on, with us on the road again. This time we went to another 'St', this time St Andrews and Birmingham - the outcome yet another Pompey win, 2-0 thanks to Sulley Muntari, with more than a helping hand from their keeper Richard Kingson and a cracker of a free kick from England newest nemesis Niko Kranjcar, with him receiving some expected, but frankly undeserved 'boos'.
3 away wins in the league on the trot at the start of the month had unbelievably become 5, with again 7 out of a possible 9pts gained - with the disappointment at home against Citeh and the 0-0 draw being the blot on another fantastic month for Pompey, even if it was awful for England...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Sunday June 8 2008
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