Pompey season in review - December
So far it was 26 out of a possible 45pts in total, we could not moan at that could we? But the even better news, and quite frankly unbelievable fact that we had won 5 away games on the spin in the league was unheard of, and we were on a run of 9 games unbeaten in the league to boot - could December see this run continue though?
Not again! We started the month with yet another 0-0 draw at Fratton - this time Everton were the visitors, so on the face of its this was not exactly a bad result, but beating those 'in and around us' would be needed this season. In fairness it was not a bad game though and we did look more likely to win, but our failure to score cost us and once again we seemed 'frightened', even intimidated at the thought of playing at home...
Next up was the trip to Villa, a game where I experience something new - sitting in with the home fans as an away one! This was 'different', but when you win 3-1 you can deal with this, even if you need to be slightly reserved for fear of being lynched by the natives... An own goal gave us an early lead then 2 screamers from Sulley Muntari wrapped up the win and despite a late Villa penalty we did enough to equal - I think - the a record of 6 straight away top flight wins set by Arsenal I believe? Who would have ever thought this possible eh! This game will also be remembered for Harry Redknapp being very animated on the bench.
Returning to Fratton the following weekend not only saw Spurs visit town but also the BBC cameras, with the Match of the Day 2 team coming along to produce a feature on Pompey, something that several Vital Pompey members took part in - the moment of fame was secured, but I had to miss out... As for the game, once again we were timid and played as though the pressure of expectation was showing. Again we drew a blank, but this time the away team did not as Spurs came away with a 1-0 win - our first home defeat all season, and an unbeaten run of 11 in the league was over...
Back on the road the following week, we would bounce back as we were invincible away... ok, maybe not as Liverpool spanked us 4-1! It was our own respect that we showed them that proved our downfall, all too often we go to 'the big 4' and pretty much hand it to them on a plate as we have the mentality of 'whatever we can get is a bonus as we are not expected to get anything!' Benjani gave us a chance, but we had already handed the bin dippers a 2-0 lead, but the 4-1 maybe was a little flattering to them in the end?
Back to back defeats was not ideal to go into Christmas was it and not the present we wanted, so Arsenal coming to Fratton on Boxing Day was not ideal for us, but then again we are capable of beating anyone on our day, particularly at home. The sky sports cameras dictated a ludicrous evening kick off time, but this did not stop a good turnout and a decent enough game, but it was a familiar tale as we once again drew a blank with a 0-0 draw - the 5th time in a row at home we had failed to score!
The month, and indeed the year ended with Boro coming to Fratton. The baron run would end here surely, Boro are a team that we can beat and should beat well, so we would end the year in a good way right? Wrong! Possibly our poorest performance of the season saw us again, bloody again, draw a blank as we lost 1-0 - a great 2007 ended on a very sour note here...
5 out of a possible 18pts available was a pitiful return for December, particularly when you think that 4 out of 6 games were at Fratton - and home games 'should' be the bankers points wise. The fortress might have been hard for opponents to breach, but we could not breach it either and after not losing at home in the opening 4 months of the season we lost 2 of the 4 this month and were now 3 months without a home goal - roll on the New Year.
PLAY UP POMPEY!