Portsmouth - Redknapp on Chelski defeat
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Redknapp on Chelski defeat

Harry Redknapp has bemoaned our defending, which aided to our downfall against Chelski today, telling the Pompey Site that basic errors cost us badly: 'we made basic errors with some of our defending. There was a goal-kick and John Terry comes and wins the header, heads it in behind our back four and now Joe Cole's running in one-on-one with our keeper.

'As a nine year-old, the first thing you do as a back four when the ball goes up and their centre-half is coming in to head it, is drop back.

'Give yourself a bit of depth and you're in a good position to pick it off and play the ball back to your keeper.

'It's so easy, it's almost scary.

'But we end up standing there watching and we're then chasing. That's how we defended and it was poor.

'We're better than that and we'll do better than that. It was just a blip.

'At least we've got an easy game next Monday with Manchester United at home!'

Redknapp did however have plenty of praise for Chelski - who were in all fairness fantastic on the day and praised their movement, commenting that this was too much for us to handle. Also mentioning our own 4-4-2 formation in as much as it might have been a mistake to deploy this at Stamford Bridge, but this is the way he is looking to play now: 'they were just good, really. Their movement was too much for us and we couldn't stay with it.

'Last year we had a great away record playing 4-5-1 and we were fantastic. I've made a rod for my own back in a way bringing in two strikers and playing 4-4-2.

'I don't think you can come here and do that. Unless you play 4-5-1, you get overloaded in midfield and their movement is too good. That's what happened to us.

'But you don't play Chelsea every week and I've not brought Defoe here not to play. It's no good me leaving him out first game of the season.

'I've gone with the two of them hoping we can cause Chelsea some problems but it does leave you a bit vulnerable. They had to feed off scraps as well and it was difficult for them.'


My own thinking is we have too many square pegs in round holes, which is not ideal at all. Yep, we were poor but Chelski were fantastic. We must remember, not that it excuses such a poor showing, that it was Chelski we were playing against and not some tin pot outfit! Had we been spanked by a lesser team then I would be seriously worried, not that I am accepting this as I am not.

In many ways we were in a no win situation, if we won then expectation levels would be through the roof, if we lost - as we did - then we were in for a horrendous season in some people's eyes. An ideal scenario would have been a draw - it was not to be, so we move on.

Yep, we have been weakened by the losses of Sulley Muntari and Pedro Mendes, but who would not be by this? We cannot change this fact though, so again we must move on from that. However I do not think that we were beaten heavily today entirely down to that, we were beaten heavily because we were poor, we defended poorly and conceded poor goals. The real underlining factor that was highlighted again was something that has been the case for months - we were desperately short of width! We had no outlet, so we could not create any openings... Had we had Muntari and/or Mendes today that would not have given us the width would it...

Jerome Thomas showed a few moment in his short appearance to suggest he might be able to offer us something, so lets give him a go on the left or right, or throw John Utaka into the mix - or both! He might have disappointed last season but Papa Bouba Diop cannot do the job wide right, and I think his constantly playing there is not helping the way we perceive his ability...

Not too many came out of this game with much, if any credit, but we are a better side than the one we saw today and we should not get too caught up in things and think this is the start of worse to come. Maybe I am to optimistic, naive even, but I just think we need to put this into perspective - we were poor, they were very good and will be challenging for the league if not winning it, there were a lot of negatives but lets put this behind us, dust ourselves down and move on...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 17 2008

Time: 10:31PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Come on guys, no team challenging for europe will win at stamford bridge, the only dissapointing thing is that we played *****. plently of time for harry to get the team organised, bring in a couple of players from the bench, and generally reshuffle the pack for man u, PUP
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17/08/2008 22:36:00

Let's hope Harry will be at the trainning ground this week sure he will be & I noticed when Harry brought on Mvuemba he moved diop in the middle & played Mvuemba on the right & Utaka was on the bench seems strange knowing how Harry rates Utaka.
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17/08/2008 22:44:00

As a Chelsea supporter, I'm delighted with our play today and we all expected a much more difficult match. I certainly respect your club's talent. That said, you were murdered in the midfield, and when it's that lopsided in possession, you can't expect much in the way of scoring, nor can you put too much blame on the defense--the fourth goal, however, should've been punched out by James but he looked inattentive. Best of luck for the season. You'll turn it around.
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17/08/2008 22:50:00

so will united.
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17/08/2008 22:52:00

Has no one noticed the quote Re Defoe? I have not brought him here not to play! Stuff that Harry! Just do what is best for us...PORTSMOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB. Balls to having a sulking player on the bench, no matter who it is! If it takes dropping someone to the bench for the greater good then so be it. Does that mean it is 4-4-2 for every game this season?? God help us if it is!!!
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17/08/2008 23:35:00

Campbell will not cope with pacey strikers. Evertime the ball went near him, James or a defender was looking to cover him, hence creating space for the other attackers. Sure it was Chelsea, but in the first half we played pathetic. Second half was a bit better with some nice passes and decent attacking runs. I do agree that Diop doesnt really fit in, he kept looking like he didnt really know where to play. On the plus side, i thought Crouch had a pretty good game, he won all his balls and did create some space for Defoe, who kinda looked alseep at times. Oh well, hit the training ground hard this week and hope for a better next time! PLAY UP POMPEY
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17/08/2008 23:58:00

Nobody knows what they are supposed to be doing. I agrre to many fat pegs in square holes. Niko is a prime example. where was he all day?
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18/08/2008 06:43:00

He shouldn't be in the team against teams like Chelsea away. He got no time on the ball.
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18/08/2008 07:31:00

Yes Penton - HR always does this. He sticks too long with formations and players that aren't working. Not saying Defoe isn't working but why the hell did we play 4-4-2 yesterday when it was obvious per our earlier discussions that we would be overrun in midfield. Our defence wasn't poor, our attack wasn't poor, it's just that both were supported by a non existant midfield. Back to basics Harry. We may not have any cash, but we do have enough players to crowd the midfield and win by the odd goal. If that means no Defoe or even no Crouch then so be it. The team we put out yesterday would struggle to beat any half decent Championship side let alone teams from the Prem. So, unless we manage to sign a couple of Muntari's in the next week or so, I say dump 4-4-2. Bring back Davis and let Mveumba start a few matches. And Harry. Let's start running a meritocracy, I don't care how much a player costs us or what you promised him when he signed - the team comes before individuals, let's not forget that.
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18/08/2008 08:45:00

We have bought and sold badly.
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18/08/2008 09:09:00

Penton and ChrisW; Harry is full of contradictions again - he's quoted in the paper today as saying "I made a rod for my own back by playing 4-4-2 as we were outnumbered in midfield." Given his comment about JD, does that mean Crouch will be on the bench for away games? That said, let's not get too miserable, it's the first game of the season and we were playing against a side that would've taken anyone apart.
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18/08/2008 09:32:00

Yes Tim he is. I'm not miserable, more accepting of what the board have done to Harry and the team. We've got the best manager in England tho' and he'll magic something up..
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18/08/2008 10:20:00

Pre-season has been a bit of a farce. Charging round the world picking up viruses, players coming then not coming and then players going who HR wanted to stay. It should have been planned as a time to bed in new players and sort out systems. Now that has to be done during the season which is a great shame. Hopefully the players will be ashamed of their performance and put in some real hard work this week to try and make up for lost time.
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18/08/2008 10:20:00

Yep, because .....His name is Harry Redknapp and he wears a magic hat and when he's up against it, he says "I Fancy That".
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18/08/2008 10:38:00

Tim, im certainly down about yesterday, thats true, I feel as if we've been mugged, by Chelsea and the board. Dave also make a very good and valid point,about pre-season. I suppose thats the price of chasing the Dollar. Pre-season to me seemed so disjointed. I appreciate the Euro's didn't help, but for the life of me I could never see what Nigeria was going to do for our preparation; except add a couple of million to the bank balance. One source reported that ten players came back with some form of virus. How true that is im not sure, but the sluggish way several players have performed in the two meaningful games we've had,I wouldn't disbelieve it. The positive is I don't think there will be a better time to get our season up and running, than Monday. Sir Alex is wingeing this morning about all his injuries being the reason Newcastle took a point. Giggs and Carrick were crocked. They are down to relative bare bones, so if we have a good week on the training ground and sort out some tactics and a formation that can work, then we have every chance to take all three points.
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18/08/2008 10:49:00

I agree with you all, pre-season has been a disaster coupled with some players reporting back late for various reasons, has Kanu featured in anything? The Cup Final masked a very poor end to our playing season. Now we are left with no midfield, no money, no system and two strikers that cannot play together.
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18/08/2008 11:58:00

Sorry to be so negative here but even before it happened, it was clear that our pre-season itinerary was about money and marketing rather than the impending season. Where's it got us? Apparently we don't have a pot to ***** in and half the team are unwell/unfit. Get your act together Pompey - on and of the pitch. Yes, last season was magnificent but that was then - this is now. Don't rest on your laurels.
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18/08/2008 12:03:00

what was Kaboul doing in midfield ?
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18/08/2008 12:53:00

Answers on a postcard please to.......
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18/08/2008 15:06:00

007. It's not that bad is it? I think the problem is that Harry picked a winning formula last year and I'm not sure even with the cash that went missing we'd have the right balance. Perhaps we'd have been better off looking to replace Kanu with like for like - because that would have been evolution not revolution.
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18/08/2008 15:30:00

"Cash that went missing"???? - it's bad enough the media casting aspersions against Pompey. A bigger problem is that players "went missing" for most of yesterday's game.
Report Abuse
18/08/2008 15:44:00

figure of speech Tim.
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18/08/2008 15:55:00

007 i think your wrong Crouch will be the perfect partner for defoe, the problem is we don't have a midfield with enough quality to supply the balls to the front two. If you must play Diop harry put him in the middle, you wrecked Gary O'neil by insisting on playing him on the right. If Diop's half the player you tell us he is it must be in the middle cos he's cr*p on the right. keeping Diop and giving away Mendes are two decisions that will cost us dear this season.
Steve C
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18/08/2008 17:23:00

We wouldn't have won against Chelsea no matter who we had kept instead of transfering them and no matter what formation we used. They are simply too good for us at this time. However what concerned me was lack of any formation or desire by many players. There was one incident when we had 7 players in the penalty area and Chelsea had 3. Not one Pompey player moved to mark any of the Chelsea players and this player with the ball was left alone to cross it at will. Fortunately he hit is too far over. There seems to be a lack of will to win in the whole team. I am a big David James fan but even he was a bit sloppy. If you saw the replay of Deco goal from behind the goal; it could be seen the way the ball was going and it was bending but James was way to slow moving toward it. Normally he would have put it over the bar.
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19/08/2008 06:25:00


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