Portsmouth - 3-5-2, HR's happy, we're happy, everybody's happy!
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3-5-2, HR's happy, we're happy, everybody's happy!

The international break is now done and dusted, England picked up maximum points, which was a bonus but it is back to club business with Pompey and a return to Fratton - with us waiting expectantly following a 3-0 win over Everton last time out.

In that win we saw the 3-5-2 formation used to such great success - this was used, or at least appeared to be used - in brief spells against Manyoo but was used from the off, and mostly throughout, with some flexibility at times, against Everton. As fans we have been basking in this and Harry Redknapp cannot stop talking about it, and how much he likes the formation and wants to persevere with it.

After what he has most recently told The News it is highly likely that we will see this for the first real time in all its glory at Fratton, since we won the 1st Division title, when we take on Boro on Saturday: 'we're quite capable of playing 4-4-2 at the moment, but I like the wing-back system. Everton did not expect it the other week.

'We took our chances and played well, but it's a system which should suit us. Glen Johnson is made for that system.

'Sylvain Distin is perfect, it suits Sol Campbell playing in the middle, it suits Kaboul playing on the right-hand side.

'It gets Papa Bouba Diop in off the right-wing. He's not really a right winger, and it suits Diarra - he likes to play in a central role.

'It suits everybody.'

It certainly does suit everybody!

It should bring some really entertaining football - with the results to go with it as well I am sure - and best of all it really looks as if it is going to most importantly carve out openings for Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe - and we will then see this partnership blossom big time!

A new addition to our squad for the first time will be deadline day signing Nadir Belhadj, with it being confirmed that he is a definite for the squad and will play a major role in the next month with so many games coming up - although the highly impressive Armand Traore 'should' I feel start against Boro: 'I'm 100 per cent Belhadj will be in the squad for Middlesbrough.

'He's only been training with us for the past few days but he's looked lively, very lively.

'The lad's a good player, really good, absolutely terrific, and he has really impressed me this week.

'The two left wing-backs were out there the other morning and were fantastic - the pair of them absolutely fantastic.

'They've got pace, skill, can get forward, dribble, cross and run all day. They are made for that system.

'I've got two of them here on the left now and there's Glen on the right. We've got the makings of a decent team. We've got a tough 21 days coming up with seven games and you are going to need the squad. He's definitely going to be part of things this season.'

We have had a lot of players away on international duty, but at the moment the only one that appears to be a doubt is loanee Ben Sahar, with it said an injury forced him off in Israel's game yesterday after only a few minutes... Kanu however is expected to be back in the squad and is set for a place on the bench?

What I do know is I cannot wait for weekend to arrive, a 3pm kick off on a Saturday is ever better - but whatever day we had been playing this weekend this is a moment I have been waiting for since we beat Everton!


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday September 11 2008

Time: 12:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
High expectations & Boro have spent all week working on a plan to stop us from playing this system!!! Let's hope we can beat them especially after last seasons awful games against them.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 12:11:00

Boro are a dodgy dodgy team to play against, im confident we will get a result but im certainly not going to be over confident against these lot.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 12:17:00

Rug. Grammer lesson. It should read 'we're happy'.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 12:32:00

Is everybody happy? You bet your life we are!! Tra la la.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 13:01:00

storage if your gonna be pedantic its "grammar" not grammer!
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 13:06:00

lets get off to a good start againsy boro, thats where we went wrong last year at fratton.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 13:07:00

haha. as for the game, i will be there. cant believe we lost 1-0 last season. they will want a repeat. i hope we can break them down this time round. the 352 looks good and hopefully we can get a decent run going now! 3 points please!
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 13:07:00

better now matt :-) i ran out of characters that i could use with my orginal title, so i forgot the apostrophe when i re-worked it...
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 13:14:00

It will be a tough game as Boro are becoming a much better team. Will be good to see GaryO back at the Park though!
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 13:32:00

Loved this system in the championship, it's a good system to watch as it delivers exciting football.
Steve C
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 13:34:00

The only way they will stop us with this tactic is if they had snipers on the roof. But no doubt they will give us a good game.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 14:44:00

Sorry pp & rug, I woz using chix's bok of spilling!!!
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 14:53:00

Thats great if Boro have been working all week to combat us, lets change it and go 4-3-3 and screw em right up.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 15:28:00

I've got a good feeling about Saturday. Will Belhadj play do you think?
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 17:14:00

the system was great against everton, and great in the championship - hopefully it will be great against boro too. My only concern is that GJ has no cover - aside from possibly Lauren (who I dont really count, as he isnt young and amazing like our other wing backs) - other than that, we are sorted!
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 17:18:00

blarmy has it right. Boro may have planned to combat 3-5-2 and we may have to be clever enough to switch to 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or whatever to fox them. But I am looking forward to the game too and like Gandor have a good feeling.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 18:49:00

We were truly awful against these last season. None of us said a word all the way home! Let's hope it is much, much better this year, and let's hope Gary-o is not so over the top as then.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 20:03:00

If we can score early I don't think they will stop us, Belhadj to be on the bench "I think".
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 20:29:00

It was the worst performance of the season - except for the run in.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 20:34:00

Agree with virtually all you say old chaps.. Gary O'Neil (watch out for a 'they played' on Saturday) really annoyed me last season.. as did our performance as did the fact that I gave my ticket away and had to sit in north upper .. anyway ... 352 with the players we have can easily convert to 442 just by pushing Kaboul forward .. Harry did this a lot in the championship season... and if Downing presents a problem he can even go 532.. which will force them to run at us from the middle of the park... Which Diarra and Davis should command... Boro are no easy opposition and are def better than last year.. but this has to be three points... minimum !.. can't wait
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 20:59:00

quite frankly, a team with euro ambitions should be winning all there home games that arnt against the top 4. in fact, so should a team that wants to avoid relegation... or just about any team in the league... but as far as we are concerned, all our home games from now on (aside from arsenal... and maybe liverpool [not so sure]) are ALL must win games. boro will be no exception.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 21:11:00

Three points minimum; that makes me think of playing our joker and doubling up to six (he said in his best Stuart Hall voice). Now there's an idea to put to the powers that be......
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 22:10:00

everyone would play it against the same team though (hull) and hull would play it against whoever they thought would come (second) bottom...
Report Abuse
12/09/2008 19:50:00


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