Vital Football

Uefa cup a near sell out/HR's selection headache

Uefa cup a near sell out/HR's selection headache

Pompey have announced that our bow in European competition is getting close to a sell out - although there are still around 1000 tickets left - mostly in the Milton End - which will hopefully be snapped up as our 'first ever' European game will not come around again will it! Although the 6pm kick off time obviously cannot be helping...

If you do want a ticket you can get one by going down to the ticket office between now and 3pm tomorrow, during office hours of course - so do it if you can! If you do want to go but do not have one then if you can go then I beg you to get to Fratton for this monumental moment!

We might all be feeling the pinch at the moment but what's £20 to be a part of history eh! You will regret not going if you can, settling for the 'I will watch it on the box' approach is scandalous if you can willingly make it but are choosing not to.

I would not miss this moment for the world, surely there must be 1000 others thinking the same that genuinely 'could' get to the game if they really wanted too...


How about this then, we have gone from not having enough options or only having one genuine formation to realistically use to an almost embarrassment of riches and a headache of what formation to deploy in this history making occasion...

We get used to the 'bare bones' speech from Harry Redknapp but at the moment we seem a far cry from this as he does not know who to pick, or what formation to even use!

3-5-2 looked likely to be his weapon of choice for the foreseeable future but having reverted to a 4-4-2 at half time against Boro at the weekend he has told The News that he does not quite now which way to go tomorrow when we face Vitoria: 'after the Middlesbrough game there are a lot of things to think about.

'I like the 3-5-2 and I won't scrap it. It's there for us to use. This is a system we will use this year. But obviously things went well when I changed it.

'It was not the system that was the problem in the first half and the lads who I brought off had done nothing wrong. It's just hard when you go behind and I wanted to change it to give Middlesbrough different problems.

'After the break I thought we put on a bit more pressure and we ended up winning it.

'The wing-back system had been okay but I wanted to try something else.

'I didn't want to just sit there wasting time.

'It's fantastic we've got these options now.

'That second half we had so much pace - and the lack of pace in our squad had started to concern me.

'All the top teams have got pace in their team. I will have a look at it and make my mind up but it's not going to be an easy one.'

Our selection also has to be one to combat the Portuguese sides 4-3-3 formation - so we need to take that into account as well against a quality opponent who will not be a walkover so no one should be expecting this. To be fair I think they should have been in the champions league this season, so this shows just how good the are.

It is a tough call for Redknapp to make. I am a fan of the traditional 4-4-2, but also love our 3-5-2 - which was fantastic when we won the Division One title a few years back, and looks tasty now...

I thought that Nadir Belhadj and Armand Traore in tandem down the left looked incredible in the 2nd half against Boro so I think I would be more inclined to go with the 4-4-2 myself tomorrow - the thing is then, who do you leave out!

Younes Kaboul has looked good, so it is either him or Sol Campbell to start alongside Sylvain Distin - who for me is the first choice in central defence these days. As Campbell our captain he is more likely to be given the nod you would suspect...

On the right it is a fairly easy pick! As much as I am going to need to see him produce a shed load more this season to win me over it would be John Utaka over Papa Bouba Diop every time, although depending on how fit he is maybe Glen Little will come into the equation?

3-5-2 or 4-4-2? Tough call, but I think I would go with the 4-4-2 using the players that started the 2nd half against Boro at the weekend...


Join the Vital Pompey Debate

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Vital Pompey Match Reports

Date:Wednesday September 17 2008
Time: 2:15PM

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Just got to be there! As for the team & format, it is very changeable, if needed, which is great
17/09/2008 14:54:00
Time to dust off the old channel Five.
17/09/2008 15:16:00
Belhadj is the fly in the ointment really. Before that, 3-5-2 with the option of reverting to 4-4-2 or even 4-5-1 would have been fine for most people, and I think we were all pretty happy with Traore. But Belhadj looked so good when he was playing along with Traore that you don't really want to leave either one out. I'm sure one of them could play down the right, but Glen Johnson has been in great form since we started playing with wingbacks again, so you don't want to leave him out either. Still, it's a nice dilemma to have, I think.
17/09/2008 15:35:00
Utaka doubtful a little birdie tells me, which throws a fly in the ointment.
17/09/2008 16:05:00
I'll be happy which ever way he goes, although i must admit the Traore Belhadj combination down the left looked awesome on Saturday, what will they be like when they get used to playing together?
Steve C
17/09/2008 16:14:00
I almost had the situation where I couldnt go to the game, as it was too early, - and couldnt benefit from the tv viewing, as I didnt have chanel 5! luckily, that's sorted... and I cant wait to watch pompey against a true european side!
17/09/2008 17:20:00
Can't wait for kick off -Pompey being in Europe is truly awesome!
17/09/2008 17:35:00
Thank heavens for self employment!
Steve C
17/09/2008 17:52:00
and Channel 5!
17/09/2008 18:04:00
if it wasnt on tv, and was at a sensible time though, I would probably be at the game...
17/09/2008 18:55:00
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