Vital Football

Grant reflects on the West Ham defeat

Grant reflects on the West Ham defeat

Just when we 'thought', or at least 'hoped', Pompey could maybe get some momentum going from some decent results, and performances recently we shot ourselves in the foot on Boxing Day by pretty much making life 'easy' for West Ham.

Do not get me wrong, I do not want to take anything away from West Ham as they did what they had to do - and the 'hungrier' side won a game that I do not think we could afford to lose, not that it is 'all over' just yet of course!

Avram Grant, and you would expect nothing less, told sky sports that 'everything is possible' in our fight to avoid the drop and despite this defeat he maintains that we have the 'quality' to turn things around: 'we have the quality to win. I've said so many times and I'm not a person to change my mind.'

I was surprised to see Kevin-Prince Boateng left out, although Grant said this was due to illness: 'Boateng had a virus so we couldn't play him for the start as he hadn't trained all week.'

All in all I do not think that we played well, the hungrier side were most definitely West Ham - they had more ideas than us and Scott Parker dominated the midfield.

To be fair I thought we played better in the 2nd half although the decision to remove Nadir Belhadj, and reduce the width, was not something I would have done - Aruna Dindane would certainly have come off much sooner than he did!

Like I say, we were better in the 2nd half, and Grant knew this, but by giving away yet another penalty we made it even harder for ourselves: 'in the second half we dominated the game apart from a few counter-attacks. The game didn't start well for us and we conceded a ninth penalty of the season.'

The tinkering that Grant has done during his time in charge has often paid off, as have his tactical moves - although I felt that some of his 'tinkering' ahead of this game might not have been needed, and certainly did not pay off. His tactical moves were also poor this time, at a time when we could not afford this.

Something that was clearly highlighted once again was our need to reinforce in January, and this is still far from clear if we can do this - in fact most signs are pointing to no, but Grant says we will 'know this week' what this situation will be...

Our chances of survival took another downturn yesterday, when we were looking for an upturn, although 'on the whole' results did not exactly go against us as such - so that was a saving grace, although we CANNOT afford to keep dropping points against teams in and around the relegation zone because THAT is what will determine our fate in the end!


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Date:Sunday December 27 2009
Time: 10:01AM


7points from them 6 games aint bad considering we played utd,chelsea, and liverpool. heads up boys half a season to go.... lets get a point or 3 against arsenal now.
27/12/2009 10:17:00
Your optimism is admirable, PH, but Pompey wouldn't be Pompey if they didn't raise our hopes only to utterly crush them a few days later (99% of the time) How can they not have been 'up' for that match? Everytime we lose against some rubbish at the league bottom, we have to beat someone decent to just STAY WHERE WE ARE, let alone climb the table. If I thought the ONLY consequence of relegation was playing in the Fizzy Pop League I wouldn't worry. BUT I the shysters who own our club will have NO worry about closing us down and asset stripping the players, land, etc. How can we as a club have been so utterly stupid over the last 3 years. God help us and as there isn't one we're doomed, I tell ye, doomed!
27/12/2009 10:37:00
Look how West Ham have zoomed up the table on the back of this win. Yet when we get a win we stay bottom. I thought the season had turned for the better by beating Liverpool, but it was crucial that we followed up by winning this West Ham match. As for how the players could not be up for this match - well not being paid on time, threats of more 'fire sales', blah blah . . . that could probably do it. I don't get the impression that Pompey FC is a particularly inspiring place to be right now.
27/12/2009 11:00:00
For PH read AG. Same old story after each loss. This was a match that needed at least a draw. We stay bottom Tracy because we need two consecutive wins to achieve the rapid rise a la Wolves and WH, and we aren't capable of doing that.
27/12/2009 11:24:00
Although I was very disappointed, it is fair to say that beating Liverpool was out of the norm. So winning against them gave us the points we were expecting against West Ham. It is just equal. The game is not over yet; a run of two wins and we are out of it!
Pompey Malta
27/12/2009 15:48:00
We were still in the match until 2 minutes to go - could have scored and snicked a draw - just wasn't our day this time - but still have a chance of staying up - the transfer window will give us a better idea.
28/12/2009 06:28:00
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