Vital Football

A-Ward winning display?

A-Ward winning display?

Following last night's match against Crystal Palace, I was met with many feelings. Boredom, dejection, restlessness at our display - but in complete contrast, absolute delight. You may find this weird, but just bare with me.

I may have lost a fiver in bets, watched yet another drab, boring long ball style that we've become accustomed to for the majority of this season; but to see us finally playing badly but still grinding out a win is something I've personally been waiting to see for a long time.

I'm not a great fan of long ball - in fact I can't stand watching Pompey play it (mainly as we haven't really got the players to do that, nor ply them to a fluid 4-4-2 formation), and paying for a season ticket this year has been completely unjustified thus far, watching 11 players hoof a ball to a Ginger man with little ability as a lone striker.

The continued brilliance of Joel Ward added to what was a lacklustre tie, with the youngster once again taking the plaudits, with chants of 'There's only one Joel Ward' ringing out of the Fratton End following his substitution. Young starlets are in their abundance following the arrivals of Ritchie de Laet and Jonathan Hogg, so it seems it's only a matter of time until Steve Cotterill finds a formation that allows them to play to their strengths.

Hogg reminds me a little of Sean Davis when he first signed for us in that swoop from Spurs, including Pedro Mendes and Noe Pamarot. He's small, tenacious and tough in the tackle; but very much an unfashionable footballer. Hopefully he can prove the lynch-pin in our side that allows the likes of Nugent, Kitson, King and Cotterill to stay further in attack, allowing them to create more chances in front of goal.

Personally I'd prefer it if we went back to the formation of 2003. A solid 3-5-2 wingbacks, with known pace men David Cotterill and de Laet running the channels, with Ward and Hogg bossing the midfield. Of course, I'm not the manager, but I'd much prefer to see attractive football - but would I substitute that for constant defeats? Of course not.

Overall - a terrible game, with many positives.

Written by Dan Brett.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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  • Writer:Dan Brett
    Date:Wednesday February 23 2011
    Time: 5:22PM


    Dan, first of all good to have another article from you. i think you make some good point altho tbh i thought that it was actually a decent enough game and i was entertained and rarely bored, i just got a bit nervy that the dominant display we put in would see us caught out with palace snatching it...
    in contract to barnsley at the weekend this was a million times better.
    as for formation, i do wish we would go 4-4-2, 3-5-2 would be nice and de laet especially would revel in this but i think that 4-4-2 is a formation that we could more than easily use and kitson and nugent would both be better utilised doing so.
    23/02/2011 17:28:00
    Actually Rug, I thought that for the lst 20 minutes, we were in for another dire match. But things did seem to perk up and I think both teams upped their game in the second half (don't we always). Dan Brett talks of measures to keep the likes of Nugent, Kitson et al at the front creating chances. Yep, I'm all for that. It seems we need about 20 chances to score one goal these days!
    23/02/2011 19:04:00
    Its a nice puzzle to have - for a change! But the simple fact is, after a dismal run, we needed to tighten up - a lot! The confidence was there to see yesterday, compared to Barnsley were we did look a little shaky at times, and hopefully that will continue to grow, we needed to get the monkey off our backs at home though. Nugget and Kitson should be getting a goal per game on average between them in this league and we could also bring in Moks at the back with HH and RR if we need to push de Laet or Halford forward. Why we couldnt sign some of the loans in the window before christmas I dont know but we do seem to have missed a trick there and could have got another few precious points in the bag. One thing I am particularly pleased about is our away stats, 5 wins on the road so far is pretty good.
    23/02/2011 19:28:00
    As for the poll - Paul Walsh for me, every time!!
    23/02/2011 19:32:00
    I'm at a slight advantage when it comes to finding positives in that as I was aware that I'd be needing 6 odd operations I didn't buy a season ticket. . . . I'm of a similar opinion to Rug in that I thought teams that miss so many chances tend to get punished. Doesn't seem to have been the best of games in terms of all round quality but the players you mention and Rocha and Her man give reasons to be positive I think. Another clean sheet - another reason- relatively ok run in- another reason. I think if Webber gets anywhere near fit then he will replace Kitson - who just can't find his old touch. Nuge I think will go on to get 14 goals and at the end of the season go on to somewhere else. Whilst I'll miss him once he, slimey Brown and Hughes you lose are off the wage bill Pompey are in with a chance of going forward. . . . For me i've always thought this year was about finishing one above the drop zone and I reckon there are 25 achievable points available which if we get half of them and those below us fail that will be a really tough job done. . . . And hopefully the death of the embarrassing SOS.
    23/02/2011 21:05:00
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