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The Weekend that Was

The Weekend that Was

The Weekend that Was…

After seeing off Premiership new-boys Reading in classy style, Portsmouth find themselves halfway to safety with only a quarter of the season gone. An own goal, an exquisite header from King Kanu and a Mendes special reminded the rest of the Premiership that Portsmouth`s good start may threaten to be a good season…

Looking at the fixture list at the beginning of the campaign, a win at home against Reading should mean as much as losing to Chelsea away. Nothing, standard results that should be coming from a team looking to consolidate itself mid-table rather than flirting with the drop season after season.

But looking at the games rather than the results, and the progress this year is put clearly into focus. Chelsea battered Portsmouth`s defence, and though you could say should have come away having scored more than two goals, found themselves almost scraping past a resilient Pompey, after Benjani`s scrambled-home goal.

Looking at Reading, and the converse is true. Newly-promoted with the novelty of the Premiership wearing off, Reading at Fratton Park looked winnable but with a degree of difficulty about drawing out the result a few months ago. But on Saturday, a new Portsmouth reared its head, one that was finally capable of putting a team to the sword at will. It was the same team that turned up at the Riverside, when Middlesbrough were thoroughly humbled, and it will hopefully be the same team that comes out time and again as the season spins on its merry way.

But let`s not get too carried away about a win against Reading. People are calling it the end of a slump, after losing four of the last five games, but one was to Chelsea and one in the Carling Cup (with a poor second team, though that`s a discussion for another time), so Portsmouth`s form isn`t really that perilous when you think about it.

Harry Redknapp welcomed back key players in defence where Reading are still struggling without hit-man Dave Kitson, the man who fired them up into the Premiership. Steve Coppell has done well with a threadbare side and budget, and one hopes that he`ll steer his side to safety, but they were on the whole toothless at Fratton Park.

The same can be said about an 'unlucky` loss to Chelsea. Countless teams have gone to Stamford Bridge and come close to getting a result, but have just fallen short. That`s why Chelsea are champions, because they can eke out the decisive performance where other teams falter. So a good performance put in by Portsmouth, but without a win, they might as well have lost by two or three more, because only results matter in this game (credit: Steve Coppell after losing this weekend)

Effectively, and in a very long winded way, I`m trying to say let`s not get carried away. Harry has done what Milan Mandaric put into motion nearly seven years ago, building a team capable of retaining Premiership safety easily. But a good performance against Chelsea and wins against Charlton, West Ham and Reading is hardly Champion`s League place worthy, is it?

So a good win over Reading should be looked at for exactly what it is. A win against a team that might struggle to stay in the Premiership once injuries and suspensions take their toll. And let`s be honest, Portsmouth could probably do with one or two additions to the squad in January, particularly in the defence, as without Campbell and Primus quite a few more goals might start leaking in.

Oh, and one more thing. Let`s hope that Benjani`s misses were a one off, and we don`t have a hard-working Heskey in the making…


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Date:Tuesday October 31 2006
Time: 7:54PM


Well he (Benjani) is pretty good at missing them. Kamara was another that springs to mind. "REDKNAPP LOOKS FOR NEW FACE IN NEW YEAR"....
31/10/2006 21:15:00
lol Kamara has started scoring now!
31/10/2006 21:17:00
We look to have an edge that should get us to beat the lower 10 sides in the prem. Still a bit to do on those finishing regularly in the top 6.
31/10/2006 22:28:00
If we end up in a relegation battle again this season something would of dramatically happened at the Park. We are a top half team now buy our performances so far
01/11/2006 07:28:00
Great start! still we have lost all three games we have played against real good clubs. Bolton, Spurs & Chelski! I wouldnt mind us winning a game agains a top club....Man U maybe???...or am I just getting picky these days!? I gotta say Benji is a nessacary evil at the mo, he CANNOT miss sitters like the one in the reading game, but all our other strikers are passed their "quickest days" so his workrate is needed!..if he can start banging them in too, that would real be interesting
01/11/2006 13:39:00
we need to keep in perspective the fact that we have not beaten a top team so far this year, but i still see us taking a point away at pool and 7 from 12 aginst the big four at home. If you look at what else is left we should be looking at safety by the latest the second weekend in february. Then why not 8th place as a rewalistic.
02/11/2006 21:33:00
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