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Pompey season review - September

Pompey season review - September

Summer and August 2006 have been reviewed and the start was good. What would September bring, what would we get from the transfer deadline signings and how much would Svetoslav Todorov be missed? Some of the questions we asked.

Saturday 9th saw 19,508 fans at Fratton - so slightly less than the openers attendance - for the visit of another of the previous seasons surprise packages Wigan - a team tipped by many to struggle this time round. Glen Johnson and remarkably, considering the impact he took from Ben Thatcher's forearm, Pedro Mendes both returned from injury to return to the starting line up.

We had to wait until the 49th minute for Benjani's winner to keep his goalscoring run going - that was two in two matches, also two in two against Arjan De Zeeuw's Wigan.

Our unbeaten run to the season now stood at four games - and four clean sheets - after a 1-0 win over Wigan, we retained 2nd place in the league.

Saturday 16th and we were off to the Valley to face Charlton. Life after Alan Curbishley was proving hard for Iain Dowie, but could the former scummer and one time Harry Redknapp target as a possible number two halt our start to the season? Pompey would be unchanged from the Wigan game.

This was an afternoon of frustration for Pompey, although Charlton started brightly and hit the bar in the opening minutes. When it was looking as though maybe a point would have to be settled for up popped substitute Lomana LuaLua with a 74th minute winner, 10 minutes after coming on. As I cried out for him to pass he made me eat my word by unleashing a drive to earn Pompey another win.

The 1-0 win over Charlton - our second successive away win, what was going on! - and another clean sheet to go with it meant we returned to the top of the league!

Tuesday 19th saw Pompey enter the carling cup. After the previous seasons humiliating defeat to Gillingham we did not want the same as we travelled to Field Mill to face Mansfield. Wholesale changes saw new arrivals come in for debuts and fringe players given a run out. Only one player - Matty Taylor - that started the win over Charlton started this tie, in came Dean Kiely, Richard Duffy, Noe Pamarot, Andy O'Brien, Ognjen Koroman, Manuel Fernandes, Richard Hughes, Niko Kranjcar, Andrew Cole and Lomana LuaLua. All bar Pamarot and LuaLua were making their first starts of the season, with Fernandes, Kranjcar and Cole making their debuts. Rudolph Douala made his debut too as a second half substitute.

We might not have had things our own way but we still did enough to win. Fernandes' scorcher after only 5 minutes had us drooling at the thought of what we had to come from the Portuguese international after this - sadly we did not get to see this as a long term thing at Pompey. Matty Taylor opened his account for the season in the 33rd minute as things looked comfortable. Pompey's defence was finally breached for the first time that season when Danny Reet - it took over 530 mins for us to concede our first goal of the season - gave Mansfield hope, but we held on.

The 2-1 win over Mansfield kept hopes alive for a place in the last league cup final to be played at the millennium stadium.

The month concluded with 19,105 fans at Fratton for the match with Bolton on Monday 25th. The starting line up resembled normality after players had been rested for the midweek league cup-tie, an unchanged team for the third league match running took to the field on an emotional evening.

Somehow Bolton managed to come away from Fratton with all three points through Kevin Nolan's 22nd minute strike. Pompey were mugged - thanks in no small part to their keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen - but credit had to go where it was due, Bolton came to do a job and got it done. After more than 470 minutes minutes of Premiership football, in the 6th game of the season David James was beaten for the first time in his Pompey career - as the countries only unbeaten defensive record was ended.

The 1-0 defeat to Bolton saw us slip to 3rd in the Premiership at the end of the month.

September also marked an end to Milan Mandaric's time at Fratton, as Pompey's saviour ended his 7-year association with the club after the defeat to Bolton. Sasha Gaydamak had already taken full control of the club after buying out Milan's stake in the club some months earlier. An emotional evening saw Milan given a true Pompey send off, it was just a shame we could not have sent him off with a win.

The month also saw further transfer activity at Fratton with Andy Griffin leaving for a loan spell with Stoke, returning to the club he had left a decade earlier.


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday June 18 2007
Time: 9:39AM


I miss Milan, never going to forget what he did for our club! anyone else havning trouble with the curser being nicked by the orange add above??? really anoying!
18/06/2007 10:03:00
yep, milan is a man we cannot forget and never should - he saved the club and is missed, but the time was right for change. milan delivered almost everything he promised he would, still the bloody stadium eluded him and us tho didn't it - and it still does... nope i am not having my curser nicked by anything mate...
18/06/2007 10:15:00
Happy days.
18/06/2007 10:16:00
Mixed feelings about Milan. I suspect they would be unpopular so they're under my hat.
18/06/2007 10:24:00
i for one would like to hear these feelings Et_tu_Pompeii - so even if you do not want to share them here drop me an email so i can see them... when all is said and done tho mate this site is about opinions tho isn't it - some will agree, some will not but it does not make what we might feel wrong...
18/06/2007 14:12:00
Hmm Milan, flawed ( floored for you pompeyrug) genius was right, , He was stubborn, never learned when to not speak and fell into press trap after press trap. But then he turned the club around and made it into a saleble concern,. i to was screaming for lualua to pass in the charlton game, after he scored i ws looking around rather sheepishly to see everybody else looking around a bit embarassed. LoL We all said knowingly that it was obvious he would score and we all nodded sagely at our collective genius.
18/06/2007 16:34:00
i got that exact same thing happen to me when lualua scored - altho when i was screaming for him to pass others weren't so i was alone in saying it, so got a few funny looks as a result :)
18/06/2007 17:07:00
CharlieChimes, i am having my curser nicked by the orange add now mate...
18/06/2007 17:08:00
thanks for the stadium milan :) and more genunly, he did turn us ound from that failing at the bottom to a side that...would achieve a top 10 finnish and wheres the orange add?
18/06/2007 17:55:00
yeah, that bloody add is doing my head in!!!!!
18/06/2007 19:32:00
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