Vital Football

Pompey season review - October

Pompey season review - October

Summer, August and September 2006 have been reviewed. Pompey had started the season very well - beyond most of our wildest imaginations even - but October would see the big boys start to arrive.

Sunday 1st started the month with Pompey on the road, a trip to White Hart Lane and Spurs awaited. Both Matty Taylor and Benjani had to settle for places on the bench with Niko Kranjcar - for his league debut - and Lomana LuaLua coming in.

We made a dreadful start and some shoddy defending gifted Spurs a lead within the opening minute through Danny Murphy. We recovered well before a moment of major controversy saw Didier Zokora con the referee into giving Spurs a penalty under no challenge whatsoever from Pedro Mendes. The penalty was converted in the 36th minute by Jermain Defoe and Spurs were two up. We responded immediately through Kanu (40 minutes) and despite some pressure on the Spurs goal and a late chance for Lomana LuaLua the contentious penalty saw us suffer our first away defeat of the season.

The 2-1 defeat to Spurs made it back to back league defeats and we slipped a place to 4th.

The first home game of the month saw 20,142 fans at Fratton for the match with West Ham. This saw Matty Taylor and Benjani return with their replacements for the last game Niko Kranjcar and Lomana LuaLua making way. Manuel Fernandes - for his first league start - also came in for Sean Davis.

Midway through the first half Kanu's 24th minute goal put Pompey ahead. The three points were secured through substitute Andrew Cole in the 82nd minute, just 5 minutes after coming on - his first goal for Pompey.

The 2-0 win over West Ham saw us back up to 3rd.

Saturday 21st and we were off to Stamford Bridge to face champions Chelsea. The terms of Glen Johnson's loan meant he could not play and captain Dejan Stefanovic missed out, Noe Pamarot and Niko Kranjcar replaced them.

We gave them a game but it was not enough. After holding firm in the first half two goals in two second half minutes, the first through Andrij Shevchenko (55th minute) and Michael Ballack's 57th minute second looked like seeing Chelsea safely home, but Benjani made it a nervous final 20 minutes for Chelsea when he pulled one back in the 69th minute. We suffered our regulation defeat to Chelsea but at least we scored.

The 2-1 defeat to Chelsea saw us drop back down to 4th.

The carling cup returned on Wednesday 25th as we made the long trip to St James' Park for the 4th round encounter with Newcastle. A much stronger Pompey side to that which played in the last round included Andy O'Brien as the only non-first team regular to start.

Appalling conditions left the match played in farcical conditions, with it at times unbelievable to think the game was being played. Pompey had chances but by not taking them they were punished by two quick goals, the first on 48 minutes from on loan striker Giuseppe Rossi followed soon after by a 53rd minute goal from Nolberto Solano. A second from Solano in injury time made it three.

It may have looked a strong looking side but the carling cup dream was over after a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle. Not too many people were disappointed, but I was as this was a cup I thought we could have every chance of winning - and a cup is a cup, even more so when Pompey do not win things everyday.

The month concluded with 20,146 fans at Fratton for the match with Reading on Saturday 28th. Glen Johnson, captain Dejan Stefanovic and Sean Davis returned to the starting line up for the changes from the Chelsea game. Noe Pamarot, Manuel Fernandes - for reasons that later became apparent, this would have been his third Premiership match running - and Niko Kranjcar made way.

Pompey played some great football in this match and took a 9th minute lead through Brynjar Gunnarsson's own goal. More goals could and should have come but they did not until Kanu's 53rd minute goal, with a 66th minute Pedro Mendes effort coming soon after. Reading grabbed a consolation on 84 minutes through Kevin Doyle but that was as good as it got.

Were back to winning ways and ended the month on a high. The 3-1 victory over Reading saw Pompey down two places from the start of the month - but we were still in 4th spot at the end of October.

The month saw transfer activity at Fratton too, with Jamie Ashdown leaving for a loan spell with Norwich, Frank Songo'o went on loan to Bournemouth and Richard Duffy joined Coventry, also in a loan deal.

Three months into the season and Pompey were in 4th place in the Premiership, how many would have thought this possible a few months previously - but we were there on merit! What would November bring.

PLAY UP POMPEY!



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

Writer:pompeyrug
Date:Wednesday June 20 2007
Time: 8:36AM

Comments

0
that cheating scum Didier Zokora got away with that, he should have been brought to taks and Martin Jol was a complete arse as well with his post match comments. Both are typcial cheating Spurs scum.

I was also at the Chelsea match and we looked for the majority of the match equal to Chelsea. We fell apart for fifteen minutes in the second half because Harry could not leave well alone and changed the formation to 4-5-1 - all this did was allow Chelsea to come right at us from their back line and we fell apart. We then reverted back to 4-4-2 and not only held them but managed to pull a goal back and made them sweat for the last 20 minutes.

What I will also remember for a very, very long time was the Chelsea crowd singing with us "England, England number One" to David James during the match after he pulled off some typical WORLD CLASS saves. Simply outstanding.
TruePompeyBlue
20/06/2007 10:21:00
0
Ah, those were the days...now we just have to do it all over again...
pompeycarpet
20/06/2007 10:46:00
0
Yep Zokora got away with it didn't he mate - but he did not escape abuse on vital pompey tho did he, not that it is any consolation... chelsea fans were just 1 of a number to sing 'england number one' to jamo weren't they - no doubt it will happen again this season too... it will not be long pompeycarpet and we will be doing it all over again mate...
pompeyrug
20/06/2007 11:06:00
0
just think...if we hadnt lost to Tottenham...maybe we would have been in europe...enough dreaming, we wern't ready, but we should be after this season - hopefully :)
pompeycarpet
20/06/2007 11:13:00
0
lots of ifs ands or buts isn't there mate - we could debate them all day long. so many factors eventually costs us but we cannot look past our own short comings away from fratton - this ultimately cost us a place in europe we have to say... but hey ho it is off to work we go to make sure we do not let histroy repeat itself this season - hopefully...
pompeyrug
20/06/2007 11:29:00
0
ah the wonderful world of "if only" - but you are right Pompeycarpet, we could well have been in Europe. Though of course we would be much better off saying we should have beaten Watford, Wigan and Sheffield United away but we just gave up.
TruePompeyBlue
20/06/2007 11:48:00
0
ah yes...but i like to sit here, and say "well, we wern't really ready...I guess its for the best". There were so many times when we COULD have won, but didnt. At least in the position we are in, we can say that we could have chosen to go through the intertoto cup, and so actualy, it may have been a tactical decision not too get in (well...thats what I like to think anyway)
pompeycarpet
20/06/2007 12:19:00
0
Coming from Hertfordshire originally, Spurs were a team I always looked out for, two unjust penalties in two years and I can't stand them!
paultsmouth
20/06/2007 21:49:00
0
:) as a kid i did not mind spurs - probably something to do with lineker and gazza playing for them at the time - but as i have grown up this view has changed... nope i - along with many others - do not list spurs too highly on my 'favourites' list...
pompeyrug
21/06/2007 09:56:00
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