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Simply not good enough from Pompey

Simply not good enough, that is the overall opinion of Pompey's showing yesterday against Arsenal - with this something that Harry Redknapp, stand in captain Sylvain Distin and the re-signed Glen Johnson all agree with in the views they have voiced on the Pompey Site.

Redknapp was particularly critical of the third goal conceded 'the third goal was as bad as I've seen - players weren't looking at the ball. You have to be switched on, you don't just start walking away.

'When the ball goes dead that's when you have to come alive. We didn't do that and we were punished for it'.

The defending for that goal was absolutely shocking, it is not even the kind of defending that you would often see down the local park - John Utaka had his back to the play and Pedro Mendes, although facing the play was looking god only knows where, maybe he was looking at whatever Utaka was too?

Distin, who stood in as captain and gave a performance that Sol Campbell would have been more than happy with, was a real inspiration and almost single handily ran the defence - as he had to, as well as the midfield, that was how non-existent it was 'I'm disappointed - not by the result, but by the performance.

'Sometimes you get bad days, and you have to accept them. But for me the performance was just so disappointing.

'We should learn from this. We have to make sure there is a reaction'.

Yep, we certainly have to learn from this as if we do not we will be in for a long old season. But I am sure we will learn from this and will bounce back against Liverpool at Fratton in a couple of week's time.

Glen Johnson returned on Friday and made his second debut, which was not a happy one 'everything was bad - our passing, our movement, our communication - the lot really. We can perform a lot better.

'We need to get back on the training field and improve things'.

To be honest if some of the players do not know some of the most simple basics of defending - which did cost us yesterday - and football in general by now we are in trouble, but as said words will be had and we will bounce back.

Although I was initially very critical of Johnson and his performance, on reflection this could have been because I am not convinced by him, so maybe my views from so much of his spell last season have clouded my judgement. The fella needs to be given a clean slate and a chance.

Coming forward he looked a real handful at times - as well as looking comfortable doing so, his decision making at times though still needs some thinking but he only came back Friday, so hopefully when he gets back into the swing of things, with him now knowing that he is playing for the team he is contracted too makes me hopefully we can see the very best of him again, as Redknapp thinks we can.

Yep, Sunday was a really bad day at the office, you get these, we just better not get too many more of them, which I have confidence we will not.

Pompey usually do respond after something like this, so after a break - which has probably come at the right time - I look forward to how we react against Liverpool at Fratton.


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 3 2007

Time: 8:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Arsenal were in the sort of form, that would have beaten any prem side.
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03/09/2007 08:13:00

It was probably just that silly penalty that did it to you. It would've been a much better game if not for that mistake. Amyways I like your side and not just because of Lauren and Campbell, I hope you do well this year and finish above Spurs (but proabably behind Everton and City)
Ozi Gooner
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 08:17:00

i do not want to take anything away from arsenal - as they were fantastic, but we made it too easy for them too often. that said, as has been mentioned online and on the radio phone-ins arsenal prob would have beaten any side on yesterdays form... it still was not good enough and we have to improve and learn from this - which we will.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 08:35:00

arsnal always seem to tep up to the big games - they won more points from the top 10 (or maybe top 6...i cant actuly remeber the statistic that well...) than any other team. We should be honered that they gave us so much attenetion.Defensivly, on glenjohnson was in the back 4 this time last year, although the excuse is beggining to wear thin that they are just settling down... Arsnals midfield is superb, and we had no chance there. I thought that MoTD was very complimentory to US.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 09:03:00

Dont be dissapointed, when Arsenal play like that other teams look *****. Its not because they are *****. They cant handle the way we play. You are not the first to have this done to this season. You are just tyhe first to have been highlighted by the sky cameras. We battered Man City, Fulham and Sparta. Its just the media making us look like crap.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 09:04:00

the ***** is ****e not any other swear word by the way :D
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 09:05:00

s h i t e! Its done it again you cant type s h*te?! You must sort that out immediatley ;)
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 09:06:00

i do like the word s h i t e - so i may have to alter the filer level set up on that one, it is a 'rude word' but doesnt feel like it should be :)
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 09:13:00

What I saw in the first half was two right backs constantly losing the ball when going forward and most of the good work that Arsenal did coming down the left. Trying not to be negative, but I can't see how Lauren at right midfield is an improvement on GON. Ah well, I suppose I'll just have to accept it................
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 09:14:00

Well i agree with the Arsenal Fans that have commented on here. We did lose our want when the penalty was conceded. Another team may have been easy to pull back level, but once arsenal go ahead, its a heavy upward hill to climb. They made us work and tore us apart. We gave away the 3rd too easily, but in fairness, Pompey were not allowed to take Quick free kicks, so maybe our players were waiting on the Ref to make Arsenal wait too? If that was the winning goal i would have been up in arms, but we lost by a 3rd goal; so the outcome would have been the same. I was very unsure of Glen Johnson, last week, but on yesterdays performance i am not optomistic the best is now to come. He did very well and fought for the cause, i agree with PompeyRug. wipe the slate clean and judge on this new signing, not the one we had on loan, whose head was set on a chelsea return. Come on Glen, you can be a hero here.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 09:22:00

tbh mate i dont reckon that lauren or johnson will be an improvement on o'neil... granted it is only one match but my gut feeling is 'arry is going to be reluctant to leave either out so we migth have to get used to it? defensively im not sure utaka will offer much but i still think he has been at his best on the right - lauren would have to be the right back in that case as he can defend better than johnson. this is an intetesting prediciment for 'arry, i just hope that he picks the mos suitable players - he doesnt just put players in trying to accomodate them because he feels they have to play.
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03/09/2007 09:26:00

i hope he does Midge, i may still have a moan about johnson now and again but he has been given a fresh start, he is here now isnt he, he hasnt got the thought that he 'might go back to chelsea to play a part in title success' weighing down on him anymore has he. he is playing soley to impress the pompey coaches and fans, no one else - maybe spineless steve...
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 09:31:00

Wake up call. Last season was great & is history. We need a midfield spark & a solid team to reproduce the great wins of last term. I think we will do weel to achieve top ten, let alone Europe.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 10:08:00

i make you right storagematt, last year was history and so far we dont look anybetter this year. I think various pundits have it right to in that they say Redknapp lost his direction in the signings, and we demonstrated we are certainly not top 7 candidates. They also note that Nugent wont be prem sharp for a while and Kanu whilst scorring the goal has not the legs to break away from anybody, we are therefore weaker in attack than we were last year. they also niote that Davis is not the class of O'neil and mid field is not Laurens best position. On current form prediction we can expect to be in the bottom 5 after the liverpool game.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 12:23:00

my concern about Glen is that he still gets caught out of position and whilst Distin had his best game so far he is similarly culpable for poor positioning. For me Munatri was the best by far yesterday, a bit of class and not much if any disciplinary risk, took the refs advice in good spirit and by the way not much to criticise Halsey for i thought .
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 12:34:00

distin can get caught out of position but im begining to think that this is as much due to the reasons that he fells he has to try and cover both fullbacks as much as anything. i dont think that he or sol have much belief in their fullbacks - unless it is lauren perhaps, so they have to try to compensate for them too much? i would still be very tempted to play distin at left back when optimus returns to allow him to get back in and tighten things up alongside sol, yep its not his best position but he would be better than most other options at left back tbh...
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 13:28:00

Rug - As i've explained before on close inspection Distin seems to be out of position to cover others. Unlike last season, our defence hasn't gelled as quickly as we'd like. I would also like the whole England's No.1 saga to be wrapped up as it seems to be hanging over Jamo's head. Like Tony Adams said - he's without a doubt, the best English keeper but he's not the best keeper for England.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 13:37:00

cant go woth that Rug he was famous for doing it at man city and for les bleus, he has no positional discipline which is ok against fulham but not the arse
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 14:08:00

agreed, maybe he was at city - but maybe that was for the same reasons? with 'better players' he shouldnt need to go wondering, so hopefully he wont. that said but for his lack of posisitonal discipline against arsenal things would have prob been worse than they were?
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 15:03:00

Russ - don't think Distin has ever played for France unless you are referring to PSG? Mind you we would be lost without him this season.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 16:54:00

The good news is, once Linvoy is fit then we'll be almost back to the defensive unit that kept so many clean sheets last season (Sol, Linvoy & GJ) and the better news is that Distin can then move to left back. I see above there's quite a bit of criticism of Distin but he really is a handful when he takes people on and as cool as a cucumber. I know I keep ranting on about this, but imagine a defence with Sol, Linvoy & Distin in the middle with GJ & Matty as wing backs. It would address the " out of position " question in my view since the back three would be have more defined territories.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 16:55:00

When you think about it, it's quite a compliment to have Gunners fans come on here and praise Pompey. We've come a long way baby !
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 16:57:00

amen to that mate! yep, the three amigo's in the middle and johnson and matty taylor as wing backs would be really good...but then you have the issue with who is left out of midfield, would he go muntari, diop and mendes in the middle or muntari, kranjcar and mendes in the middle, or someone else - then who plays up front? if benji and nugent for example where would utaka fit in... hmm, something to ponder :)
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 19:03:00

I thought that Johnson had been bought to convert into a right midfielder/wingback. Lauren's better at defending, GJ is better at attacking. Thought it was obvious. Thought the team balance was s h i t e in the first half.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 19:27:00

You must be disappointed with Nugent so far. He looked to have no confidence when he came on.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 19:47:00

True Dazza, but he needs to be given a go, He needs to get in the scoring habit like Guy Whittingham, put them in with his backside and heel etc. Distin played out of his skin covering for the incompetent defending of the others.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 20:41:00

Arsenal were at the best I have seen for sometime. GJ and Lauren looked awful but felt Lauren gave little or no support to GJ, Arsenal spotted this and just exploited it. Stupid penalty to give away which altimately ruined the game as a match. Nugent is again being hounded by the press, I wish they would just leave him and us alone
L L Blue
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 22:30:00

Yep, if we play wingbacks, we have an embarrassed of riches in midfield. I'd pick Muntari flanked by Krancjar on the left and Mendes on the right to start or keep one man up (Kanu/Nugent) with a diamond of Utaka Muntari Diop/Mendes & Kranjcar further forward. We need a much better passing game than I've seen lately & losing GON won't add much to it either.
Report Abuse
03/09/2007 22:44:00

I think the result may be a blessing in disguise, we were getting good press after the Chelsea performance, maybe a few started to think they were heading to the top 6 with ease, a little reality check and we know where we stand, talent is natural, desire and graft have to worked at.
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 06:45:00

Well said paultsmouth! Was just thinking that myself.
L L Blue
Report Abuse
04/09/2007 17:18:00


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