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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

The Arse vs. Pompey

Emirates stadium

2/9/07

13:30

On Sky

The Arse v Pompey

Thw window has shut, let the football commence, heroes have departed, new ones need to be created.

Vital Quotes:

The dust has settled on another frenetic flurry of activity at Fratton towers, the loss of fans favourite Gary O'Neil has yet to be tempered by the arrival of Papa Smurf Diop, and the re-arrival of Glen Johnson.

The Arse Team News:

Jens 'smiler' Lehmann remains sidelined with a sore achilles heel and Aluminia again deputises, Sagna may return after missing the midweek qualifier on Wednesday, but Eboue and Gammy Gallas remain absent.

Player to watch: Fabregas

A cut above in terms of midfield creativity, still a fledging in terms of years, but a master on the ball.

Pompey Team News:

The right side of midfield will have a different look from now on, much like Alan Knight retiring, Gary O'Neils abscence will have a surreal feel to it. Lauren could step into those shoes with Glen Johnson picking up the reins at right back, Utaka may stay wide or step up front again.
Billy Davies' cuddly late night calls to Nugent didn't do the trick and he lives to fight another day for the Pompey cause.

Diop may make the bench, apparently Darren Moores old shorts have been let out to accommodate him.

The line up will all depend on Harry's choice of formation tomorrow, the days where the same 11 from 13 have gone, we now have strength in depth and solid subs bench also.

Player to watch: Utaka

The more I see of this man, the more exciting he becomes, I don't care which defender you are, a fleet footed attacker flying at you fills you with dread, and Utaka has got a turbo.

Match Facts & Stats

2-2 last year and no wins against the Arse since regaining top flight status, in fact no wins on the gunners ground since 1955!

Ref Watch:

Mark Halsey

Match Prediction:

Goals aplenty I feel, Arsenal are obliged to attack at home, Pompey have discovered a counterattackability, a rare ingredient, deadly when consumed, place you predictions here.

Next Fixtures:

Liverpool at Fratton, the end of our top four battles for a while




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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 1 2007

Time: 8:22PM

Your Comments

Time for all 3, and the hoodoo to be broken
paultsmouth
Just a thought, but what if Harry has signed Johnson as a midfielder? Befor I'm shouted down picture this, a young wingback, bright future, change of formation and defensive frailties are called in to question and a few fans get on his back, switch slighty up the park and a flying winger with some defensive qualities is discovered. Not Johnson but Matty Taylor just a short time ago, is something similar in store on the other flank?
paultsmouth
I was saying this to a friend last night. Ralph and Johnson to play together one up and one back. Switching from time to time. Both good on the ball and have pace.
eastneydave
His athleticism can not be called into question, with Lauren to help out defensively it could create havoc
paultsmouth
I think if we get a point we will have done well.
storagematt
Good luck tomorrow lads!
merlin
Ive just gone for 2-2 same as last year... A game in which I was nearly evicted from a football stadium for the first time since I was a leary teenager..... A bloke offered me two Arsenal season tickets for the game .... obviously I accepted. Unfortunately, my normal match partner, my brother, couldnt make the match so I offered the spare ticket to my 18 year old nephew ... I told him to be on his best behaviur as we were after all in the Arsenal end ... Which of course I didnt know until we got inside the ground.. all was ok before the game, we even managed to get away with a subdued, but frowned upon, Play up Pompey as the teams came onto the pitch.... Then the worse thing ever happened.. Freddie Ljunberg got injured. Not a big deal in itself except the sub was the darling of the emirates 'Theo Walcott' I have never heard one teenager drown out 60000 people singing Theo, Theo, Theo with his own redition of Scummer, scummer, scummer.... he/we got away with that (just) but then the worse thing ever happened (again) We went 1-0 up then a certain Mr Taylor made it two ..... Even my nephew was begining to get worried, we were asked to leave.. but I decided to argue with the steward pretending to be the 'actual' season ticket holder whose wife couldn't match the match so I gave her ticket to my nephew who unfortunately came from Pompey I explained that Pompey arent very good and it wasnt really his fault that arsenal were having an off day - we managed to stay in the ground but boy was I relieved when Arsenal scored twice ...
Chix
well, we always did know that arsnal arnt the loudest fans ever...actualy, last game of last season, i had a pair of arsnal fans sitting in front of me, and they wernt even being discreet aboutit - arsnal tops, and discussing how much they would beat us by - but then, they were just kids...im going for another draw, and it really will be looking like 2007 is a bogey year for our away games - still without a win!
pompeycarpet
i agree paultsmouth and i said as much elsewhere on this site that i could see johnson ultimately as a midfielder as his defensive lapses will not be felt as much. attacking wise he is fantastic, defensively - with his concentration levels - very suspect at times...
pompeyrug
another fine preview by the way mate... as for the match its time that pompey won on the road and not just against the gooners, 2-1 to pompey - and that is my prediction in the predictions league too - click here.
pompeyrug
Arsenal need bringing back to earth after last week lucky win against Man City, please bring them down a peg or two.
col8
I would feel safer with Johnson not having so many defensive duties, at least when he goes missing for large chunks of the game it will be higher up the pitch where we have people behind him to cover.
pompey4me
GJ is good attacking, and would provide a much more defensive option to our midfield when going against teams that are likely to attack our full backs. thatsaid, i would rather have utaka playing down the right, and lauren at full back any day.
pompeycarpet
thats sorted then, Lauren rb, Johnson in front, take note Harry Vital have spoken!
paultsmouth
i like the thought of lauren at right back, who is a better defender than johnson, but i also like the thought of johnson on the right side of midfield. but then that mean utaka will either have to play up front or move to the left - i much prefer utaka on the flanks but if he played on the left then their is no place for matty taylor, who in my opinon has to be in the side. good luck 'arry, im sure you will chose wisely...
pompeyrug
I feel Utaka will end up a as a striker, but meander off to the channels to do damage, a'la Henry
paultsmouth
got me fiver placed (no ~100 bet this time!!) on pompey(+1AH)... for those who dont know asian handicap il explain... if pompey win i win a full bet, if its a draw i win a full bet, if arsenal win by one goal only then i get my stake back, and if arsenal win by 2 or more goals then i lose my bet! so PUP, looking for a draw, a win would be nice though! we could do with at least a point today as were in bottom half of table... it could dent our confidence when we play the lower down teams that will battle hard to get out of relegation zones! need to get an away win somewhere!! harry will play 4-5-1 though wont he?! then open up to 4-4-2 at HT?!
spoiler
so you lost your bet mate... we were not that good. i had written arsenal off as genuine title contenders this season, as i thought it was too soon for them, but i think i may have to have a rethink, good luck to them for the rest of the season.
pompeyrug
 

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