Vital Football

Goodbye big ears

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Pompey bade farewell to the cup we had waited so long to see again, Swansea outplayed us in a first half which we conceded 2 goals.
Swansea were already a goal to the good from Public enemy number 1 Nathan Dyer, when Belhadj dangled out a leg for Jordi Gomez to tumble, Jason Scotland did the rest and Pompeys grip on the cup was first loosened and then ripped away.

Tony Adams gave a debut to Jermaine Pennant, not on the right but in Kranjcars free role, Nugent played on the right again, and Hughes took Kabouls place in the centre.

The first 10 minutes or so saw both sides pushing for a worthwile chance, but Swansea were probably the brighter of the two sides, they were playing the football and Pompey were doing the chasing.
Nathan Dyer had already had one sighter of James' goal, when on 26 minutes he opened the scoring with a drilled shot, and then milked the applause from the Welsh contingent. Five minutes later and Konstantopoulous denied Crouch from 12 yards and Pompeys day was taking a grim look.
Pompey were out of sorts make no mistake, but Swansea were making us look so, and as half-time beckoned, Belhadj showed his defensive limitations by conceding a soft penalty, he may of protested it was out of the area, but referee Marriner was the man who mattered, and Jason Scotland made no mistake from the spot.

Second half and Nugent and Traore were hauled off, Hreidarsson moved to left-back pushing Belhadj on, and Kanu went up front with Crouch and Pennant made his way to his natural place on the wing.

Pompey certainly had the lions share of the play this half, but Swansea were stoic in defence, and when Crouch did get a header in, the post came to the rescue.
Konstantopoulous was inspired and kept Pompey out, but we were not with a cutting edge.

You can take nothing away from Swansea, but Pompey are now 2 months without a win at Fratton park, Villa are up next and you really fear for where the points are going to come from.
Tony Adams tactics will no doubt come into close inspection once more, Pennant was wasted in the middle, Hughes was not fit and could face another long spell out, and Nugent bouyed by his first goal at Spurs may well have taken a step back after being dragged off.
Not good enough.

Date:Saturday January 24 2009
Time: 5:13PM


Pompey only had thre Lions share in the 2nd half, as we had Pompey in our pockets, foot off the gas for the Jacks, we've had tougher non league teams this season, pmsl
24/01/2009 18:15:00
The sad thing is i doubt anybody will disagree with you!
24/01/2009 18:21:00
Think adams must go. Having been a supporter of his appointment and a believer in giving him time I must now bow to what I think is the general consensus. Playing Pennant through the middle in the first half was criminal, and thats not the first basic mistake he's made in his time. TA OUT!!
24/01/2009 18:21:00
sigh =(
24/01/2009 18:25:00
What a disappointing afternoon. You guys are right about the tactics, playing Pennant in the middle didn't work at all. My heart is throwing a tantrum about going out of the cup, especially to a Championship side. My head says we need to be away from the distractions of the cup, because we have a real scrap on now to survive in this division. (We weren't gonna win it two years in a row anyway). And if we don't bolster the midfield this week, we won't do it, whoever the manager is. At least we can't lose to any more championship sides this season (only premiership ones), but after this season - who knows?
24/01/2009 18:42:00
Tony does seem to have picked up HR's "special" ability to play his players in all the wrong positions, and then be surprised that you don't get a coherent team out of that mess. Hmm.. come to think of it, having said that signing Pennant was all about getting crosses in for Crouch and then playing Pennant in the middle ( where it's surprisingly difficult to deliver crosses ) perhaps he has HR's ability to contradict himself too.
24/01/2009 18:44:00
he said in an interview after he signed, that he had seen pennant play behind the striker before, and he thought it had worked well. (see one of the forum threads...)
24/01/2009 19:26:00
Personally, we played well. The change at half time was the right one, and Pennant was fantastic. I think we should play Belhadj in front of Hermann all the time, Hermann played really well. Kanu was great, but Cranie was poor. Basically we were really unlucky, hitting the post and crossbar, their keeper was in great form. Ref was dodgy. The penalty was debatable as to whether it was in or out, and Dyer's goal was a case of no-one picking up the runner. Dyer, despit being a dirty thieving scummer, looked pretty decent.
24/01/2009 19:44:00
Our only hope is that villa seem to have stuttered somewhat, so there's a possibility we could capitalize on that on tuesday. No doubt about it, we miss Johno whenever he isn't playing. Desperately dissapointed, but it's not the end of the world. Two silver-linings - One, Spurs went out as well, second, the manager from'that lot down the road' has quit! Not, much, but it's a small conselation!
24/01/2009 20:20:00
Never mind I am sure you will get to take your frustrations out when you play them a couple more times and soon.
24/01/2009 20:23:00
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