Vital Football

Pompey slip up again

0 - 1


27/01/09 20:00



Just like to say I am writing this report straight from the game, no replays have been witnessed and I haven't heard either managers opinions, this is how I saw it.

Pompey took to the field with a 4-4-2 formation, my initial reaction was good, only doubt I had was whether either forwrd would have the pace to get in behind a solid Aston Villa defence, the score of our last premiership goal, or any goal for that matter was glued to the bench.
Mullins made his debut alongside Davis, and Pompeys very own thorn Heskey made his debut the other end.

Pompey and Villa started the game very sinmilarly, both knocking it about, but neither side testing either 'keeper. Mullins looked tidy, and pennant was working hard and getting forward well, the only problem seemed to be both Belhadj and Davis' radars were awry, since this was half our midfield, it was a concern.
Villa were having concerns too, Curtis davies seeming to slice everything that came at him.
first chance of the game fell to Mullins, his shot deflecting narrowly wide of the upright and Pompey had the first of what was to be about 100 corners.
On about 20 mins and Villa scored out of the blue, Friedel punted up the pitch, from I was Agbonlahor gave Distin and nudge and Heskey was left untracked by Campbell to bury into the bottom corner from the edge of the area, that familiar feeling was back in my guts.
Pompey had a few half-chances, Friedel saving well from one Pennant effort, and then Agbonlahor was clean through only to put a horrible poke wide.
Just before half-time and belhadj showed why he is no longer trusted at left-back, he was twice contrived to lose possesion to Gardner, and then in a show of Gavin Maguire like petulance just hacked the man down, yellow was flashed but another day could easily have been red. So half-time was here, we had most of the ball, fired umpteen corners for the bloke at the near post to head away, and generally huffed a bit.

During the restart I fully expected Belhadj to be dragged off and Traore to be on, not only was he lucky to still be on, but was also playing crap. The only change was Campbell coming off for Kaboul, no complaints from me there, Campbell is either solid or flaky these days, today was a Cadburys day.
The match slipped into the same routine, Pompey pushed forward, forced a corner (back post this time) and Villa relied on the breakaways, from my position aided by the slowest linesman i have ever seen, he waved play on even though he was on the halfway line nearly every time, no doubt having a chat with the ever so chatty Mr O'Neill. Referee Walton was not really eluding himself to the home support either, Pennant seemed to be wiped out totally by Barry as he burst forward, but Pompey were denied the chance to miss another penalty as he waved all appeals away.
With about 20 minutes to go, Belhadj really done himself proud, the blind, slow and clueless linesman missed a blatant hanball by Cuellar as Belhadj tried to juggle over his head, he indicated Villas way and Belhadj no doubt forgetting his yellow, first decided to have a slanging match and then belted the ball a full 4 yards away, out popped the red like a dogs lipstick, and off he marched, Pompey 1 down and down to 10 men, great.

The sending-off never really changed things, we again forced corner after corner, Villa again headed them away. Utaka came on for Kanu, much to the crowds and Nugent's dibelief, but for once the Nigerian looked up for it, one run took him past 3 defenders, but he overhit the ball and then realised if he were to shoot with his left foot he would have nothing to stand on and Friedel smothered.
Time ticked on and Davis summed everything up with the last kick of the game, a tired limp shot that was nearer the KFC behind the ground than Friedel.
We came, we saw, we left home defeated and deflated again.

Pompey had the effort tonight, but we resembled a fat middle aged man with a lovely headband going for a jog, all effort, but never looked like getting anywhere.

Star Player

Jermaine Pennant was our stand out man, he provided anything that was goog about us, and Villa saw fit to take him out every time he got the ball second half, tells its own story.

Manager Rating

Biggest mistake was leaving Belhadj on at half-time, he had one life and wasted it.

Opponent Rating

Lovely fella, always chatting to the ref and 4th official.

what next?

Pompey need a Mendes moment to kick start our season again, thing is, who will provide it?

Date:Tuesday January 27 2009
Time: 11:23PM


Where is the next point coming from? Yes we did ok, but I can't see a goal on the horizon
27/01/2009 23:28:00
oh Rug now you've put me off my exercise.
plymouth graham
27/01/2009 23:31:00
No luck and atrocious refereeing cost us the point we really deserved.
27/01/2009 23:34:00
sounds fair to me i thought we did ok but we had nothing up front. Kanu was running around in the first half laying off balls into empty spaces for players to run into, but the players did not see what he saw. Belhadj was a disgrace, but the rest did well
plymouth graham
27/01/2009 23:36:00
Not enough quality through the middle for me. Thats what cost us the game, not the ref.
27/01/2009 23:40:00
Pennant was good, and I thought Mullins was pretty decent too. Can't imagine why TA didn't take Belhadj off at half time. Hell, he had Traore on the bench, so it would have been a straight swap! For the life of me I couldn't see the sense in picking Kanu over Nugent. Kanu would have made sense at the weekend, but not against Villa, and not with the rest of the lineup.
27/01/2009 23:56:00
TA should have taken bekhadj off at half time!! Villa were lucky and we were unlucky. That's the way it's going this season! TA should get 2 or 3 games to win or at least score !!
28/01/2009 00:05:00
played well Pompey, just no finish... though Adams would of took Belhadj off, petulant player, cant be juggling it about like that, and then kick an opponent just cos he lost the ball! On that performance if you do it consitently, should be ok ...
28/01/2009 00:06:00
Well I don't know but I thought this was a very good performance from us. We dominated Villa and any team to do that should take pride from that accomplishment. While they are probably the luckiest team in the league right now I would honestly say I have rarely seen a team as unlucky as we were today.
28/01/2009 03:49:00
Great start by Pennant, great link up play with Johnson. Wasted corners by taking them too early, we have enough big players, to send the ball in the box? Sean Davis needs a new pair of shoes as he cant seem to stay on his feet! and as ive said many times Campbell is slow, was releaved to see Kaboul start the second Second half was much more promising, played higher up the pitch and with more confidence then Belhadj goes and screws it all up..
28/01/2009 06:10:00
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