Portsmouth - Not convincing, but pts in the bag...
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England U21 2 - Finland U21 1

Orjans Vall

15th Jun 2009, 17:15

Attendance: 5,500

Not convincing, but pts in the bag...

Unfortunately I was not able to watch the game, nor was I able to follow the Twenty20 cricket for that matter, but it is widely acknowledged that England did not get off to the best of starts at the European U21 championships in Sweden - but at least they picked up the pts with a 2-1 win over Finland.

It is not even worth me attempting to make much comment on the game having not seen it, or attempt a match report, but goals from Wigan's Lee Cattermole after 15 minutes and Citeh's Micah Richards - who would make a good player for Pompey I reckon, despite not progressing as had been expected! - after 53 were scored either side of a penalty from Tim Sparv, a former player for the lot down the road, on 33 minutes.

Martin Cranie, who continues to be a feature for the England U21's despite not get much of a look-in at Pompey - which given who he was up against was understandable - again started at right back but when Chelski's Michael Mancienne was sent off he moved into the middle.

By all accounts he had a solid game too?

The next game for the Young Lions will be on Thursday when we face Spain, and to get anything from that we would appear to have to show improvement - something that Stuart Pearce knows: 'I thought we showed courage, that's what we showed. We were oozing courage, oozing commitment and oozing character. That's what we have got.

'Did we play good enough? A million miles off from it. Well enough to trouble this tournament? No. I've just told them that. They know it, they are honest and that's why they have turned around a situation where they were down to 10 men at half-time.'

See the rest of his thoughts in this sky sports video, and Pearce does talk up Cranie and his performane...


Join the Vital Pompey Debate

The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday June 16 2009

Time: 2:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Young lions did just enough but will have some tougher teams ahead. Only saw bits & Craine did ok. Still short of being able to play regular in the prem though it can't but help him & us with his continued improvement.
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16/06/2009 16:45:00

Crainie reads the game well for someone so young thats why I feel he could have a future at c/back, must have leant a lot from Sol & Sylvan.
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16/06/2009 20:35:00

yep central defence seems his long-term future - some would argue he isnt ready for the 1st team but i reckon if he isnt ready now he never will be... if he has a future with pompey it will be next season, even if it is as a regular sub getting on for games and starting when others are out? can stuart pearce and the u21 set-up all be wrong...
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17/06/2009 07:56:00

I think he might have featured more at the end of last season, had we not been in such a critical situation. Having said that, he still dodn't feature much when we finaly were safe... so who knows?
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17/06/2009 08:44:00

but a couple of seasons ago - when he made his debut against manchester united, he looked very good, and controlled rooney/ronaldo very well. then he broke his leg though...
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17/06/2009 08:45:00

Crainie does seem to be a self assured young player. Maybe this new season will give him the chance to break in to the first team. We do have an aging back line and some fresh young blood with the desire to prove himself have got to be positives.
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17/06/2009 18:30:00

Carpet I remember him against ManU did well at right back so maybe its time for him.
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17/06/2009 19:45:00


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