Vital Football

Even Lady luck doesn't fancy us!

Pompey
0 - 1
Fulham

Fratton

15/8/09

Attendance: 17,510

Referee:

Pompey went down to an opening day defeat to satisfy the watching media, all those scribes who were witness to our demise will take great joy that we are one game down and pointless, but the goal was scored by a bloke who couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo last season, so he used his own to divert a speculative Dempsey effort past David James.

Al Fahim was witness to the game as he promised, the giant screen flashed an image of him and Storrie sitting side by side in the box, no evidence of any cheque signing though.

Pompey started the game with the back four of Kaboul on the right, Wilson and Distin in the middle and Belhadj as a marauding left/back/half, Midfield saw the Axe and Wardrobe accompany erm, the Coathanger?

Kranjcar was the man for the passes, while Utaka stood on the right with Piquionne the lone man up front.

Pompey certainly went at the game with verve, Piq was running the channels well, the midfield dogs of war were getting in the tackles, and our new look defence looked solid.

But after nearly quarter of an hour, fate rose its ugly head, Dempsey lined up a long shot and Zamora stuck out his 'aris, the ball deviated more than a Tory MP with an orange in his mouth past a wrong footed Jamo, one down and pressure on.

Kranjcar was given 2 opportunities to test Scwarzer with a couple of well placed free-kicks, but only tested the patience of the Fulham fans behind the goal with two blasts over the bar.

Pompey exerted all the pressure, Belhadj had the chance of the game, a corner swung toward him with the goal gaping, but he got neither forehead or nose the ball and the chance was gone.

Andy Johnson found himself with a half-chance in front of the Fratton end, but he took a leaf out of Pompey's book and skied it high into the atmos.

Second half and Pompey threatened again, Mullins and Piquionne conbined well to lay it off to Kaboul, but again he could only find a fan in the stand with his effort.

Johnson missed the chance of the game though, he seemed to give Wilson a little nudge as he went to head the ball, but as it dropped he had time and space, but again he too smashed it wide with the goal gaping.

Pompey were still trying to get back into the game, Mullins, who to be fair actually had a decent game, fired in what I reckon to be our only shot on target, it was blocked and landed at the feet of Wilson who fired yet again wide.

Kanu was on for Diop, but found little joy, then on came Nugent for the ineffective (once again) Utaka, Kanu laid off one for Nugent, but he showed all the composure of a toddler in a paddling pool and smashed it as hard as he could high into the Fratton end, chance gone again and so the match.

Star Player

Distin was the stand out, but he was well paired with Wilson at the back, Mullins was also solid in a midfield of battlers and so deserves a mention.

Player Ratings


James

Not really seriously tested beside the fluke

Kaboul

Seems to prefer the full-back position as he can drive forward and support the attack

Distin

Class act and showed no signs of sulking for a move.

Wilson

Still a fledgling but looked the part alongside a thouroughbred.

Belhadj

Showed some good skill going forward, but needs heading practice.

Diop

Out of the 3 ball winners was the most creative! He drove forward with the ball when possible and won a couple of good free-kicks.

Mullins

Won a couple of great tackles, he is not a fans favourite, but with detemination and effort like this, they may well be won over yet.

Mokena

Another ball winner, and he likes to put himself about, his effort will be needed.

Kranjcar

Not his best game, never tested Schwarzer with 2 free-kicks, also shot over when well place second half, with a team with limited creativity he will need to perform better.

Utaka

In 111 years of history, Pompey fans will forgive anything if the effort is there, sorry John but a kick up the pipe doesn't seem to work, you must be on borrowed time unless there is a dramatic change.

Piquionne

Reminiscent of Benjani, but alone up front, and put in more crosses than any other player, trouble is ther was no-one to meet them

Manager Rating

Hart has made Pompey hard to break down, but seems to have neglected shooting practice, the ball had more air time than Apollo 13!

Opponent Rating

Hodgson has built a decent side at Craven cottage, they had their luck today but should be challenging for a Europa spot again

Support your team was the plea, but quite a few people showed themselves to be Premiership fans rather than Pompey fans by voting with their feet, they will make an argument about why should be bother when the players have all been sold, but in times of hardship you need a Fratton roar to push the side on.


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Writer:paultsmouth
Date:Sunday August 16 2009
Time: 9:46AM

Comments

0
Some good signs, but lack of firepower could be the big issue
paultsmouth
16/08/2009 09:52:00
0
Utaka must read this site, someone has voted him m.o.m on the site poll!!
paultsmouth
16/08/2009 10:05:00
0
I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SAY THIS... NEVER but well played Muggins; I was convinced you were a useless incompetent numb nut but yesterday you were man of the match for me; more of the same please! Fred wasn't bad at all but to me seems a 4,4,2 player, utaka was dreadfull and I nearly joined the odd boo; but didn't . Finally and most worrying for me on a day where we were a little unfortunate is that I don't have much faith in Hart, why when we needed work rate and endeavour did he bring on Kanu for Diop? And why leave Nugent on the bench until too late? We have to get a point at Brum and I still think we could!
russellm
16/08/2009 10:22:00
0
No, not that impressed. This was a very ordinary Fulham team that should have been beaten. Fulham will struggle to finish in the top ten & heaven help us when the big guns have a go at us. Crap tactics. Awful Utaka. 3 similar midfield players. Niko not looking interested as a team player. Pleased with Fred but he needs support & not just in the last 15 mins. Thought the back 4 did well.
storagematt
16/08/2009 10:25:00
0
In some ways I was quite heartened by the performance overall and the fact we created chances and were undone by an unlucky goal. But I'm gutted cos we COULD HAVE HAD THIS! = SHOULD HAVE HAD THIS. We can't let points slip that are there for the taking, especially at home.
tracyc
16/08/2009 10:51:00
0
I agree with all this. Nice to see Muggins do something good - must take a lot of bottle to keep going out there week after week knowing everyone is on at you and then turn in a performance which shows commitment. Anyone feel like chipping in some dosh to help a struggling team like Scum buy Utaka?
hammersmithblue
16/08/2009 10:56:00
0
If we do play with a 4-5-1 all the time, I think Picquionne could do well in the Utaka role, he seemed decent at getting down the wings and crossing, which would allow for a Kanu/Nugent to finish it/fall over
jbaker
16/08/2009 13:31:00
0
I thought we looked a decent side apart from our woeful finishing (and Utaka). Never been a fan of Mullins - usually think he's a right knob but he was a right Nobby Stiles yesterday.
NinjaTim
16/08/2009 13:48:00
0
Fulham have had team consistancy for a while now and are an organised unit. They may be ineffectual going forward but defensively are good so it's no suprise we struggled to get in good scoring positions with our light-weight attack. Should have been 0-0 which gives me some hope. Also, I think Kanu showed he can still be effective. I've finally begun to give up on Nugent, Freddie immediately looks first choice after one game. Cptn Distin - Pompeys man of the match. Lots of positives to start the season apart from the attendance. Good atmos all the same though
Pompeyscum
16/08/2009 14:36:00
0
With Kanu's pace and Nugent's steady footwork, 4-4-2 has got to be considered. 4-5-1 doesn't work when the two attacking wingers are not attacking, and changing it in the 87th minute is cutting it way too fine. I like 4-5-1, but when we are a goal down, it has to be changed sooner, the hour mark being the ideal time.
PompeyFrippy
16/08/2009 15:17:00
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