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Pompey 1 1 - Arsenal 4 4

Fratton

30/12/09

Attendance:

Pompey blown away

Where to start with this one, basically Arsenal were better in every dept. Better in attack, defence and midfield, I reckon even their half-time tea tasted better.

All the off-field crap boiled over on to the pitch, the players and management may claim otherwise, but this was the most disjointed performance since the manager took over, the fans are confused, the players looked it and even our previous owner doesn't know who is in charge!

Pompey were forced to leave out O'Hara due to suspension, but one look at the team sheet and it told a story, Mokoena and Hughes were both in, Pompey were looking at containing, any attacking ideas were being shelved. I feel for Mokoena a bit, every game he has started in the league we have lost, he is an honest enough player, but frankly not good enough, Hughes was always a crowd favourite, he has his limitations but always gave a 6/10 performance, trouble is his limitations are starting to become more evident in a struggling side.
Begovic was between the posts once more, all signs seem to lean to a departure from our ex-England 'keeper.

Pompey started brightly enough, Boateng in particular shone in blue, he had one well struck shot turned away, and Piquionne looked lively once more.
After 15 minutes of stalemate Arsenal found their composure, the Wenger way is well known now, the ball was on the ground and moved around sharply, Ramsey in particular standing out.
On 25 minutes, Pompey were nearly in, a floated ball over the top caught out Arsenals' high line, Boateng controlled the ball but bought it down to close to his body and his next touch squirted it away from him.

A couple of minutes later and Pompey's riendship with lady luck took a turn for the worse, Eduardo fired in a free-kick form the edge of the box, it took a massive deflection off of Kaboul and squirted inside the near post, questions will be asked however of the point of having a player on the post after Hreidarsson failed to stop it.

Arsenal slipped into cruise control now, they passed around Pompey's labouring midfield and increased their lead just before half-time, Nasri converting after a well worked moved culminated in an opening.

The second half slipped back into the same groove, the fans were venting their anger at the directors box now though, Arsenal were still playing it around however, Boatenfg left the field after an awkward fall and Ramsey decided to increase the lead, first he dispossed Vanden Borre, then he shimmied inside and hit a fierce left-footed drive that left Begovic helpless, the class gap evident.

Pompey seemed dead on their feet, but out of nowhere Belhadj played a one-two of sorts with Vanden Borre and smashed home, a glimmer of hope perhaps?
No chance, Nasri lofted a cross over a Pompey defence in disarray and Song headed home Arsenals fourth, game well and truly over.
Pompey could of got another back in the final minute, but Vanden Borre's cross was missed by Piquionne on the edge of the box when he really should of done better.

Star Player

Boateng looked the only player in Pompey's ranks who may of slotted into Arsenal's team, he may be about to depart soon if rumours are proved to be true, but if he is, he is showing no signs of hiding.

What Now?

Pompey's season has come to a head of sorts, January will be a watershed moment for the club, at the end of it we will have some answers, maybe not from the heirarchy itself, but in the transfer dealings of the window we will get all the answers we need.




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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 31 2009

Time: 12:50PM

Your Comments

Good report as always Paul. What else can I say except Happy New Year All!!
eastneydave
Let in 44!
FootyFans
I was beginning to gain faith in Avram, and yesterday must have been a difficult day for him to motivate the players knowing that PFC are about to sell the half decent ones in the next few days. But I didn't like the team selection or the tactics. Avram you got it wrong mate. I don't think we would ever had beaten the Gooners even with a better side, but oh dear the defending was abysmal. Nasri could have written and posted a letter quicker than we closed him down for his goal, and Herman you had a shocker. How is Mokoena getting selected, and as Captain, is a pretty appalling decision. What a bad free he was. Why bring Brown on with 30sec's to go? Sorry but it was a really bad night all round, and I guess we will have to put it behind us quickly. What I worry about is who are the 11 we can select if we sell in the next few days, because we can't bring anyone in. Grim!!
Mike1954
Unlucky lads - good luck for the next few months
shewore
Perhaps it is time to stop hoping, me included. We had faith in Hart and we had to lose it. We had faith in Grant, and I am starting to lose it. To see Mokoena and Hughes 'managing' the midfield and Mullins on the bench, one might wonder what happened to Basinas. He played over 100 matches for Greece, being captain and can't get into our side. How come? Possibily, is Hart and Grant so blind not to notice that Hughes and Mokoena are not footballers? And can't he give a chance to Basinas? I am sure he will shine. You were wrong Avram, from the 1st miute to the last. It is a shame for us fans to see this farce happening and we can't do anything!
Pompey Malta
Absolute disgrace of a performance- at home no less!!!! What the hell is going on at Pompey??? A few seasons ago noone looked forward to going there and they won the cup!! Seriously, the players don't deserve to be paid after that!!! (they probably won't be!)
jinkin jimmy dimmock
We didn't pay the players again, according to reports !
russellm
Not a good nite. I expected to lose & 4-1 may have flattered us. The grief we are putting up with as fans is obviously affecting the players. Should interesting on which players play in the cup game on Saturday? Melt down of the club is the biggets fear.
storagematt
I had a laugh with the bloke next to me when we were trying to think who was on the bench who might come on instead of Mokoena...when VDB came on, we had to chuckle as we had both forgotten that VDB was on the books and, as my neighbour said, "That's got the crowd excited!" but in the end VDB didn't look that bad given the company he was keeping. Last glimpse of Belhadj in Pompey shirt was poignant. Even he had his little head drooping and he's usually the most never-say-die bloke.
hammersmithblue
It's Arsenal and Chelsea that we simply cannot beat. As for Arsenal a few unfortunate draws along the way, but as for the others nothing but defeats. My big worry is, will we get another shot ?
pompeygray
Yes, it might be a long tie before we see the 'Mighty Arse' visit FP for a league game. Look at Leeds, Sheff Wed, N.Forest, Charlton & the scum. Once down, it takes a long time to get back.
storagematt
 

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