Date:Thursday February 4 2010
So, defeat number 15, I think, out of 23 for Pompey in the league this season - after the 1-0 defeat at Fulham - leaves us with a major uphill struggle to avoid relegation, if this was not hard enough as it was before this latest defeat...
It was the usual case of 'same old same old' for Pompey really, as we had a decent amount of possession but did not have any end product, and chances that we did have we missed - like an early effort for Freddy P, although to be fair Mark Schwarzer did save pretty well.
David James, or was it Jamie O'Hara, I am still not sure? Either way someone cleared the ball away from an Aaron Hughes header when Fulham looked to have taken the lead.
Right in front of us travelling Pompey fans, and quite how he managed to do so, Stefano Okaka missed an absolute sitter. Honestly he was about 5-yards out I reckon with virtually an empty net to aim at yet the guy, who arrived on deadline day, put a header wide - to the obvious jeers of the Pompey faithful!
I seem to recall another chance we had when Kevin-Price Boateng managed to wriggle free in the box but his effort was saved by Schwarzer, a pretty lame effort really that was typical of so much of this season for us as you could argue, if being ultra critical that the hard work was done? That said, to be fair, he did well to even fashion the chance really.
Hassan Yebda missed what I would say was our best chance of the night when a fantastic ball in from Nadir Belhadj - who did not have his best of nights and did not look that interested - found his head but he headed down into the ground with little real power, so it was easy for the Aussie keeper again.
England's no.1, James is of course back in goal for us - at least for now - and he had to save from Bobby Zamora, who also should have done better with his header but could do nothing to prevent Jonathan Greening scoring the late winner with 15 minutes to go.
The goal SHOULD have been avoided as Belhadj was robbed in his own penalty area, quite what he was doing - as so often with Nadir - only he will know! Although TV replays have since shown that the goal probably should have been ruled out with Zamora clearly in an offside, and active, position.
So, as usual that lack of a bit of quality that we have needed and not having a striker worthy of the name cost us. The end product in the final third just was not there again, and does not look as though it will be there? For me Avram Grant should have gone for a more attacking formation as Fulham where there for the taking.
It is looking more likely that relegation is going to be the outcome this season, although off-the-field at least things look a little better - at last in the short-term - as Balram Chainrai has taken control to stabilise things in this short-term, which 'should' be better in the long-term.
Like I say relegation now seems all the more likely - and worryingly so the majority of the players looked resigned to this as the trudged off after the defeat - for us to have any chance at all we MUST beat Sunderland, Stoke and Burnley in what are 3 huge games for us this month...
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Date:Thursday February 4 2010
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