Portsmouth - The Fat Lady.... she is singing
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Potless 1 - Stoke 2




The Fat Lady.... she is singing

Go out with a bang we said, let's get a win and make a fight of it we said, this is a MUST win we said, well bugger, Pompey went down the worst way possible, even the most blindly optimistic fan must have stepped through the gates of inferno after that match.

Let's face it, if you could sum Pompey's season up in one match this would be it, denied by an incompetent linesman in the first half, plenty of effort but little creativity, we conceded from a set-piece and lost to a sucker punch, sound familiar?

Pompey went with one up front again, a tactic I am not fond of, I'm sure Avram will say it was a front three, but Piquionne was by himself with Quincy and Dindane in wide positions, the diamond formation worked lovely when we had Benjani up front with pacy players in the team to support him, but Diop is a carthorse from midfield, not a Diarra or Muntari.

I am confident in the fact that 90% of people reding this have sen the game now, either live, both at the match or on telly, or on MOTD, you will know it was not much of a spectacle.
Pompey can not be accused of lack of effort, they cannot be accused of that for the most of the season, perspiration is there, inspiration is not. We as fans have been patient with is quite obviously a hamstrung side, quite a few pockets of turned on Mark Wilson of late, quite harsh when you consider he is still learning his trade, if Pompey still had Kaboul, distin or even the scrooge that is Campbell, he would of been eased into the defence at right back rather than pitched straight into the centre, his every mistake is highlighted, quite harsh on a young lad trying his best in dire circumstances.

Anyway, the first half was flat and devoid of quality, Pompey tried, Stoke contained and relied on set-pieces as we knew they would, Delap launching in bombs from the touchline and Sidibe and Fuller trying to force the ball home, that is their style, one I hate but for them it is effective and keeping them up.
20 minute passed befor a worthwhile effort on goal, Belhadj firing narrowly over with his right boot after cutting in.
Then came Piquionne's 'goal' he was played in and lifted over Sorensen, only for the the lino (is it the same one every week, short and dumpy?) to raise his flag.
Quincy showed moments of threat, but more often than not his secon touch was too heavy and he was dispossed, O'Hara was trying but was not finding his top form, and Diop was plodding as usual.

We took the lead however after Quincy managed to fire in a shot that Sorensen squirted out again, Piq got there first and forced home from a tight angle, we were one up in a game of little chances and half-time was approaching.
There was just time for James to keep out Tuncay and we could all have a bovril.

Second half and Pompey came out of the blocks flying, Kanu who had replaced goalscorer Piq won a corner after we bombed forward only for it to come to nothing.
Next up came Pompey's achilles heel moment, a corner came over and Huth got up above a flat footed Wilson and nodded home easily, Stoke were level and Pompey had done little to stop it.

The rest of the half was proper scrappy, no team threatened and it took a red card for Wilkinson to liven it up, his first yellow was deserved but the second was quite harsh as he tussled with Dindane, Pompey had quarter of an hour to unlock a stubborn Stoke defence, but did we have the keys?
Avram went fro it by having Dindane, Webber, Kanu, Utaka and Quincy on the pitch, but we could not muster a single decent chance, O'Hara wasted a few free-kicks by firing into the wall, but that was it.

Then came that sucker punch, Fuller got fre on the right and squirmed over a cross for Diao to fire home his first goal in about 33 years, the game was gone and so was Pompey's tenure in the Premiership, maybe not mathmatically, but in reality.

The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 21 2010

Time: 9:21AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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i thought you played well , as the commentry team kept on insisting that from 20 - end of first half you never loked the team in last place
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21/02/2010 09:33:00

got to say that i totally agree with your thoughts on wilson - i find it incredible that we are so quick to turn on '1 of our own', ok technically he has not come through the entire academy at pompey, he left manyoo as a 15 or 16-year-old didnt he but he is still young, in terms of experience - and in age really. i am still not convinced that he is a central defender, more a defensive midfielder, being thrown in at the deep end will 'probably' make him stronger in the long-run tho...
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21/02/2010 09:38:00

Not so much out with BANG!! more of a Fizzy POP....the lads tried I give them that, but when you haven't got the rub of the green.
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21/02/2010 09:54:00

Not sure about singing but certainly throwing up all over us. Look so many of us that have given so much over so many decades, I am completely drained by it all. If they are going to shoot us, please get on with it.
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21/02/2010 09:55:00

dont start the wilson debate again, if we had the three defenders you mentioned, wilson would not have been eased in, he would never have played for us. probably would have been loaned out and then let go into the mediocre oblivion of where he deserves to be (and where at best our club is heading). championship standard at very best and he along with us will probably never grace the premier league again.
Super Bock 1898
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21/02/2010 10:17:00

Abandon ship, women and children first!
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21/02/2010 10:19:00

Biggest game of your season....managed 15,000 home fans - that's half what saw MK Dons lose at ST Mary's. Reality time.
Natural Order Resume
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21/02/2010 10:30:00

Nice to see a scummer surface a week after the dust settles...
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21/02/2010 10:43:00

Even I (yes me!) a blindly optimistic fan stepped through the gates of inferno.. and admitted premiership defeat ....Still.. As long as we have a club to support that's the main thing
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21/02/2010 10:49:00

Rug the problem is Wilson always looks a step or two off the pace of the Premiership. He might be alright for the Championship but I just don't think he has the poise or the guile for the top level.
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21/02/2010 10:49:00

If reports are true though, Sunderland are offering him a pre-contract anyway
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21/02/2010 11:25:00

hmm maybe a good thing, he needs to learn to jump tbh or at least grow an extra foot, scum where so dangerous from long balls in and actually anything in the air in the box because Wilson just can't get to them, he's great on the ground but aerial just can't cut it. Its a shame cause the kids got potential, but if we had Rocha in there or anyone with a bit more aerial presence then we wouldn't have conceded the 1st goal and if the lino wasn't as blind as a bat could have quiet easily gone on to win it 2-0 or so.
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21/02/2010 11:55:00

p.s thats a foot in height before anyone comments lol
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21/02/2010 11:55:00

After watching the game I have now resigned myself to championship football next year. Well atleast i hope we're playing next year! The game summed up our season for me, lots of effort but not converting our chances. Lets hope we get a decent new owner and start winning some games, even if it is in the 'Fizzy Pop League@' PUP!
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21/02/2010 12:57:00

You are unlucky. Salf Diao LMAO
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21/02/2010 13:24:00

" O'Hara wasted a few free-kicks " an understatement. Was he successful with any free kick or corner? That game was a chance lost to be back in the mix again. Depressing!
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21/02/2010 16:03:00

V annoying. Particularly disappointed with the attendance as well. I know times are tough, but 17K for what might be the last game at Fratton is pathetic.
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21/02/2010 16:24:00

I simply cannot understand why O'Hara keeps on taking free kicks when he never threatens the goal. I' ve said this before Kaboul left; we are going to score less from set pieces, and having corner after corner usually results in nothing. That is what we were doing yesterday! Regarding Wilson; he is a young lad who is giving his all. I would not attack him, there are others who are expierenced and are not doing the best job possible. Dindane is only one of them
Pompey Malta
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21/02/2010 18:06:00

Although totally depressed there's still the thought in me that we're only 2 points behind where we were in the Great Escape 1.
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21/02/2010 18:23:00

Really surprised. After the 1st half performance, I didn't think there was any chance you would lose this one. You do seem cursed this season.
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21/02/2010 18:30:00

Mike Dean's a tw*t, too. What happened to the six second rule for goalies? I counted one as 13 seconds - even doing the 'elephants' rule. And most in the last 30 minutes were 9 or 10.
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21/02/2010 18:34:00

Well I will still hold out hope. Hull are eight points ahead of us. We have a game in hand and we have to play them. So she is not singing for me yet! Wilson is trying and learning. So I agree with Malta PTID
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21/02/2010 18:42:00

I like Wilson!
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21/02/2010 20:53:00

I think that was our last chance to remain in the Prem next season. But it is Grant's job to keep the team performing. They have places to play for and we are just one win from Wembley. Few of our team will get this close again, except for a lower division play-off.
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21/02/2010 21:01:00

March-Kick off with a new set of owners (why would anyone buy US?) Gain a Wembley appearance in a FA Cup Semi Final- Start an unbeaten run til the end of the season. April-continue our good run, gain a FA Cup Final spot. May- stay up by the skin of our teeth, win the FA Cup, Avram voted Manager of the season... ...Or-continue losing streak go into administration, players exodus.. ...
plymouth graham
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22/02/2010 07:50:00

I'm with you PFC Blue, i know we are still 8 points from safety, but I still think we will replace Hull in that position. I am going to Burnley and if we lose that as well and the others around us win then I guess I will have to relent and say that then it will be too much to escape. Assuming we stay afloat next Monday though, we can book a place at Wembley for the semi final by beating Brum and then again on the Tuesday and we are back in a more promising position. 'It ain't over til its over'
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22/02/2010 08:02:00

I hear the South Africans want to bring 'Arry back to save the club again - big deep pockets for them to fill up with brown envelopes full of cash. Could 'Arry pull off Great Escape part 2? Problem being, prem survival isnt the main issue - and the one that matters 'Arry can't influence any more, unless he's still got all that cash under his mattress and he decides to do the right thing and hand it back?! One week and counting. No-one in the right mind will come in with 20m plus in the next 5 days. No-one would need to take that risk, with no asset to buy and 99% certainty of cola league football with minus points at the start....
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22/02/2010 13:41:00

Chairai is goig to save us. http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Chainrai-offers-Pompey- BBC http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Chainrai-offers-Pompey-fans-hope.6092241.jp
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22/02/2010 13:53:00

I'm sick of hearing Fans (I use the term loosely) criticising players, Wilson wasn't doing too bad till he was cast adrift by the sale of Kaboul. But to come on here criticising him as not being good enough is pointless, it doesn't matter whether he's world class or Sunday league class he's all we've got at the moment so instead of venting your anger by criticising him, channel it into getting behind him and every other player in the team and lets see if we can raise their games if only to give us the hope of seeing a few points before the end of the season. There's simply no point moaning about what we have, we cant change it, we can't replace anyone we just have to get the best we can out of what we have.
Steve C
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22/02/2010 14:25:00

I cannot begin to imagine how you lads feel...relegation is not the worst thing that can happen...it is not having a club to support, unless you fancy Saturday afternoons at Fareham or Waterlooville...best wishes for the future
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23/02/2010 14:33:00

i dont know what is happening at pompey, nor does any fan in the world. We must go into admin as soon as possible, if we dont then i may not have a club to support, unless someone created AFC portsmouth
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23/02/2010 20:32:00


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