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Pompey 0 - Cardiff 2

Fratton

28-08-10, 3pm

Attendance: 15866

Pompey 0-2 Cardiff

Portsmouth 0-2 Cardiff City - From Wembley, to the harsh realities of the Championship.

It is amazing to think that only two years ago, Portsmouth and Cardiff were battling it out to become the 2008 FA Cup winners.

Pompey's side was littered with stars, featuring names such as Lassana Diarra, Sulley Muntari and Niko Kranjcar.

How times have changed.

Back then, the Blues were massive favourites to lift the Cup. However, Cardiff travelled to Fratton Park today seeking revenge, with a star of their own - Craig Bellamy.

Pompey manager Steve Cotterill brought John Utaka back into the side, leaving out Blues top scorer Nadir Ciftci. The decision seemed to pay off too, with Utaka looking lively and eager to get in behind the Cardiff defence.

Early on, Marc Wilson nearly marked his farewell game with a spectacular free kick that was well saved by Bluebirds goalkeeper David Marshall.

However, after a bright start from Cotterill's men, the Welsh-side always looked deadly on the counter attack. They had Chris Burke on one wing and Craig Bellamy on the other, giving them pace in abundance. As a result, the Bluebirds should have taken an early lead. Bellamy blasted over from just ten yards out - A real sitter by his standards.

The warning signs were there for Pompey and with this in mind the Blues were pushing deeper and deeper with every Cardiff attack.

Peter Whittingham almost scored a freak effort as his corner rattled the frame of the goal and bounced out, in what was an extremely nervy few minutes for the home side.

Finally though, the deadlock was broken. On the halfway line, Marc Wilson was horribly caught in possession by Cardiff midfielder Danny Drinkwater. The on-loan Man Utd midfielder then tried a through ball to team mate Jay Bothroyd but instead found the shin of Hayden Mullins and the ball cannoned into the bottom corner - A dreadfully unlucky goal to concede by anyone's standards.

Half time was looming and David Nugent was gifted Pompey's best chance of the game as he saw his volley produce an incredible save out of Marshall. The rebound fell to Utaka
who blazed over. It just wasn't going to be Pompey's day.

This belief was then reinforced as only three minutes after the restart, comical defending by the Home side gifted Jay Bothroyd with one of the easiest goals he'll ever score in his career. A shambles of a mix up between Jamie Ashdown and Ibrahima Sonko presented Bothroyd with an empty net. There was no coming back for Cotterill's troops now.

Pompey's only ever attacking threat was from set pieces and even they were substandard today. From open play, they just looked lost with no direction.

Ibrahima Sonko and Aaron Mokoena proved once again they are a poor partnership at the back. Every time a ball came through the middle, they looked unable to cope. I can't help but think missing out on Ricardo Rocha really is going to cost Pompey.

It's hard to pick out any real positives for Steve Cotterill today. You can look at the fact that Cardiff are a very good side and will definitely be up there in the top six come the end of the season. However, from a Pompey point of view, they need to start picking up points quickly. We saw last season how much a bad start can affect the team. From then on, you are playing catch up with the rest.

If Cotterill doesn't bring in quality this week, and with the number of tough games the Blues have coming up - I'm struggling to see how they are going to come out of that dreaded relegation zone anytime soon.

Ratings
Ashdown 6
Dickinson 6
Sonko 4
Mokoena 5
Wilson 6
Mullins 6
Brown 6
Utaka 7
Hughes 5
Nugent 5
Smith 6

Star Player

John Utaka. For once he looked like he was up for the occasion. The Nigerian was clearly trying to catch the eye of the handful of Premier League scouts who were in the stands. He was lively and didn't look his usual, lazy self. He was Pompey's only real attacking threat today. Plus, as he was subbed off - It was probably the first time he's never been booed - That must prove he put in a half decent performance!

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The Journalist

Writer: Josh Perry Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 28 2010

Time: 7:13PM

Your Comments

Maybe Steve Cotterill is not the man for our Team? He didn't seem to have a tactical clue against the Welsh aunts and the reason for the substitutions seemed only to 'give the youngsters a run out'. Can you see any signs of the players 'pulling out stops' for him? The culture of losing or being really crap seems endemic at Pompey because when I look at the players, they should be, at least an average team. Blaming the situation, administration, embargoes, exoduses, etc, etc is now passe and it is up to the manager and players to sort it out. relegation, again, will not even give us the opportunity to stuff the Scum as they will be promoted this season by an excellent squad of players and a solid if flaky and itinerant manager. Ashdown is not a Championship goalie, well, not behind our defense, he's not. I like Muggins but although he tries hard, he's not enough of a right back. The Axe (s*******) needs a better partner as sadly, (and I hate to bandwagon jump) Sonko is not now, and is not going to be worth his place in the team. Dickensian was better but needs practice and a bit of competition from Our Saviour, Hermie. On this display, the sooner Marc Wilson goes, the better - if it was Cardiff that were buying him I'd be onto the Fraud Squad! Mr Brown is pretty consistent but has lost his edge - SC? Hughsie is, well, Hughsie. Utaka was better but please, someone buy him, FCS! Tommy Smith suffers from being out wide and no one in the team being able to pass the ball any distance and Nuge? Well, he's not a centre forward but, as regularly announced, 'he tries hard, though, doesn't he?' I reiterate, is Cotterill the problem? If Lawrence and Kitson appear and if Hermie re-signs and we're still crap, then the answer is YES.
Et_tu_Pompeii
Erm, can I point out here that I find The Axe a very funny nick-name and nothing else. Thank you so much, Vital Filter for making me feel guilty!
Et_tu_Pompeii
That was one of the worst pompey performances ive seen in a long long time . no one seemed be bothered or remotly interested & as for sonko a whole season down here please no ? i no beggers can be chosers but he was awful again SC has a hard task if he thinks that lot will play good enough Football for us to stay up, i hope i will be eating my words but i cant see it happening .they say things can only get better well they cant get any worst & we have taken up our usual position bottom of the table again . its gonna be a long hard season
sea-juicer
Two years ago I was sitting there watching James,Johnson, Distin, Campbell, Defore, Diarra, Crouch, Kranjcar, Traore and so forth. Last year I thought "blimey this has gone off a bit" watching Boateng, Big Fred, Belhadj, O Hara, Dindane and so forth. Today was simply raw sewage. The only pleasure was seeing Nelson goading the S'Shaggers before the game and also Brownie showing Bellamy what for every so often. That was it. Juicer - you are right - gonna be a massively long season.
hammersmithblue
Blimey it's doom and gloom on here tonight. No it wasn't a good performance overall but take two gift goals out of it it would have been a draw. For 40 minutes there wasn't much between the sides till the first gift and then Pompey fell apart. Wilson played like he'd already left and questioned the sense in picking him at all. I'd also question a deal that brings in a winger and striker for a defender when the defence needs strengthening and a creative midfielder needs to come in to the middle. Utaka and Nugent tried hard today and if they are given the ball at the right time in the right place i think they'll score goals unfortunately we don't have a player capable of providing any sort of quality service. I'm not going to join the bandwagon over Steve Cotterill he has both hands tied behind his back untill A) he can move some of the younger players out on loan and replace them with loan signings or B) we come out of administration and the new owner injects some serious cash.
Steve C
Maybe its better hes had no money to spend ? judging by what he has brought in and his obvious dislike of the younger players. He only seems to want 30 plus players who will just boot the ball anywhere. No Plan No tactics No Idea
uplandblue
seems as tho the winning feel after Tuesday eve has been forgotten completely.......shame cos what a gr8 night when things did eventually go our way ...................could be worse!! After all, Avram Grant's continuing in fine form from where he left off from us, LOSING and Jamo's back on his "calamity" stage.....OMG and City were so thrilled with their signing............at least with SC he speaks nice clear English! a lot of flannel, but at least it is comprehensible.............. things, can only get better (get rid SONKO HE IS A LIABILITY)!!
woweepompey
Today was the longest and quietest hour and a half I have ever spent at FP.
gandor1
didnt see the game, but have said all along the Sonko signing is a joke
plymouth graham
We have what modt experts say is a mid table team. Yet we are bottom of the league with a manager who it seems is tactically unsure, says - shall we say- unusual things about his players and games and more worryingly can't motivate the players to play for him. Sound familiar? We can't afford to carry Sonkoanylonger he needs to shape up or ship out. We need Lawrence and Kitson in and soon cos that was the worst performance I've seen since that infamous Coventry game; not to mention Preston. Tough on the manager but he has no more than 6 weeks to turn it around.
russellm
Ll not panic yet but weekly 10ner bet is getting very concerned.
russellm
So your going for the Kevin Keegan philosophy then Russell Score plenty but concede plenty. We need to Strengthen at the back and as far as i've seen so far we don't have anybody to give the ball to the forwards so it doesn't matter who's up front we ain't gonna score many. When Wilson goes we will be even weaker than we were today but still won't have anybody to supply the strikers so we're still stuffed. As for who SC has brought in we are making do with those we can get not the ones he'd like, hand on heart if you weren't a Pompey fan would you want to come to FP at the moment? Until administration is over we are stuck with what we have or more similar dross.
Steve C
maybe when Avram gets fired (should be any week now) we can get him back and ship this joker out so we can at least get some half decent players in in january? lol ok maybe too far but if Cottrill doesn't change tactics and does something with the back line then we ain't staying up this season!
pompeym@
The worrying thing is we seemed to show very little in the way of fight yesterday and this even transmitted itself to the stands in the 2nd half. The schoollboy defending should be eradicated on the training ground with the defence operating as a cohesive unit (regardless of personnel changes). The sadest aspect of the season so far is that we have emerged with 1 point in four matches against MEDIOCRE opposition (with possibly Coventry an exception). There are much stiffer tests to come in the form of Leeds (scum), Ipswich, Derby and Millwall etc. Make no mistake, the relegation scrap is on NOW. The fans will do their bit, they always do, but for christ's sake lads, give us a glimmer of hope on the pitch!!
Emsworthianblue
Marc Wilson and Sonko both need to learn there is sometimes nothing more suitable than a hefty boot up the pitch. Far better thaqn getting caught in possession and giving soft goals away. Thats not to say I'm advocate of kick and run football just that sometimes it's better to be safe than sorry.
Steve C
Oh my, it's going to be a long hard season!
tracyc
steve i think i'd take kick and run right now if it got us points! lol
pompeym@
 

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