Vital Football

Wigan 1-0 Pompey

1 - 0


Saturday 03-02-07, 3pm

Attendance: 15,093


Pompey travelled to the mist to face Wigan at the JJB this afternoon, facing a team on a run of eight straight defeats. As was inevitable their run ended, ours continued as we lost 1-0.

Injures ruled out Djimi Traore and Gary O'Neil while Matty Taylor dropped to the bench in an unusual team selection. Noe Pamarot returned in place of Traore with Rudolph Douala and Richard Hughes also getting starts.

Lee McCulloch's goal midway through the second half gave Wigan a much needed win and put another dent in our European hopes.

First Half
Wigan, struggling at the bottom in free fall, Pompey in the top six albeit stuttering along but the early indications were not a sign of this as Wigan created three good chances in the opening ten minutes. The first well saved by David James to deny Caleb Folan's header, Lee McCulloch then shooting wide from range before a second Folan header was claimed by James.

The first Pompey effort would come from Kanu shortly before the twenty minute mark, but his effort from the edge of the area was safely claimed by Chris Kirkland, this coming after Folan had again had an attempt saved by James. Kanu's effort however was soon followed by Rudolph Douala, making his first Premiership start, from a similar distance but with a similar result.

David Unsworth, coming up against Pompey for what is probably the first time since he was allowed to go tried his luck from within the area after a McCulloch effort had been well blocked by Sol Campbell, but this caused no problems for James.

The final chance of the half came from Pompey, again falling to Douala. After looking impressive in recent substitute appearances he earned his start he tried to mark it with his first goal but again his effort could only be directed straight at Kirkland with others better placed.

Another forty five minutes of Premiership football had passed without a goal, the fifth in a row. You couldn't help but feel at least one would be needed in the next for even a point to be gained?

Second Half
Nothing was changed at half time; five minutes into the second then Harry Redknapp did alter things. Lomana LuaLua came on to replace Lauren giving the Pompey side a very attacking look to it, would this change anything though…

The answer was looking like being no. Nothing was being created with a good fifteen minutes going by before the second half's first real effort, this a 20-yard effort from Julius Aghahowa straight at James though.

Midway through the second half as confusion reigned as seemed inevitable Wigan took the lead. Confusion between Campbell and Noe Pamarot eventually saw a ball find McCulloch who shot past James and into the goal much to the delight and relief of the home fans.

If one goal was wanted at half time at least one was needed now! But could and would it come? A man who you would hope could deliver it Andrew Cole soon arrived in place of Kanu. With the final change not long in coming after. This time Matty Taylor came on for Noe Pamarot.

But for some desperate defending by Sol Campbell it could have been two with a little over fifteen minutes to play. First of all he blocked Ryan Taylor's shot then blocked the follow up from McCulloch. A second would have killed the game, as it was it was looking like one would be enough anyway… and so it was.

Match Summary
I had been confident since Boro on Tuesday we would win this match, but maybe this was more optimism than expectation as their was a certain air on inevitability about this happening.

We didn't really get going as has been the case in recent matches, something has got to change as our European hopes have taken a battering with defeat against a side we couldn't afford to lose to, a point wouldn't have been overly bad, defeat was…

I'm not giving up on the dream yet but it seems that each match recently has left me, if not all of us saying we have to win the next. Three points at Fratton against Man City next time out are no two ways about it, no must win next game - a MUST!!! Anything but victory over City and European hopes are rapidly fading.


Wigan 1 - Lee McCulloch 67
Pompey 0

David James
Sol Campbell
Lauren (Lomana LuaLua 52
Linvoy Primus
Glen Johnson
Noe Pamarot (Matty Taylor 74)
Richard Hughes
Rodolph Douala
Pedro Mendes
Kanu (Andrew Cole 71)

Substitutes Not Used
Jamie Ashdown
Sean Davis

Date:Saturday February 3 2007
Time: 5:33PM

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Dreams turning into nightmares.
03/02/2007 17:42:00
big win for wigan, its going to be very tight, but i still think u might drop down
green giant 12
03/02/2007 17:51:00
Listening to the radio, there seems to be so many people joining the 10th will be good brigade. No it wont!!!! We made it to 6th place by sheer hard work and endeavor, and now there seems to be a distinct lack of desire from the players. Maybe time to performance relate the pay packet, instead of just letting them put on such a poor display and still pick up thier rediculous wages. Why have we let our season dip like this against opposition such as charlton, borough and wigan?? Bring on man city, and lets hope the players perform with desire!!
03/02/2007 17:52:00
not good enough!
03/02/2007 19:45:00
thanks Storage and P4Me you have restored my faith in that POMPEY FANS ARE WAKING UP !!!!! but of course some will consider us drips and tell us " it aint broke" and we shouldnt complain cos we used to be in 6th. There is a malaise about the, club and i am fed up of hearing comparisons about last season it's gone, dead and buried, and in any case this time last year we were winning . Next up it's Man City and we need to do the same as last year, win the game and kick off the year. The players need to make something of this one and Harry should stop making excuses for the players. Does anybody know the answers to my to queries a) why Harry doesnt know how to win away. b) do the players have the motivation for the fight.
03/02/2007 19:58:00
i wonder if i can claim my £57 air fare for today from the club as they sold me a ticket to watch some football but didnt play any. thats mis representation isnt it ?
03/02/2007 20:01:00
Just got back and I am livid - that was a diabolical display, we were totally useless and to be honest I was completely embarrassed by our inept, incomptent performance. A very, very poor display against Charlton, no use at all in front of goal at home to Boro and today we would have done better to send up the Pompey Ladies side, we were truly crap, I defy anyone to say otherwise, it was disgusting and the players should all pay for the supporters who went up there. We are not going anywhere but to the lower half of the table, Harry and Sasha really screwed up in not signing a forward - those currently in our squad have now played over 900 hours and during that time they've scored only twice, that is attrocious! Sort it out Harry, drop Kanu, drop Cole and give Benjani and Lualua a run, at least they can run instead of those two other old crocks!!!!! With games coming up against much superior sides to recent ones, we have no chance of scoring! Yes, I'm bloody angry, I am fuming!!!
03/02/2007 22:33:00
God the doom and gloom merchants are out in force. Last season we stayed up by the skin of our teeth and this season we have a very real chance of a top ten finish, transformations usually take time. the truth is we punched above our weight earlier in the season. If you ask anyone at the club they will tell you this season was intended to be one of consolidation. Nobody seriously expected a european place before the season kicked off. True we were winning this time last season, we were fighting for our lives the same way Charlton & Wigan our now.
Steve C
04/02/2007 10:16:00
What is more of a concern to me is the fact Harry was prepared to let Cole leave on deadline day when we're not scoring goals. Thankfully he decided to stay.
Steve C
04/02/2007 10:19:00
Steve C, the problem to me is the manner in which these defeats are coming. How can you possibly defend the players attitudes against charlton, the goal shy performance against borough, and just look at what TPB has to say about the wigan game?These are the teams we have to compete against, they are our league. As Harry says the tp 4 will always be the top 4. Thats why the players have to be responsible enoughto perform against these other teams. Just remember our home run in. What i dont get is that we were 6th or above all year, then dont perform against these teams. I can take a defeat if we have really given our best, but i dont think we have lately.
04/02/2007 10:49:00
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