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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Pompey 0 - Ironworks 0

Fratton

27/10/07

Attendance: 20,586

Pompey's bubbles go pop

After the champagne and caviar of the last month, it was back to fish and chip suppers for Pompey, an average performance was compounded by another missed penalty at the death.

Pompey in fact started brightly, the first ten minutes looked like the steamroller would rumble on, Kranjcar tested Green with a trademark smack from his inside-left position, England's number 4 doing well to tip it over the bar. Then something happened, the ideas dried up, the midfield slackened off and West Ham had a couple of moments of their own.
Now Nobby Solano is no Peter Crouch in the air, but his lame attempt at heading in a cross right in front of the posts was a poor as an effort as I have seen, his eyes were shut, his shoulders hunched, and he missed by a yard, a major let-off for the Blues.
The rest of the half was a bit of a dirge to put it mildly, Green made one more smart save with his foot to prevent an own goal, and that was about it, neither side could get on top traded blows in midfield.

After a half-time break I felt sure Harry would have roused the troops and we would get our noses in front, but no, it was the same old routine, Benjani harrased and harried up front but no gaps appeared, Utaka was in George McCartneys pocket, and defensively West Ham were as much of a threat as we were.
Carlton Cole, the much maligned Carlton Cole nearly turned the game with a shot which crashed back off the bar, the ball landed right in front of that man Solano who only needed to tap it in, somehow though he outdone himself on his first half effort, he flung himself into a flying header, probably trying to prove he could head it, and the ball went further wide than last time!

The game was petering out into a text-book nil-niller, when Pompey surged forward in the 3rd minute of injury-time, out came Gabbidon's arm on the very edge of the area and Referee Walton blew his whistle in Pompey's favour for what seemed the first time all match.
We were poor on the day, but here was Willy Wonka's golden ticket, The Hammers were screaming blue-murder, the fans did their usual steal the ball routine, and Muntari and Kranjcar both made to take the spot-kick.
A hush settled and Benjani stuck in his case, the seven goal man clearly fancied making it eight, Captain Campbell said a couple of words and Benji had the kick.
Now, I'm no psychic, but as when Kanu took the ball against Liverpool last month, a confidence didn't settle around me, when Taylor lines up, or even when Muntari did against Reading, you knew the skin would be whacked off the ball and the thing would be whacked at 90mph. Benjani did the same as Kanu, a little John Aldridge shuffle and passed the ball toward goal for the keeper to smother.
In 2 home matches we have missed 2 Penalties now, 4 points dropped , and 2 teams off the hook.

Star Player

Hard one to call this week, Kranjcar was at the hub of most creativity, but all to rarely, defensively we were quite sound apart from one or two slips, Distin was my man again.

Player Ratings


James

To be fair he had little to do, rescued Campbel with a block tackle in the first half out of his area, and could do little with the Cole effort against the bar.

Johnson

Back to solid defending after last weeks goal scoring exploits.

Hreidarsson

Spent the entire first-half squabbling with the Welsh maggot, even managing to get booked for being kicked!

Campbell

Not at his best, but his bench-mark is very high, found the impressive Cole a handful.

Distin

Like chicken, supreme

Muntari

Why oh why didn't he stand firm on the pen?

Diop

Some nice touches, but was lucky to escape a booking on more than one occasion.

Mendes

Ran his socks off, even managed a one of his long-rangers which went just wide early on.

Kranjcar

A different player to a year ago, he tracks back a lot more to cover his full-back, but was always looking for a killer a ball or to run at a the defence when possible.

Utaka

Mainly anonymous, Paul McCartney could have kept him quiet on this showing.

Benjani

The usual from Benji, shame about the one from 12 yards though.

Kanu

One effort shaved the post, little time otherwise.

Manager Rating

Harry has to ascertain just who is the man with the penalty duties, if it was Muntari, why the hell did Benji take it?

Opponent Rating

Curbishley came with a game plan, and it worked, teams are coming to Fratton with the same ideals as they do at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, to stop us first, trouble is, its up to us to break them down!
Newcastle next, with the humbugs forced to atacking us at home, maybe our counter attack game will bear fruition once more, if not we have been found out!




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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 28 2007

Time: 8:49AM

Your Comments

Crap
paultsmouth
ahhhh!!!
PompeyGleamer
teams now come to fratton park for the point and leaves us to do all the attacking, i dont care if we didnt derserve to win, thats 2 points weve dropped!! those 2 points could mean europe, like last season!
PompeyGleamer
But we didn't lose and it keeps the run going. Bound to have bad games now and then. Learn from mistakes and ensure penalty taker takes them - we have dropped four points now from pen failures.
eastneydave
We were poor, and the penalty debacle made us look even worse, to see at least five players discussing/bickering about who was to take it was a disgrace, we are a Premiership team allegedly and should not debate important issues like penalties, we know that Muntari or Nico should have took it and they should have known who would take it before the game started let alone in the last minute.
Owenspompey
I don't think you can complain about Herman's booking, he was just carded for the wrong incident. He was far dirtier towards Bellamy than vice versa but the ref wouldn't give it. MotD only confirmed this. I don;t see how you can say the pen was the first decision the ref gave you either! Anyway good luck for the season, be sure to put the so called bigger clubs in their place (Newcastle, SPuds etc.)
filthy mullet
I don't think we deserved to win & on another night we could have got beat. So it's a wake up call. We ain't top 4 material just yet. Lots of lessons to learn. Move on & let's get something next Saturday against the barcodes.
storagematt
Mullet I think you were watching in claret and blue tinted glasses! Bellamy is a antagonistic player at the best of times, today he came up against a bloke who won't stand for it!
paultsmouth
One point, France must have some absoloutely outstanding central defenders cos Distain doesnt even make the squad. I think the guy was awesome yesterday, and has been since signing for us. Could he be HR best value for money signing?....Free!
pompey4me
Distin is real quality, and Sol had a bit of an off day yesterday didnt he, however Sylvain has not put a foot wrong and looks to be a great signing just as Harry predicted.
Owenspompey
distin was superb, bellamy is a pain in the arse wind up merchant and the referee was poor, but none of this excuses the fact we were poor too...
pompeyrug
Rug - You're right about West Ham having a game plan, but what happened to Arry's ? I thought the substitutions were wrong (why not just leave Utaka on & take off Muntari who wasn't impressive at all yesterday) and late, and he was totally outfoxed in terms of tactics. I may be more *****ed off than ought to be, but thought the quality of our passing overall was dreadful and there was an overall feeling of passiveness to the team which was present in the Wigan game and glaring in this one. If players aren't going to fight for the ball, then they should be sitting on the bench. This game should be looked at as a loss, not a draw because they were 2 pts we could ill afford to lose over the long haul. PLAY UP & WAKE UP ! - Distin was good though
Toronto4Pompey
the report was covered by paultsmouth this week mate - as im away my appearance on the site will be kind of up and down until i get home, so he agreed to step in...
pompeyrug
i wouldnt exactly say i thought that subs were wrong, but the formation that followed this after was... we should - no two ways about it - have gone to 4-4-2 when kanu came on! i feel we should be playing 4-4-2 more often than not at home anyway tbh, as home games are games we should be able to express ourselves in... i thought that utaka was poor again, seems to be doing his blowing hot and cold thing - but more cold recently... he will come back strong tho.
pompeyrug
We were really poor rug, and Utaka just did not get the service that he needs to get at defenders. I agree we should have had a go, and we could have taken one of the central midfielders off to bring Kanu on, and left Utaka out wide with Nico on the other flank, but it was just one of those games when we would never have scored due to our poor finishing and an inspired Robert Green. Lets put it behind us and go and beat the Barcodes on their own turf to prove that they are not as good as they think they are.
Owenspompey
I watched some of the newcastle v west ham game on the big screen at Ewood. They arent bad, but I think our formation is the perfect solution to them. Harry will have done his homework, noticing that they cant handle long balls and I can see a return for Kanu on the starting line up.
PompeyGleamer
 

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