Portsmouth - Pompey 0-1 Boro
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Pompey 0 - Boro 1

Fortress Fratton

Sat 29-12-07, 3pm

Attendance: 20089

Pompey 0-1 Boro

After the fantastic 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Boxing Day we welcomed Boro to Fratton for the final game of the year. Finally we were hoping to end our baron run of 5 games without a goal at home, with us desperate for all 3 points too... Neither happened as we lost 1-0.

John Utaka came back in, to be the only change from the game with Arsenal - the man who made way Sulley Muntari dropped to the bench. We started with a 4-4-2...

Absolutely s**t sums up our performance today and we rightly got nothing from a game that we should have won. Tuncay scoring the winner in the 1st half.

The Match
The opening 15 minutes or so were okayish, but with little incident and neither keeper worked after a bright opening few minutes from Pompey, then suddenly on 19 minutes Boro took the lead. Gary O'Neil played a pivotal role in the goal, getting in behind the defence leaving Tuncay with a tap in from less than a yard out.

Pompey could, and probably should have been two-nil down minutes later - but we managed to escape.

We were not creating anything and our best chance came in injury time but once again Papa Bouba Diop's abysmal finishing cost us a goal. Good work from Benjani created the chance but from just 6 yards out Bouba Diop fired over, to try and cover for him a little he was under a bit of pressure.

Changes were needed at half time and initially I was expecting John Utaka to be one that was taken off but he stayed on, it was Hermann Hreidarsson that was taken off with Matty Taylor on.

We were as poor in the opening 10-15 minutes of the 2nd half as we were in the 1st half, giving the ball away constantly, no end product and more threat from Boro with them looking much, much more likely to score. Why Dave Nugent was not called for I could not work out...

Finally with 28 minutes of the 2nd half played Nugent did come on for the ineffective once again Utaka.

Nugent seemed to bring a new lease of life with him and immediately livened things up with his effort, winning a free kick that saw Taylor deliver with Kanu eventually getting a touch onto the post, but Boro broke away straight away and had an effort cleared off the line then David James saved from Dong-Gook Lee.

With less than 20 minutes to play the final change was made, Sulley Muntari coming on for Richard Hughes. We offered nothing in this final period and got nothing - which is what we deserved.

Match Summary
Boro worked hard and deserved to win but with all due respect to them they are not a side that we should have lost to.

We were poor, we kept hitting the ball long, seemed to have no idea and kept giving it away and did not force Mark Schwarzer into a save at all.

Defeat I can accept, but another poor performance I cannot and no excuses can be offered - nor can or will they be accepted!


Pompey 0
Boro 1 - Tuncay 19

David James
Sol Campbell
Sylvain Distin
Hermann Hreidarsson (Matty Taylor 45)
John Utaka (Dave Nugent 62)
Papa Bouba Diop
Richard Hughes (Sulley Muntari 72)
Niko Kranjcar

Substitutes Not Used
Asmir Begovic
Djimi Traore

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 29 2007

Time: 5:16PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
o well, nvm, if this was in october, i will be thinking of ways to end my cats life, as it stands, in 3 days, we have a chance to get rid of utaka, for a while at least, and bring in scorers, N.1 most hated man on Gleamers list today : Diop.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 17:22:00

What on earth's going on? Why are we so rubbish now when we were so good?
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 17:29:00

tracy, it's because the players dont care like we do, £30000 per WEEK. No pride no passion, no respect for us the paying public cos they dont understand the value of money.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 17:45:00

I can finger the main problem at home, width, we have none. Kanu looked crap today, the reason being he is a quality player with little pace, lacking in the air. Pompeys answer was to lump it upfront for him to either flick on or chase, his strengths are when he gets the ball to his feet. Niko Kranjcar has been sussed as a player who is right-footed on the left. I really feel the the 1 upfront works well away from home, but at home we need to change all but the defence. Stick Niko inside alongside a workhorse (Davis,Hughes or one of the ANC boys) a left winger can come in (Taylor or someone new if he leaves) right winger (Utaka is more off the boil than a polar bear with frost bite right now) Kanu can play upfront with either Benji or Nugent (or any permatation from the 3) We are a threat when we pass the ball, not when we play route 1
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 18:27:00

Boro were awful - we were worse. I had the pleasure of going hospitality again today and I wasn't going to wait an hour and a half to get my picture taken with the man of the match. They should have a weeks wages docked after that performance. There's so many things I want answered. Why are we getting the ball outside the box and not putting crosses in? I know Harry has the flu, but why were neither he or his backroom staff giving out orders? Is this his ploy to make us look ***** so Sacha will open his cheque book? Why are we wasting so many balls with goal kicks? Why are we still bothering with Kanu? Why can't Niko strike a dead ball (abysmal corners) well yet he can crack moving balls? We didn't force one save out of Schwartzer today, nor did we force a save out of Almunia or even Paul Robinson come to think of it. And I'm sorry guys, Nugent really isn't the answer. Argh I'm going to bed, I'm so angry.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 18:34:00

The bubble has burst, lets pray for 40 points. Harry is after a striker, we need a play maker. Someone to hold up the ball and use the talents already in house.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 19:20:00

007 Don't overreact, we will have 40 by the end of Jan
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 19:58:00

Cmon 31 points and everyones moaning. A few new additions and off we go again. Get behind the lads and i'm sure it will all be good again. We still have some quality players and i'm sure some more to come.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 22:23:00

3 easy games coming up, two away and Derby at home, surely you will break the drought in that one. Wouldn't be holding out for the trip to Old Trafford on todays performance.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 22:26:00

Expectations are higher now blueape. Earlier in the season I saw a side with real quality but maybe we were riding our luck a bit. I still can't get over the fact we got beaten by a Boro team with easily the Premiership's worst player - Lee Dong Gook. We're better than this, much better and it's quite painful when it's our home form that is letting us down. Without our away run earlier in the season we'd be in a relegation battle and if I think about all of those games against our rivals that we've drawn at home (Everton, Man City, West Ham…) I don't see us getting anything away. I've honestly not seen such a lacklustre performance than today since the Perrin days. We lacked imagination and were poorer than we were against Liverpool. Only the lack of a quality opponent prevented us from what should have been a drubbing. I sincerely hope I wake up in a better mood tomorrow and forget today.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 22:32:00

At least Lee Dong Gook forced a save from James which is more than the Pompey team managed as a whole.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 23:13:00

blueape, 1st, welcome to the site. But....we shouldnt have to watch a manager put out a system that doesnt work, then sit in his chair and just watch it fail without changing it, and we shouldnt be subjected to players who are passengers and yet picking up thier massive wage check.
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 02:40:00

I didn't make a post last night as I was too angry and thought that I might feel better in the morning ..but I don't. There was a question poised in the forum a while back asking whether what we have now is the best Pompey team ever ? Well on the last few appearences (maybe Arsenal excluded) I think what we are seeing is one of the most disappointing Pomey teams ever. Today we lacked in every department against one of the poorest team in the premiership - We were awful and if we didn't have the the away points on the board I'd say that we were heading for a relegation battle - It really was that bd.
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 08:38:00

I can not think of one player that came away from the game with any credit ... at best our better player were average today but the poor ones were awful. Diop has the touch of an elephant, Kanu the pace of a snail, Krunchie needs to learn how to give a football some lift, Utaka well I aint going there,. The sooner this Africans Nations Cup is out of the way the better - and I'd go a far as to suggest that too many players from the same culture changes the overali culture and Pompeys culture at the moment seems to be lazyness - They just didn't give a toss. Taylor when he came on looked like a player who wasn't match fit and knew he'd be off in a couple of weeks, Nugent ran around and caused a stir for a couple of minutes but with everybody lumping balls to Kanu was never really gonna get a look in. Anybody wanting Crouch to come to Fratton Park should relasise now that what we will get will be more of the route one rubbish we saw to day.. Even Distin had a bad game.
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 08:49:00

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Gary O'Neil - He got right up my nose today, with his directing the free kicks, taking control of every boro situation, feigning injury/cramp to time waste every time Pompy got a free kick - He may have been helping boro's cause and if that's the case so be it .. but to do it at Fratton Park on your first return showed contempt for the fans that loved him for so long - I was not one of those who booed when he left the pitch but I was not one of those who clapped either - Sorry Gary whatever reception you expect next time .. it'll be hostile after what you did today - Very poor mate
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 08:54:00

Not the way we wanted to end the year. It didn't matter what formation we played, the players were awful. Kanu is a lame duck. Considering HR says kanu can't play 2 games in a week, well he has & no he can't. Diop is our new Quashie. Utaka is saving himself for something else. The ANC can't come quick enough. I can't beleive the team that won at AV a few weeks ago gets beat by a lame Boro side. We go to Reading & they may concede but at least they can score. No doubt they will want to put one over us after the 7-4. We paly an improving Sunderland & don't think Derby will be easy at home. We finish January with the easy away trip to Old Trafford. It could be a very intersting start to 2008. Who will go & who will come in? There certainly has to be a change somewhere.
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 09:19:00

Yep, BlueApe, we will get behind the team but they were still *****e.
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 09:39:00

At last we are seeing how utterly rubbish we really are, we have been beaten by a mediocre Spurs, barely got into Arsenals half and then got mugged by a load of rubbish from the Boro. Kanu, Utaka, Diop and Muntari will not weaken us at all, we are poor anyway and there are no players in the squad who will strengthen us. We do miss Johnson and Pamarot but they will not score or create the goals we need. Zigic and Zamora are the targets according to the press, God help us!! Two more cast offs. Harry if i hear you say we are down to our bare bones again i will go mad, deal with it or tell us that the chairman will not fund any more signings, but i agree we could be stuck on 31 points for a long time the way we are playing. Kenwyne Jones and Steve Howard will frighten the crap out of our back four and God help us if Reading get going on New Years Day. Face facts we are bloody poor and a disgrace to the shirt, and it needs to change very quickly.
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 10:14:00

can't sum up my annoyance in 1 post, we were so truly awful. One good point though,is i think i won my first point in the predictions league...
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 10:31:00

I think the ANC will be a godsend, Kanu can go to the sun, Utaka won't get on, the midfield will be Davis, Hughes and Mendes and even Matt Taylor and Nugent may get a start
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 12:17:00

They may as well stay in Ghana if they perform like they did on Saturday !!
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 18:21:00

actually, they may well not get to ghana if they play like they did on saterday - they were so bad!
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 18:54:00

Even I didn't expect us to get anything from this game. We were lucky to have caught you on an off-day, but all this talk of a crisis seems a little premature from where I'm standing. You're eighth and only four points off Liverpool. Lighten up and be grateful!!
Boro 01
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 19:59:00

its more the fact that we have only GOT 4 pts in our last 6 home matches that is the problem - this isnt something that has krept up on us - it has been round for a while now
Report Abuse
30/12/2007 22:27:00


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