Vital Football

Pompey 0-1 Boro

0 - 1

Fortress Fratton

Sat 29-12-07, 3pm

Attendance: 20089


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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Date:Saturday December 29 2007
Time: 5:16PM


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.
29/12/2007 17:22:00
What on earth's going on? Why are we so rubbish now when we were so good?
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.
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
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.
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.
29/12/2007 19:20:00
007 Don't overreact, we will have 40 by the end of Jan
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.
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.
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.
29/12/2007 22:32:00
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