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Pompey 3 - Derby 1


Sat 19-01-08, 3pm

Attendance: 19401

Pompey 3-1 Derby

We expected a win and goals when Boro came to town just after Christmas, but we not only failed to score, we forgot to play and also forgot that we are meant to prevent the opposition from scoring too - and lost, we have not returned home since...

We had waited several weeks for this moment, surely victory would be achieved against lowly Derby we thought, and anything other than a victory would just be unthinkable... for a while it looked like this might happen when we were 1-0 down - but we came back to win 3-1

Lassana Diarra came in for his debut, being one of 3 changes from the Sunderland defeat, the other 2 being Glen Johnson - returning from injury - and Lauren being recalled. The men that missed out were Arnold Mvuemba and Richard Hughes who dropped to the bench and captain Sol Campbell - who was injured in the warm up.

Fellow new boy Lucien Aubey took his place on the bench. Darren Moore - fondly remembered - and Laurent Robert - not so - returned to Fratton Park with Derby.

It looked dodgy for a while when we were 1-0 down but when the drought ended the floodgates opened and a Benjani hat trick - his 2nd of the season - completed the turnaround and a much needed home win.

The Match
A nightmare start saw Derby ahead after less than 5 minutes. Laurent Robert sent in a dangerous free kick - which was poorly defended - leaving Kenny Miller free to turn onto the bar and eventually it was bundled in by Lewin Nyatanga.

Less than a minute later but for David James it would have been 2-0, but he stood up to save from Miller, then Dave Nugent missed a glorious opportunity when he blazed over.

Again we were opened up at the back - where we were looking very shaky - and Miller did turn the ball into the net - but he was offside.

Lauren tried a shot, which was not that great but moments later following some fine work of his own Niko Kranjcar sent an effort inches wide from range, and Kranjcar forced Lewis Price into his first save shortly after after a nice knock down from Benjani.

Little was happening, but then after 9 hours and 37 minutes we finally scored a home goal as Benjani scored his 10th of the season. Good play involving Nugent and Pedro Mendes saw the ball come to Benjani on the edge of the area who turned well to smash home with half time approaching.

Lassana Diarra - who was having a fine debut - marked this with a booking for what seemed nothing.

From being 1-0 down we were 2-1 up before half time as 4 minutes later on 42 minutes an unmarked Benjani sent home a bullet header to turn the game around.

We started the 2nd half brightly with Benjani and Nugent linking up well and this link up almost brought a chance for Nugent, but this was blocked out for a corner.

Benjani competed his 2nd hat trick of the season - in only 17 minutes - as a break saw Mendes break free, a fine reverse ball picked out Benjani and he finished fantastically well in front of the Fratton End - the last time we scored at home he scored a hat trick in 'that' win over Reading.

Craig Fagan reminded us shortly after that although we were looking comfortable that it was not quite over yet as his drive went close, and then Hossam Ghaly forced James into a save - both before the hour mark.

Another Kranjcar free kick went very close as we looked to sew up the 3pts.

To a standing ovation with 9 minutes to play an absolutely shattered Diarra made way, with Richard Hughes coming on.

We were looking dangerous for most of the 2nd half and did seem as if we could score more goals when we came forward, we were just being blocked out at the last - the closest being Kranjcar who curled narrowly wide.

Towards the end of the game Derby had a chance to make it a nervy few moments at the end but Giles Barnes was denied by James, shortly after this Benjani was taken off - also to a standing ovation - with Arnold Mvuemba coming on.

Match Summary
The first goal that we scored at home for so long really lifted a weight off our shoulders, you could feel this from the crowd and it was evident among the players and the 2nd goal completed this transformation.

Lassana Diarra had a fine debut but tired in the 2nd half and Pedro Mendes had his best game for some time, he and Niko Kranjcar turning on the skills.

The Benjani and Dave Nugent pairing looked good, and is certainly worth looking at again. Nugent appeared to do everything right apart from score... Benjani once again showed why he is wasted when used out wide, through the middle and he is lethal.

Sol Campbell missing out was a surprise, the 'official' line is that he picked up a back injury? Word that is filtering through - and this has not be confirmed and cannot be said is gospel - is that Campbell and Harry Redknapp had an argument and he did a runner...


Pompey 3 - Benjani 38, 42, 55
Derby 1 - Lewin Nyatanga 4

David James
Glen Johnson
Noe Pamarot
Sylvain Distin
Hermann Hreidarsson
Lassana Diarra (Richard Hughes 81)
Pedro Mendes
Niko Kranjcar
Benjani (Arnold Mvuemba 90)
Dave Nugent

Substitutes Not Used
Asmir Begovic
Lucien Aubey
Franck Songo'o

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 19 2008

Time: 5:17PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
pedro, and kranjcar back to there best, nugent stared in a supporting role, and was unlucky not to score, glen johnson terrific once again, and pamerot - apart from the early slip ups - looked a fine deputy for big sol. Diara was fantastic, if a little tired in the second half, but best of all, Benjani got another hartick...and who said we needed a new striker???
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19/01/2008 17:23:00

Diarra cleared up the mess which left Pedro and Niko to float around together. Magnificent. Benji did well to run on the ball to Nugent who was offside to get his 3rd. We still need a new striker though…

"Diarra, Diarra, Diarra, Diarra…"
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 17:30:00

The ball ended up it that net thing three times. I was told we were not allowed to use that lol. Could performance - game ruined by wind and a determined but pretty poor Derby side.
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19/01/2008 17:51:00

dave...actually it was 5...once didnt count, and was at the wrong end anyway, the other was just at the wrong end... anyway, i thought that nice skills from mendes, kranjcar, diara and benjani made derby look bad, not the other way round...
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19/01/2008 17:54:00

Welcome back Pedro, he and Kranjcar ran the show, Diarra was class and Benjani sublime
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19/01/2008 18:12:00

Diarra should never have been sold by Jose - he's good, so is Johnson!
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19/01/2008 18:26:00

Hmm Campbell injured in the warm up eh? Must have been a very early warm up (perhaps yesterday?) 'cos I didn't see him on the pitch at all. That said great game; Distin was outstanding again.
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19/01/2008 18:41:00

rumours, rumours about Sol, hopefully thats all they are!! But allegedly he is interested in moving to the barcodes?? Hope that is just a rumour. Diarra looks awesome judging him on one game. Pedro's first game like that for ages! Krunchie awesome, Benji sublime! Goals at Fratton, atmosphere back in the ground, whatever next!!
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19/01/2008 18:50:00

He's gone to Newcastle. Got told to shut up by Storrie (rightfully so) and had a paddy because Gaydamak was never going to take those kind of comments. Distin also got a slapped wrist. Yet another club he's going to leave the fans with a bad taste in their mouths.

Tell me I'm wrong.
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19/01/2008 19:09:00

Will have to wait and see, hope not!
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19/01/2008 19:10:00

he had a back injury, harry wouldnt lie to us. and why would he go to newcastle when hes captain here? and benjani was amazing, as was pedro and niko. would have been nice to see aubey in action tho, he looks like a good prospect
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19/01/2008 19:13:00

Pedro and Niko were so good that they even made the Hermanator look good. In the first half he was so poor I was screaming for Audrey Harrison to come on.
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19/01/2008 19:49:00

Sky reporting Sol didn't show. HR said he was unwell. This may rumble on. Diarra was wonderful, oh how we could have done with him earlier in the season. Mendes looked better because of him. Good to GJ back. Nugent can huff & puff as much as he likes he ain't going to make it, sadly. Well Benji, great hatrick.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 22:11:00

Sols day's are numbered injured or not. He is disillusioned over promises made that haven't happened and he's slowing down as well. His heart hasn't been in it for a few weeks. He is there because he's captain and we haven't got a ready made replacement for him in that role. Distin doesn't relish the captains role. Distin will stay if we make Europe. If not then I can see Sol going (maybe even in January) and Distin in the summer.About the game: I liked the team formation and the attacking style. Nugent and Benji play well together so I hope Harry doesn't put Kanu back in as Kanu and Benji don't play well together and Kanu's hold the ball up to my snails pace style, is boring to watch.
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19/01/2008 22:57:00

What broken promises is sol disillusioned about then frattonaussie?
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19/01/2008 23:12:00

Maybe we should buy some Aussies and then really struggle. I remember the last batch we had - what a useless bunch they were, save for Aloisi.
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19/01/2008 23:57:00

This is the last year Arsenal will be paying part of Sol's wages as well.
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20/01/2008 00:53:00

stillthewhizz - you are wrong! campbell was upset about us not making europe last year - but he will stay. he is getting old, and no-one will really want him...will they? Nugent huffed and puffed, and played really well. reminds me of benji this time last year in fact! Benji...its great tos ee him socre 12 goals - but he scorred half of them in just 2 games!
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 01:35:00

diara was fantastic
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20/01/2008 01:35:00

I dunno how your conclusion perceives me as being 'wrong' - I'm merely spreading the rumours from the grapevine. I told you lot days before we signed Nugent and Utaka that we had them signed up and I was right. I'm not saying I'm right here, I'm just letting out some things I've heard to my 'pals'.
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20/01/2008 01:50:00

"Tell me I'm wrong. stillthewhizz" - im telling you your wrong ;-)
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20/01/2008 01:55:00

well, not telling you yet, just assuming/hoping
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20/01/2008 01:55:00

Well... My dad and i stayed up to watch the game here and Aussie and wow... We couldnt help but laugh at what kranjcar and mendes were doing to them, absolutely brilliant. Diarra and benjani were fantastic. Lauren dissapointed me, glen johnson wasn't at his usual best, but none the less he still did well. A bit dissapointed that harry didnt make any changes earlier, around the 75th minute mark. Would of loved to see songo'o again or maybe even aubey. Anyways, great performance, and well done to the supporters, the atmosphere was great, sounded awesome, hopefully one day ill get to watch a pompey game :)
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20/01/2008 03:04:00

Pompey4 me; wasn't he told we would make Europe this year and although we still could it is no certainty. Wasn't he told the training ground and stadium would be well under way by now. They are both still in fairyland and he is not the only one who is dissillusioned about that. It may not be all Pompey's fault about them but who ever is to blame it doesn't make them any more real. He is also struggling to come to terms with the fact he is getting older and slower and his career is coming to an end. None of this helps his mindset and he will just find it harder and harder to hold his place in the team.
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20/01/2008 03:54:00

ausoccer. welcome to another Aussie. I didn't think Lauren was that bad. He hasn't played that position for ages so he was still finding his slot. Nugent was also good. His work off the ball drawing players away so Benji had some room was good. Harry rarely brings in changes much before 80 minutes unless we are getting thumped.At times I think that is one of his weaknesses. Pompeygrey will have a go at you at some stage just becase you are an Aussie or Aussie based supporter. Don't let that worry you. He has no judgement if he actually thinks Aloise was any good. Aloise is an A league (about Low end Championship) standard player but not much more even at his top. The only reason Pompey had any Aussie players was because they were cheap or free and worked for low pay.
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20/01/2008 04:07:00

3-1 v Derby a job well done ..eventually. Bright spots = Mendes back to his best, Kranjcar awesome and looking to get forward at every opportunity, Benjani's finishing, Diarra is class, Crowd back to it's best at times - Not so bright spots = Hermann is a liability at left back, Noe is no centre half, Lauren lacks a yard, Nugent not sharp enough for Prem, No 'Big' reception for Harry for not going to Newcastle, Crowd stunned into silence for first 15 minutes, Sol Campbell HAS done a runner..... We had to eat Derby and we did comfortably in the end, but let's not fool ourselves, this was a good performance by a makeshift team but if Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez, Anelka, Shev et al are up for the next couple of league game they will cut todays back for too ribbons - Those of you who have been disgreeing with my views about our defence has no strength in depth will see I'm right in the next two league games .. Aubey will make a big difference but with no Sol Campbell we have no 'premiership' quality cover..
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20/01/2008 05:57:00

Disagree about Nugent - his work off the ball to draw players from Benji, who Nugent realised was on fire, was first rate. Just because he didn't score doesn't mean he was no good. Switch Hermann nd Paramot and you solve the problem. Sol Campbell has been the one a yard short lately. He is a good captain and has been a class player in his day but that day is almost over. It's time for him to retire or step down a grade.
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20/01/2008 06:46:00

frattonaussie - I didn't suggest there was anything wrong with Nugents work rate .. It is his sharpness in front of goal that troubles me... He should have scored (or at least got that golden chance on target) in the first half. He lacked a yard on two occassions when Hermann put in two 'sweet' tailormade crosses from the left, he failed to turn when Pedro set him up and he got beaten to a header which Benji chipped onto his head for a simple nod in. Don't get me wrong I'd love to see the fella score and become a hero and I do actually think his work rate is getting better game on game .. but we need a goalscorer .. somebody who is single minded and can read the game rather than just keep up with it... Nugent at the moment is not that player .. he is not premiership class...(yet)
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20/01/2008 07:00:00

... oh and re the swapping Hermann & Pamarot thing, I think it we accpet that that is all we have acover for Sol then I agree with you 100% but neither are 'great' centre halves and I think if rumour is right as I suspect it is Campbell has walked out (although not to Newcastle) them we'll probably see Aubey play in the middle alngside Cistin next week.... as for Sol, I agree he is really slowing down and as the pitches get heavier he'll struggle more and more ...but as for being a good captain there are some really interesting views in the forum on that (even before yesterdays disappearance opinion was split)
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20/01/2008 07:10:00

a good result these games against relegation zone teams can be tricky but well done you lot
ozanne park rangers
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20/01/2008 08:22:00

Chix, Benji wasn't premiership class last year and he doesn't combine well with Kanu now. I think Benji/ Nugent is a far better option than Benji/Kanu.Some of those crosses you mention; if Nugent had gone forward earlier he would have been offside The crosses were just a touch too far in front. He will be a top player when his confidence is up and the ball drops for him and he gets a few games in a row under his belt to get him match fit. OK he has missed some but that goes for a number of players in the team who have missed easy chances and penalties. If most easy chances had been taken we woul have scored 90 goals already.
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20/01/2008 10:07:00

i think pamerot DID do well at centre back,although it took him time to adjust from his usual left back position. Hermen seriosly needs to be dropped. But Nugent has not had a long run of games, he came in against ipswich, and scorred - but he didnt get any service and it as an unfamilier position that he played against sunderland (lone striker) - so his poor finishing CAN be quietly ignored for now. the cross from benjani he did really well to get anywhere near - although it was a practicly impossible header to make, as the defender was covering much of the goal. in short, good performance, bring on plymoth!
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20/01/2008 10:08:00

Ha ha touche carpet. I was up all last night with Uni work so indeed I can be perceived as 'wrong'.

As I suspected, there are a few rumours floating about in the Sunday papers and on News Now.
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20/01/2008 10:37:00

if sol was made a 'promise' that we would make europe this season then im sorry whoever made him this promise needs shooting... that is why i cannot see this promise was made to him, and if sol thought we would no two ways about it make europe at the end of the season - which we still can - he is in the wrong, unless as said someone made this promise which is something that couldnt have been assured... ive said it several times, sol is getting older, and it is showing now and he is worried by this - he needs cover so he can be rested sometimes, but we are not a bottomless pit of money... the issues relating to the training ground and stadium cannot really be faulted on our part can they? if the council wont approve these plans the club cannot be held accountable can they? they are trying - they just need help...
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20/01/2008 11:44:00

as far as nuge goes, im trying not to let me will for him to succede cloud my judgement but i do think he is getting better the more he plays - he needs this run in the side, he should have scored but so long as he keeps playing his confidence will grow and the goals will come... i thought he had a good game and linked up well with benji.
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20/01/2008 11:48:00

Lets get the victory over Derby in perspective, they are a very poor team, with probably only one player,Barnes, who we would like in our team. If Sol is sulking let him go, and play a player who wants to play, nobody should be bigger than the club, and i mean nobody. Over the last few seasons our success ahs been down to the performances of players who gave their all for the team. Nugent is running his heart out, cant fault that but he is out of his depth, and with each game looks less confident. Diarra, Mendes and Nico all played well, but Lauren is out of postion and looks a shadow of the player he was. We will need to be at our best against United and Chelsea as they are a little bit better than Derby.
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20/01/2008 12:15:00

we need to be at our best to beat man u and chelski - yes. laurne looke dout of place? yes. would i have barnes in our team? Nuggent, rather than looking less confident, i think he is actually looking more comftable (although i didnt see him against sunderland) as he adjusts to the premiership. no player is biger than the club, but i dont think sol thinks he is - he is just a little upset. he wont move to newcastle though.
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20/01/2008 12:41:00

fratton aussie, re sol: was he promised europe this year?? who can promis that then? Still just under half a season to go, so we havnt missed it yet. Re the stadium and training ground, the club have been knocked back by planners etc, so that cannot be attributed to the club. the ground was never gonna be completed till 2011 anyway which is long after the date i would have expected sol to retire. So, personally dont think this is the problem. I think he was either rested, or there has been some kind of bust up.
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20/01/2008 13:23:00

Sol in his own statement when he joined Pompey said that he joined, along with David James, because he believed Pompey had European aspirations this season (last season now) and had he had been assured by HR that more class players would be brought into the club to ensure Europe was a certainty next (now this) season. Now thats about as close to a guarantee as I think you can get in football. Obviously Sol doesn't like our chances of getting to Europe this season, isn't wrapped about out transfers in and out, and has had a dispute with someone at the club. Keegan, who he is friendly with, is now Newcastle manager so what has Sol got to lose by rocking the boat now. He can still stay or he can try to leave and go to Newcastle. Either way he has a club.Personally I think that if he or any other players are unhappy and want to leave they should go mow and not upset the rest of the team for the remainder of the season.
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20/01/2008 22:37:00

At the start of this season in normal Harry fashion, Harry downplayed everything and said he would be happy with a top 10 finish and Europe was a dream but may not eventuate. Sol has gone half the season in hope and ignoring Harry's comments but now has had enough.Sol's mistake has been believing all of what Harry says and thinking Harry is in charge of the club.
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20/01/2008 22:45:00


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