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Battenberg's assessment

Battenberg's assessment
Obviously the first thing that became apparent was that Crouch wasn't there - probably tells us all we need to know about him.

Distin was there, although he did look particularly lazy. Read into that what you will - just pre-season slowdown or a continued lack of interest in the club? Who can say. Him and Kaboul did look very solid as a central pair though, I think they could very happily pair up in our starting 11 this year.

The trialist on the left of defence ('Bhasera' says the News - I'll have to take their word for that!) looked to me VERY exciting. In the Glen Johnson mould of an attacking full back that went forward and beat players. Certainly not the finished product but on the evidence of this worth a contract.

Paul Hart chose, rather curiously, to solve the selection problem on the right of midfield by not playing anyone there at all. Maybe someone can correct me here but to me, Marc Wilson was (fairly successfully) playing in two positions - he took his natural role at right back, but pushed forward to right midfield as well, like a wing back. Did a fairly good job - half decent going forward, very difficult to get past in defence.

I was really disappointed by Matty Ritchie - like everyone else I'd heard great things about him but to be honest he was bullied out of the game. Real slip of a lad, about 4' tall, and Havant barely let him get a touch. When he was on the ball he did look dangerous, and he whipped in a few good crosses, but anyone expecting him to break into the first team soon will be disappointed. One for the future still.

Mullins and Hughes were solid enough, as usual, but the real pick of the midfield bunch was Basinas - had a fantastic half. Comfortably our best player - fantastic in the tackle and picked out any danger in midfield before it had a chance to develop, and showed real class in creating play - his passing was superb and he picked out players so well. Someone behind me in the stands said he should be captain, and it's not at entirely unrealistic choice - he absolutely bossed the game, total centrepoint of the team. Our creative nucleus creating the move going forward, and the first line of defence when we lost the ball.

Nugent was hard working but ineffectual, Niko simply ineffectual. To be honest I can't really tell you much about the second half - Obviously the only players I recognised were Linvoy, Diop, and Ashdown, so I wasn't sure what players were doing what! Soon got to know this Bopp chap - Took his goals very well but nothing special I don't think, made a lot of mistakes.

What will Paul Hart take from his first game in full control then?

The most immediate problem with the team is a lack of clinical striker. All this talk of having 'targets lined up for a while' by Storrie makes me think Edin Dzeko might still be a possibility, but perhaps that's just my wishful thinking. Him or not, we need Premiership strikers, we need two of them, and we need them fast.

Next we need to look at wingers - the decision simply not to field a right midfielder at all was fairly telling - we simply have no one to play there.

Positives?

Basinas absolutely oozed class and if he has the legs to play 90 minutes in the Premiership (which I think was an issue raised when we saw him before) then he should walk into our team every week - the centre of everything we did and hardly put a foot wrong.

The trialist we saw play at left back looked to have a great game - we'll need to see more of him and against a higher standard of opposition, but I think we definitely have something there.

Written by Battenberg.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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Writer:pompeyrug
Date:Wednesday July 22 2009
Time: 8:27AM

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Comments

0
If as stated we have 7 targets and assuming 7 players are signed before the end of August I would think the 7 would be 1 x RB, 2 x RM/W, 2 x CM, 2 x FW. James, Kaboul, Distin, Diop/Basinas, Hreidarsson/Belhadj, Kranjcar I feel are the starters at this stage, meaning 5 starting spots will be filled by new signings...anyone agree?
DarrenOZ
22/07/2009 08:44:00
0
I guess we haven't learnt alot other than we have gone from Muntari/Diarra to Bopp and Mokoena which says it all. Rumours today suggest Boro are after Leroy Lita on a free who I still think could do a job. As for Basinas I do think he's a good player but detect that Hart doesn't like him so that's probably that.
bluedr
22/07/2009 08:45:00
0
I think we will sign some quality. With Crouch going I like some reckon it will be as a swap deal with Spuds so don't be surprised that someone like Bent comes here. O.Martins I reckon is a big chance too. Mokoena will be a squad player at best and won't start. I very much doubt we'll sign Bopp.
DarrenOZ
22/07/2009 08:52:00
0
where was Utaka....injured?
harrissman
22/07/2009 09:12:00
0
Having spoken with a Forest Fan this morning I understand that Paul Harts son is a Football agent with SFX and this has caused problems with him in the past. Do we think he could be Bopps Agent????
bluedr
22/07/2009 09:34:00
0
Apparently Utaka is on his way,Steve Finnan is coming back to England,with us reportedly signing him,we have no chance with Dzeko as he has had some very lucrative offers with bigger clubs than ourselves and newcastle are apparently keeping most of their playing staff as it helps Ashley to sell the club for 100 mill. Eider Guudjonssen is availiable for about 4-5 million and I would love to have him here but it looks like hes off to the hammers
JASON R
22/07/2009 10:06:00
0
Yeah Jason...if we could just buy one guy who actually knows where the goal is, my first choice would be Gudjohnsen. Trouble is, we may be able to get him cheap but couldn't afford his wages.
cornypomp
22/07/2009 10:32:00
0
Apparently Utaka is on his way,Steve Finnan is coming back to England,with us reportedly signing him,we have no chance with Dzeko as he has had some very lucrative offers with bigger clubs than ourselves and newcastle are apparently keeping most of their playing staff as it helps Ashley to sell the club for 100 mill. Eider Guudjonssen is availiable for about 4-5 million and I would love to have him here but it looks like hes off to the hammers
JASON R
22/07/2009 10:40:00
0
He is 31 now corny and yeah,I think wages would be a bit steep as he is probably looking for one last big deal wages wise,The Hammers are favourites to get Guudjonssen though.
JASON R
22/07/2009 10:44:00
0
He is 31 now corny and yeah,I think wages would be a bit steep as he is probably looking for one last big deal wages wise,The Hammers are favourites to get Guudjonssen though.
JASON R
22/07/2009 11:05:00
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