What Went Wrong?
I only watched the second half of our disgraceful defeat to Boro, but what I saw was quite clear. Pompey "hoofing" the ball forward, hoping to get lucky and score. Where was the Pompey of old, passing the ball around the defence, lightning quick counter attacks, the ball never leaving the ground, except when the ball is being crossed, or a shot being taken? Why could we not take a set piece, why could our corners never clear the front man, why did the free kicks always hit the wall, why did we always give possession away? Why was our best player a defender - AGAIN?
The Set piece problem has always been there. Kranjcar has consistently shown that he cannot take corners to save his life, as has Muntari. In fact, the best corners are where we have played the ball to the edge of the box, for someone to line up a shot - but where was that in the Middlesbrough game? Free kicks are harder. Who can forget Kranjcar's stunning goal against Birmingham? Unfortunately, that's as far as it goes. 1 good free kick is not enough to warrant a player to keep on taking them, when all the rest are wasted.
Why could Pompey not play a passing game? I honestly believe the Harry could be telling the truth when he says that the Pompey players are tired. I'm tired - and I haven't played 4 premier league matches in the last however many days. And a passing game does require a lot more movement, Arsenal are the fittest team in the premiership - and they have to be in
order to keep up there relentless surge, and keep playing to the end.
Pompey have improved - we have much younger players than we did - but we also lost Gary O'Neil, and are no longer playing Matty Taylor - so we have lost 2 players that never stopped running last season. In addition to this, I truly believe that we are missing Davis and Johnson. Johnson has an attacking flair that Lauren lacks, and is an equally good defender, whilst Davis is one of the best passers of the ball in our team. Mendes has tried to come in to take his place, but can't cope with the defending so well, Hughes came in - and couldn't cope with the creativity. We need him back!
In answer to the problem, "why cant we score at home", most people are looking for a new centre forward. But that's not the problem - as we can score away from home quite easily. What we DO need is a playmaker, with enough creativity to break down a team, when it is set to defend, without just booting the ball forward. But a new Centre forward would be nice anyway.
Written by pompeycarpet.
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.
To join the Vital Pompey debate - in the forum or with comments on articles - simply take a few seconds to register an account.