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What Went Wrong?



The problems we are having at home, and the problems we have had over Christmas. Why are Pompey playing so badly? And why can we not score at home?

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.

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 30 2007

Time: 5:07PM

Your Comments

Please lets have a reality check. Pompey have had a great season so far. Everybody and every team is entitled to a bad day at the office. The team that got us to the heights that we achieved a few weeks ago are exactly the same team as yesterday. They will need our support not our criticism. Having said that I do hope Harry gets a seriously creative midfielder and goal scorer. OUR FANS HAD THE REPUTATION OF BEING THE MOST SUPPORTIVE IN THE LAND. Please dont spoil it now cause we are getting used to being `a top half team`
pompeyfrance
We need Glen Johnson back, he's the only one with a bit of creative spark on the right. Noe is clearly the only defender we've got for the left as Hermann is very below par, Championship I'd say. I'd even put Matty Taylor at left back instead of Hermann. Campbell and Distin are faultless, sure Campbell is losing his pace but he's rock solid and Distin cleans up anything with a bit of speed behind it. The centre of midfield needs to go back to basics - drop the Africans and go back to Davis and Mendes. Sure, I don't think Mendes has been great this year but that partnership has been faultless in the past. Either that or put Niko in the centre with Davis and lets get two wingers in (right & left) who can put a ball in and run with the ball down the flanks. Up front we need a strong pacey forward who can turn defenders and out-think them with his feet. Leroy Lita anyone?
stillthewhizz
Simply put you need a bigger "first team" squad. Arsenal maybe fit but they can rotate and you would not know the difference.
TergeHauge
The fans are the most loyal there are, but we have to stop looking at things through rose tinted glasses. The players should be ashamed if they are claiming to be tired, that are proffesional players and have to deal with this schedule every year, lets get real, they are playing badly and allowing teams to dictate the way the game is to be played instead of grabbing it by the throat and having a go at teams. Even bloody Derby scored at home today and they are so bad its untrue!!
Owenspompey
Nice one Carpet and points that I agree with in a thread elsewhere. We need creativity and Davis and Johnson back. We also need a natural goalscorer. No need to panic yet.
eastneydave
Dave, whats the latest on the Davis and Johnson injuries, and who is the striker that is coming? or is there one at all?
Owenspompey
if harry is good at anything, its bringing in the players we need. the striker would be nice, but against middlesbrough, we lacked creativity.
pompeycarpet
good post carpet, yes striker is needed, and I think we need someone like yakubu, who might not try is upmost, might not do much, but somehow scores goals.
PompeyGleamer
Carpet, one word, D'Alessandro, get on the phone to Zaragoza Harry and beg him to come here and do not go back to Argentina.
Owenspompey
gleamer - yes, yakubu would be great. you know, i can just imagine him strolling down from everton right now...D'Alessandro would be great - and unless he suddenly becomes best mates with someone in zargozza, he probably would be down here in a flash...well, he probably would come down here eventually.
pompeycarpet
Owens I am not sure about the injuries but if anyone has PFCtv they could tell us because it is on there today. But I hope Davis, Johnson and Pedro are on their way back - because they are not African among many reasons.
eastneydave
p-france, yes the players are entitled to a bad day at the office, but they are not entitled to just not be bothered. As always, many of you may remember i was ranting about this last year, the players should ALWAYS put in 100% effort even if thier touch etc is on a bad day. Good article carpet, not so sure that Davis is renowned for his passing abilities though, personally wouldnt place him as one of the best passers in the team.
pompey4me
normally, i would have said muntari, kranjcar or taylor were the best passers in the team - then i remembered a comment by tony adams after one of our games,where he said he had told the players to get the ball to davis at half time, and we proceded to score a couple of goals - and come to think of it, he has been involved in most of the passing movements of the team - hence his mention
pompeycarpet
maybe, but Davis tends to break up play and then play 10-15yard passes though doesnt he? Good player tho and one i want back asap
pompey4me
I seem to remember Davis cracking in some fantastic balls on the wing. No joke. He does the dirty stuff and he can pass the ball well. We desperately need him back. As well as Glen Johnson.
stillthewhizz
andres? yes ok then!
PompeyGleamer
It's no coincidence that our poor run of form has been while Sean Davis has been out - We all agreed a month or so again that it was him and Distin that were making us a better team this year and I still think this is the case we need him back Asap. As for who should come in the think we need a right winger an a striker and I see Harry getting these but not the high profile, Defoe, Downing types.. more the Kevin Phillips, Rob Hulse, Wayne Routledge types - Harry will buy somebody who is proven at th top level.
Chix
routledge could be the spurs connection that 'arry is mentioning - he would be a player they would sell, and is a player we could get... henrik larsson anybody? were being linked with him today - if he would sign i would say 'yes please!'
pompeyrug
 

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