Wednesday, 10 October 2007

What I thought about Pompey V. Fulham.

Benjy's goal

Here’s a few thought’s about Pompey’s performance in last Sunday’s game.

1. The atmosphere amongst the Pompey fans was great as usual- but there did seem to be the kind of buzz that I last felt when we got promoted.
2. It was a great defensive performance in the first half – Fulham were working hard but James and the back four were able to deal with them.
3. However in the first half the Pompey midfield were not really clicking- there was a lack of ambition and imagination in the passing, and there were too many miss-hit passes. The wide men- particularly Utaka seemed reluctant to push forward- probably nervous about exposing the full backs after last week’s 4 conceded goals.
4. Which meant that in the first half Benjy was isolated - I remember one time when he received the ball whilst being marked by 4 Fulham players.
5. So in the first half with the exception of Utaka’s counter attacking break away run (…and what a goal that we have been) a Pompey goal seemed to be unlikely – at half time I thought we were looking at a 0-0 draw.
6. But – in the second half the Pompey midfield started to play with the verve and swagger of a team that had just scored 7 goals in 1 game.
7. The fact that Benjy’s goal was deflected takes nothing away from how good it was. He took the goal with the immense confidence of a top quality player who is at the peak of his game. Davis’ pass wasn’t bad either
8. Having our left back score in two consecutive games means that we are now a bit like the great Ajax team of the early seventies. ( I just wanted to type that)
9. 2-0 was a fair result- but it should have been 3-0 and I don’t think Fulham would have many complaints if it had been 4-0.

I think a lot of people are saying that this is the best Pompey team for half a century- and with this defensive performance ( my MotM was Distin- he was immense) and with the flashes of attacking brilliance in the second half I can see why.

My journey back to Cambridge after the match was awful (though the fact that the phrase “replacement bus service” fills me with an awful chill dread probably indicates how easy my life probably is). To alleviate the boredom I got chatting to a 15 year old Fulham fan, also from Cambridge – who wished Fulham could defend half as well as Pompey had- otherwise they might be relegated. I hope they do stay up- I like Craven Cottage- especially the walk there along the Thames- and it is an away fixture that always feels like we are at home.