Matthew Taylor celebrates his spectacular strike for Portsmouth
Matthew Taylor’s wonder-goal set up a comfortable win for Portsmouth against a disappointing Everton side.
Took my two boys and my father down to watch the game today. The boys were impressed (as was I), when they saw probably what will turn out to be the goal of the season from Mathew Taylor. We were sat behind the goal to the right in which Matty hit that 45 yard volley over the unfortunate Howard on the 16minute mark. I knew it was a goal the minute it left his foot, just glad to say I was there to see it. Worth the money to see the look on the boys faces.
As much as it still amazes me when I see Portsmouth 3rd in the table (ok, joint 3rd with Liverpool), they are there on merit. I doubt that we will be there at the end of the season, unless they show the same determination as they did today in every match. Sol Campbell is a rock at the back and it gives Primus the confidence in his game too. If the current squad can stay fit, or if Harry gets a budget to buy some cover in January then there is a chance they will stay near the top. (Pompey in Europe ? After last season ? More chance of me winning the lottery, but I can dream).
I think it took us 45minutes to travel down from home to Portsmouth. On the way back, it took us 45minutes to get from the ground to the motorway such was the amount of traffic. (There was only 19,528 fans which for Pompey isn’t bad, but the roads just can’t handle that amount). I remember going to a Pompey – Man Utd match at Old Trafford a few years back with 50,000+ and that was no problem getting to or from the game. Still, that was 45minutes to talk about ‘that’ goal.
Liverpool endured the frustration of being held to a goalless draw
by a dogged Portsmouth side at Anfield.
The Reds were allowed to dominate play as an injury-ravaged Pompey barricaded
their goal behind the massed ranks of a spirited and stubborn defence.
0 – 0 at Liverpool isn’t a bad result when you are expecting the bubble to
burst at any moment. 15 games into the season and when I see the league table
and Pompey are still second it still amazes me.
Now I don’t expect Pompey to be anywhere near 3rd place at the end of the season,
and even a European place isn’t a real possibility, but next season could be
a different story.
One thing that has made a change this year is the solid defence led by Sol
Campbell. Whatever his problems at Arsenal, he has shown he is still a world
class player. Perhaps being coached by Tony Adams helps a lot.
I’ve actually got tickets for the Pompey home match against Everton, so I’ll
be taking the two boys and my Dad will be coming down. This will be the first
Pompey game I’ve been too since coming back from America (3 years ago last
week). My eldest has decided to support Pompey down to the fact he was born
about 500yards (if that) from the Milton Road stand, which coincidently is
where we will be at the Everton game. Hope it doesn’t rain since that is the
Manchester City earned their first point of the season in a match marred
by a disgraceful challenge by Ben Thatcher on Portsmouth’s Pedro Mendes.
In what turned out to be a mediocre match, the only noteworthy moment turned
out to be a disgraceful challenge by Ben Thatcher on Pedro Medes. On viewing
the reply you can clearly see Thatcher raise his hand towards the face of Mendes
resulting in the Portsmouth playing appearing to collapse to the ground unconscious
before sliding into the advertising hoarding.
Now whilst I can understand the reaction of Harry Redknapp and many of the
fans, and although being a Pompey fan myself, I don’t think Ben Thatcher intended
to hurt Mendes. Having watched Ben Thatcher over the past few years, I think
it was more of a dangerous tackle that he is prone to committing once in a
while, but in no way am I condoning what he did. The F.A. needs to review the
tackle and take the appropriate action before Thatcher ends up seriously injuring
another player. If he could remove that element from his game, he would be
a better player for it. No doubt Thatcher is remorseful for what he did, but
the fact remains he could have seriously injured Mendes and needs to sort himself
out as soon as possible. When you go into tackles at 110%, you have to be perfectly
sure you make the tackle or it could be a career ending move for the other
Hopefully Mendes will be back in action as soon as possible. I still believe
his goals towards the latter part of last season were instrumental in helping
Pompey avoid the drop
Has St. Harry (Harry Rednapp) finally got the team sorted out and will this be the start of a revival?
Looking at the other teams around us, I don’t hold out much hope right now. I’ll review that in a few more games. At least we have the easier run in to the end of the season than other teams around us.
Mendes did score two great goals though. The second was the better, if only for the fact it was scored well in to injury time and was so important. Let us hope it gives the team a boost in confidence.
I don’t have to worry about Chelsea, the Premiership should be theirs, barring them getting kicked out of the league for something.
But Gillingham are going to make me sweat it to the end of the season as well.
Looks like I am not going to have any nails come the World Cup. Talking of which, for my birthday last week, my kids got me one of the swanky new England tops. The only bad thing is, it has Owen and #10 on the back. Not a real problem, I quite like Owen and he will probably be in the side. But being 6ft 3in, perhaps Crouch would have been a better choice. But at least I have a new England top and regardless of whatever it says on the back, it was a great pressie from my kids 🙂
D’Alessandro from VfL Wolfsburg on loan until the end of the season on Tuesday with a view to a permanent move.
The 24-year-old is the latest in a string of signings made by the Premier League club this month and manager Harry Redknapp told Portsmouth’s website: “The boy is a really influential playmaker and you can’t have too many of those.
“This is a massive signing at the club for sure. I am delighted with the way things are working out because we have got together some players who can have a huge influence on matches and this lad is one of them.”
D’Alessandro moved to the Bundesliga from River Plate for $11 million in July 2003. He won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in Athens in 2004
Not that this will help us with the match against Liverpool, but hopefully will strengthen the squad somewhat more.
At least in the second half we troubled Liverpool. After the first half performace I was begining to think that my score of 1 – 4 to Liverpool was going to be rather conservative. But as the old cliche goes, at least we can concentrate on Premiertship survival. Staying in the premiership has nothing to do with playing in the lower leagues, its the stigma of having to play the Scummers again. (That and the fact that if Reading carry on the way they are going, we shall have a premiership team within 20mins of where we live right now and I might even consider getting a season ticket).
I am sure Pompey seem to be playing Liverpool in Cup matches an awful lot in the last few years.
And after Liverpools performance against Luton, I don’t hold out much hope either. Liverpool seem to have a good team spirit these days.
And on the subject of Luton – Liverpool, that has to be one of the greatest matches of the F.A. Cup in recent years. Luton played with great skill throughout the match and were it not for sublime goal from Alonso and a great performance from the sub (name???), they would have been outclassed and well and truly beaten. But they never gave up hope. You can ignore the last goal, apart from the guy who won £25,000 by placing a bet of £200 that Alonso would score from his own half this season.
Oh well, we struggled to beat Ipswitch reallly, and against Liverpool ? I don’t think we’ll be progressing much further in the cup this season. That will give us a good excuse to concentrate on Premiership survival at least.
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp was furious with referee Uriah Rennie’s decision to award Tottenham a penalty in his side’s 3-1 defeat.
I only had the match on the radio last night and John Motson was even saying that it was in no way a penalty. It turned the game and probably cost Pompey vital points at a time when they need all they can get. But I suppose when things are going bad for you, these things add up. I’d like to think that Pompey will get the good luck towards the end of the season when they will probably really need it.
How the referee could award a penalty for hand ball when the shot was blasted at him I can not understand. Even when I viewed the incident on TV it looked like ball to hand if anything, despite the fact that it appeared to hit the top of his arm, let alone his hand.
Calling a TV Referee for important decisions needs to be investigated as soon as possible. It happens in a lot of modern games these days and I think it adds to the excitement whilst ensuring that results are not affected by bad decisions. I understand that referees can make mistakes and it is not their fault. But when we have the technology to reduce the impact of thost mistakes, it seems daft not to use it.
So Harry Rednapp is coming back to Portsmouth. Personally, I didn’t think it would take him long to realise where the smell was coming from. You see he left Portsmouth just over a year ago because he said things were beginning to stink. Now that he has worked out that the Scummers were only a few miles down the road, he also knows where the smell was really coming from.
But in all seriousness, its not Southampton FC that stinks so much, more the way that Rupert Lowe the chairman doesn’t seem to have a concern about the football club. You’d think that the chairman of a football club from an area responsible for the departure of so many cruise liners would know a thing or two about stability and maybe apply some of the same logic to his football team, (ah, think Titanic).
Rednapps first task after moving back to Pompey will be to pay a visit to the dockyard to see what a Victory looks like. (Hasn’t seen one of them at Southampton for a long time).
But really seriously… As I’ve stated before, I only followed Pompey because it was my home base for 9 years whilst in the Royal Navy. So I shouldn’t really knock them since if I had been based in Southampton, I would probably have followed them. (I won’t mention that my house was closer to Southampton FC than Pompey FC). Who ever they get to be the next manager, the chairman should be prepared to back them for a long term future and not crap himself every time they go through a losing streak. Southampton are a premiership team and need to return back there as soon as possible. They have a great history in the top flight, and although in recent years it has resulted in a struggle for survival, they have the support, the ground and usually the players to more than justify their existence in the Premiership. All that has been lacking of late is the support of the Chairman. Just because he holds the cheque book doesn’t mean he can throw his toys out of the pram as and when he chooses. It makes the life of the manager very difficult when he doesn’t feel like he has the support of the boardroom.
And just to even out my knocking of Lowe, I actually think its a great decision to bring in Clive Woodward to the team. That is one area that could pay dividends in the future. Football has a lot to learn from Rugby and let us hope this helps to bring success back to Southampton, (but not at the expense of Pompey please!!).
Harry, all you need to do now is get Jim Smith back and everything will be complete.