Date: 15th December 2008 at 9:16am
Written by:

A 3-0 defeat at home against Newcastle, whilst not the worst result in the world – now or in years gone by – is not something that should be ‘easily accepted’, Newcastle are not a good side, we made them look like they are! We were not good, lets not try and claim otherwise, but we made it easy for them and Tony Adams knows this admitting as much with other things that he told sky sports news – this is what he said with my own views intertwined…

Adams on mistakes
‘I thought it was a very close, very bitty game. The first goal kind of won it for them. We gave it to them. We made mistakes and when you make mistakes you don’t win football games.

‘The first goal was very important it broke for them and it didn’t break for us.’

The 1st half was poor and little could separate the sides but you – well I and others spoke to during the half time break – felt that the first goal would decide the outcome, and so that proved…

We gave the ball away far too cheaply and the retention of the ball was not good enough – chances that we did have were poorly executed and at times we tried to ‘walk the ball’ into the net. The strikers do not seem to be even talking to each other anymore, let alone passing to one another!

All of the goals conceded could, and even should, have been avoided – Arnold Mvuemba’s suicidal cross-field ball was asking for trouble and we got punished. Quite what the defence was doing for the second was unbelievable – as a kid you are always told ‘show them the outside’, but for some bizarre reason Sol Campbell – at least I think it was him – allowed his man straight through the heart of the defence!

Adams on a ‘flattering’ scoreline for Newcastle
‘I thought it was much closer than that. We gave them the goal, I had to open up a little bit to get back into the game and then they go and get two and three.

‘The first goal was important today. It was not an attractive game. We had a few chances but we never really felt like anything was going to go in for us today.’

3-0 in a way was flattering for Newcastle but the simple truth is they had chances and they took them – even if they might have been virtually gifted to them! We had enough sights on goal to have scored at least as many but when you fail to even hit the target for the vast majority as was the case with us you are always in trouble…

Adams on the sides balance
‘It’s hard to take. We have got fantastic Portsmouth support here and they demand us to play with passion.

‘We seem to be giving goals away when we go and try and win games and we don’t seem to have that balance just right.

‘We seem to be beating ourselves at the moment and we will have to put that right.’

Our defensive strength has gone, that is what we build so much of our success from last season on – but I rarely go into a game now with the belief that we can, or even will, keep a clean sheet anymore. The strength is not in the midfield like we had before, so a lot is able to come through this area too easily, and creatively we do not have enough going the other way – we have a lot of ‘willing and able tryers’, which I like, but the balance between this and quality is lacking…

Adams on ‘lifting’ his troops
‘I have to lift them all the time that’s my job.

‘In this league everyone can beat anyone. It’s a tough week but we’ve got to get the lads going again. I’ve got a good bunch of lads and I’m confident we can put it right.’

Bolton (a) and West Ham (h) are next up, ordinarily we would be looking for 6pts but the way our season is going you do not know, although in all fairness it is not just our season, it is happening to everyone, and that makes it all the more frustrating thinking a good run would propel us up the table.

The players should not need lifting but unfortunately my fears are that we are now playing as ‘a side’ and not ‘a team’… We have a lot of quality footballers but too many of these seem to be playing for themselves, with my fears now being a few know they will be going in January, and dare I say they even want to?

Maybe it was just a bad day at the office but how can a side that was basically that which played against Milan be so good that night be so flat and poor after?

It has been an up and down season, and with January approaching – a month that I, and many others are not looking forward to – maybe this is not helping lift spirits, but I guess we need to pick ourselves up as well and keep rallying the troops as well and see where it gets us…


Join the Vital Pompey Debate