Dan Brett aka PompeySedge assesses our league cup exit and what was found out by it – also giving some thoughts on what he feels we need.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but feel that the defeat to Aston Villa was a good thing. Of course, the chance to get to the semi-finals of the League Cup for the very first time would’ve been a great achievement given our current circumstances, as would the chance to return to our second home, Wembley.
However, sitting in my usual seat amongst the Fratton Faithful on Tuesday, I couldn’t but help think that the game helped prove who can and cannot cut it with our club. Let’s face it, we didn’t witness the greatest of games, abject performances galore, but the very first thing I noticed was the way that the Villa side just cut through our midfield (if that’s how you wish to refer it) as if they weren’t there, enter: Richard Hughes.
In no way is this a slating of the Scotsman, but highlighted to me was the fact that he’s not a midfielder, not a natural one as such. A holding midfielder, yes, or potentially good if there’s a holding midfielder behind him to do his leg work, but are his best years behind us? He seemed off the pace and off the skill level to perform against a Premier League side who themselves aren’t in the same form of previous years..
Of course, it would be unfair to comment on just Hughesy. For me, last night also showed us how much Nadir Belhadj has come on since being played in a more advanced role, and that Vanden Borre could profit from such a similar tactical switch. As much as he has a physical presence, it seemed to me that, similarly to the Algerian, he doesn’t have the defensive mind that say, Kaboul and Ben-Haim incorporate into their play.
So far, I feel we need a decent holding midfielder (freeing the likes of Boateng and O’Hara (of course, depending on if he stays) more time and space to be creative on the ball and create more chances for our front men), as well as potentially another right-back, because let’s face it since Johnson left, we’ve had more right-backs than Madonna’s had imported children.
Next up? Striker. We’ve all seen it (well, I definitely have) and have had the benefit of 24-hours to ponder this exact thought… (Yes, I’m a student, what else would I do with my day?) A proven, goal scoring striker could turn around our season, similarly to that if we had one at the start of the season.. (Frederic Piquionne and Aruna Dindane, take a bow) we probably wouldn’t be in the situation we are now.
A player of the calibre of Michael Chopra or Kevin Nolan would do me very nicely, and if we’re reported to have the funds that media spins have been telling us, ascertaining such a forward shouldn’t be too hard.
That would do me, for sure. Three players, key positions. Of course, if O’Hara leaves, that could present a problem and mean we’d have to scout for a player of such quality (D’Alessandro? O’Neil? Taylor?), but I don’t doubt the men of importance at the ‘Park would have been racking their brains on such situations.
Until next time,
Play Up Pompey!
Written by Dan Brett aka PompeySedge.
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.