Date: 2nd September 2007 at 11:35pm
Written by:

Simply not good enough, that is the overall opinion of Pompey’s showing yesterday against Arsenal – with this something that Harry Redknapp, stand in captain Sylvain Distin and the re-signed Glen Johnson all agree with in the views they have voiced on the Pompey Site.

Redknapp was particularly critical of the third goal conceded ‘the third goal was as bad as I’ve seen – players weren’t looking at the ball. You have to be switched on, you don’t just start walking away.

‘When the ball goes dead that’s when you have to come alive. We didn’t do that and we were punished for it’.

The defending for that goal was absolutely shocking, it is not even the kind of defending that you would often see down the local park – John Utaka had his back to the play and Pedro Mendes, although facing the play was looking god only knows where, maybe he was looking at whatever Utaka was too?

Distin, who stood in as captain and gave a performance that Sol Campbell would have been more than happy with, was a real inspiration and almost single handily ran the defence – as he had to, as well as the midfield, that was how non-existent it was ‘I’m disappointed – not by the result, but by the performance.

‘Sometimes you get bad days, and you have to accept them. But for me the performance was just so disappointing.

‘We should learn from this. We have to make sure there is a reaction’.

Yep, we certainly have to learn from this as if we do not we will be in for a long old season. But I am sure we will learn from this and will bounce back against Liverpool at Fratton in a couple of week’s time.

Glen Johnson returned on Friday and made his second debut, which was not a happy one ‘everything was bad – our passing, our movement, our communication – the lot really. We can perform a lot better.

‘We need to get back on the training field and improve things’.

To be honest if some of the players do not know some of the most simple basics of defending – which did cost us yesterday – and football in general by now we are in trouble, but as said words will be had and we will bounce back.

Although I was initially very critical of Johnson and his performance, on reflection this could have been because I am not convinced by him, so maybe my views from so much of his spell last season have clouded my judgement. The fella needs to be given a clean slate and a chance.

Coming forward he looked a real handful at times – as well as looking comfortable doing so, his decision making at times though still needs some thinking but he only came back Friday, so hopefully when he gets back into the swing of things, with him now knowing that he is playing for the team he is contracted too makes me hopefully we can see the very best of him again, as Redknapp thinks we can.

Yep, Sunday was a really bad day at the office, you get these, we just better not get too many more of them, which I have confidence we will not.

Pompey usually do respond after something like this, so after a break – which has probably come at the right time – I look forward to how we react against Liverpool at Fratton.


To join the Vital Pompey debate – in the forum or with comments on articles – simply take a few seconds to register an account.