Date: 14th September 2010 at 9:23am
Written by:

Whilst it would be foolish to say that Rocha John Rocha’s return has ‘solved all of our defensive problems’ I do not think that it would actually be an overestimation to say that he made a big difference at the weekend against Ipswich.

His presence seemed to install some belief in the back four and made us look ‘solid’ and ‘organised’, he clearly led from the back and marshalled the back line fantastically well and once again put his body, and his head, in where it hurt without a second thought – we HAVE certainly missed having him around as he slipped seamlessly back into the back four continuing where he has left off at the tail end of last season, having has a rocky start to his Pompey career. It was not just the 2 sending offs in 3 games that made you shudder, it was some of his all-round play at times.

‘If’ he continues in this vein of form I will be left wonder ‘why’ and ‘how’ he was not actually able to find himself a new club and ended up returning to Fratton, as it seemed he would find this new club – then again I will not complain that this happened of course…

There were clearly some leadership qualities at the back, which to be honest surprises me that there was not at least some with Aaron Mokoena having been played in the back four prior to him – and he is a good leader but did not seem to inspire the defence at all.

The fullbacks held a good line and followed his example, even Ibrahima Sonko looked better – albeit marginally!

In all honesty I would still be happier if it was Rocha John Rocha and Mokoena forming that central pairing but hey ho perhaps the returning defender can have the same influence on Sonko as he had, seemingly, Moko previously and make that into a solid pairing?

Time will tell, although I would sooner not have to find out the hard way by seeing continued mistakes made from him…

Liam Lawrence was given the man of the match award at the weekend, from where I sat – and having seen the influence that he was having on the defensive display, especially in the 1st half, I would have handed it to Rocha John Rocha.

More of the same please Mr Rocha at Palace, and the games that follow of course, as I firmly believe that if we can hold a solid back line then our so far toothless strikers could actually find their fangs and sink them into Palace, who are struggling themselves this season – currently sitting just outside the bottom 3…

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