Date: 27th October 2008 at 7:46pm
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In what we hope will become a regular series on Vital Pompey PFCGino casts a teachers eye over the weekends match reports and offers a grading on the performances of some ex-blues.

This article, the first of four this week, focuses on former Pompey players who still ply their trade in the Premiership.

Matthew Taylor & Andrew O’Brien – Bolton:
These Pompey old boys were away at underachieving Spurs, and we all hoped that they would get a result – given the events of the weekend. Unfortunately Redknapp’s new employers won 2-0 and Taylor and O’Brien were both average in this game. Taylor was frustrated all the time, halted in all of his attacks and shots, particularly by Modric and King. He never really seemed comfortable, with his shots missing wide, and one free kick in particular hitting the wall – a C- performance. O’Brien was hardly in the game, with one real effort of note and that was a crucial header away from Pavyluchenko – a D for him.

Ricardo Fuller, Andy Griffin, Vincent Pericard, Amdy Faye & Salif Diao – Stoke:
Newly promoted Stoke contain no less than six former Portsmouth stars – as well as the above five, Lewis Buxton is on loan with Sheffield Wednesday. Stoke aren’t doing too well in the Premiership, currently sitting eighteenth in the Premiership table. This week saw another tough fixture for them away at Manchester City, where they lost 3-0. Manchester City are on the up, and the class between the two sides showed as they dominated a very poor Stoke side. Andy Griffin was poor and struggled to keep up with Robinho so deserves a D grade. On the other hand, Ricardo Fuller worked hard for Stoke, and although he didn’t get on the scoresheet he did look dangerous and was the best player on the pitch in red and white – a B- for effort. Meanwhile, Salif Diao gave a distinctly average performance before being eventually substituted 15 minutes from time, and so gets a C. Amdy ‘Henry’ Faye was an unused substitute.

Gary O’Neil – Middlesbrough:
A product of Portsmouth’s youth system so it’s interesting to see how he has developed as a player. His Middlesbrough side visited Ewood Park to face Blackburn in Saturday’s evening kick-off, and held them to a 1-1 draw. Midway through the first half, O’Neil headed the ball to Tuncay, who scored, but the linesman incorrectly ruled the goal offside. O’Neil played some neat passing with Aliadiere, but despite this, he never really got going, particularly with his set pieces, so an average C for Gary.

Yakubu – Everton:
‘Feed the Yak and He Shall Score’. Not today though! That said his Everton team got a deserved 1-1 at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Yakubu wasn’t always a threat in the area, but he did show his class after having a shot deflected onto the post by Van Der Sar – a shot from nothing after capitalising from a Rio Ferdinand error. Yakubu improved after the break, and at times showed that he is still as threatening in the box as he was for Portsmouth – solid performance but not on the scoresheet, so I’ve graded him a B+.

That’s it for the Premiership, PFCGino’s view of ex-Pompey players in the lower divisions, playing abroad and currently out on loan will follow in later articles.

What are your thoughts on the players featured? Were you glad to see them go? Could we do with them now ?
Do you agree with PFCGino’s ratings? Or perhaps there’s a particular player PFCGino hasn’t featured or you’d like featured in more detail.

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