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PL: Portsmouth h 2009/09/19 Reactions and Ratings


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wow some strange comments in here. fascinating really how people can watch the same game but have such vastly different opinions.

Friedel - 9 - Very good game, apart from one dodgy save / clearance at end of first half he was flawless.

Cuellar - 6 - Linked up well with Milner in first half, looked poor in the second. Feel sorry he has been shunted out to right back berth as started season well

Dunne - 6 - Didnt win enough headers for me, but made some good commited tackles, looked solid.

Collins - 8 - Has looked better than Dunne so far, seems to have better distribution (some lovely cross field passes / through balls) and better in the air while being just as commited. Looks a bargain.

Warnock - 7 - Played better than last week and will get better as he settles. Impressed so far.

Sidwell - 7 - Nothing amazing from him, but we saw his usual workrate and closing down and didnt lose the ball when he had it. He stepped in up in the the latter part of the game when it looked like Pompey might conjure something.

Petrov - 8 - Looked knackered again by 70th min but held us together in the middle, lots of clever play and started most our good moves. Good to see him egging team on like a proper captain should.

Milner - 8.5 - Fast becoming my fave villa player. Much better than last week, looked our most dangerous midfielder and was showing some lovely touches. His workrate & energy level is for me best in the league.

Young - 7 - Better but still has been a while since we have seem him at his best. He needs to bulk up abit like gabby has to handle the double teaming better. His set peice delivery much better, and still had a good game overall. Has picked up an annoying habit of ignoring the obvious option / pass and trying to pick oen thats 10 times more difficult and doesnt pull it off.

Carew - 5.5 - Very poor game. Didnt seem on the same wave length as his team mates and made some poor, often baffling decisions when he had the ball at feet. Bound to be rusty though, hope its just a one off.

Gabby - 9.5 - One of the best games Ive seen him have for us. Worked his arse off, and his first touch was exceptional! His goal was a beauty and he should have had an assist wehen he crossed for Carew. This kid constantly surprises me. When he broke through I thought he'd be another Vassel. Then after a whileI thought he'd be world class. Then after the 2nd of last season I thought he would he would be mid-table quality at best, not enough for a top 4 team, now after another blistering start I think he will be great again. Good to see year on year he is still improving. Hopefully his confidence and performance wont dip like last year if he hits another drty spell.

The game - Very happy with the first half. We looked lively and at most inventive and creative in patches. 2nd half we eased off and it was dissapointing. We still defend too deep and dont push out well enough. Cuellar is not a right back, and I think MON has to decide pretty quick who his top 2 CB's are, and leave the ones left out on the bence instead of trying to squeeze them in elsewhere. Luckily we look very solid at the back and can cope with anything aerial, which against the bottom half of the league clubs tend to be the main threat.

Delighted with our form. Hope the NRC is resolved quickly so we can keep on creeping up that league table. Big credit to MON and the boys, I was shit scared after Wigan & Rapid Vienna, now we look much more solid and still have options to come back, and big players yet to hit anything like top gear

Subs - None on long enough to rate.

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Couldn't hear it from the North Stand, in fact hardly heard anything from the Holte today it seemed very quiet.

I twas good at the back of the holte, although I don't think the whole stand sang much, but I can't remember more than 5 minutes without a song.

Martin O'Neill claret and Blue army went on for ages!

Someone really tried to get a Fabien Delph song going so many times aswell, what were the words by the way? couldn't make it out.

There were about 10 people on the wing of the holte, constantly singing despite being told to be quiet by Stewards, made me laugh, everytime they started a song, middle of holte sang a different one :lol:

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I thought we were overrun in midfield.

I thought that we had enough individual quality in the areas where it mattered to overcome Portsmouth regardless of that, but I'm not sure it's something we'll get away with on a regular basis.

Perversely, I thought Sidwell did really well today and had as good a game as I've seen him have and I don't think our midfield problems were down to the play of the individuals we had in there.

With Ash and Milner so much attacking players, and neither Carew or Gabby being the type of players that come deep and collect the ball or create, I think we'll get outmanned in midfield against teams like this who are going to go 4-5-1 and hold.

In the first half we struggled to get the ball from our back four to our midfielders, we'd keep it at the back but not be able to develop play and end up with defenders knocking the ball directly to the strikers. Portsmouth blocked out the shorter ball to the flanks and forced us into a position where we'd have to rely on Collins or Cuellar for our creativity.

As it stood, we were good enough at the ball over the top to deal with them anyway, but it's a slight concern when a team like Portsmouth can do that to us.

In the second half we saw the same problem show in Portsmouth's ability to run straight at our back four and create a large number of half chances. It's not that either Petrov or Sidwell did anything wrong, just that they were outnumbered.

If we get into that sort of shape against the Arsenals and Man City's of this world we'll be in trouble.

Friedel was excellent I thought with a number of decent saves and at least one really good one.

The back four were decent although both Collins and Warnock were guilty of individual errors which might have been punished. They look a calm unit I thought and I think there are good signs for the future at the back.

Ashley Young was very good too I thought, a livewire throughout as was James Milner on the other side.

Carew is a bit of a conundrum. He needs games to get fit and sharp, but until he gets fit and sharp he can be a bit of a passenger. He didn't give us all that much today and looked spent by the time he was replaced. I'd hoped we'd bring Delph on to see out the game and was surprised to see Heskey. The player that would have been perfect for the situation we were in when Carew went off is the one asked to stay home for the weekend, I hope we see that patched up soon.

Gabby on the other hand was terrific. His goal was a great justification of the work he's done in the summer. Defenders are scared to let him turn and use his pace so they get tight, but he's now strong enough to shrug off a player like Tel Ben Haim and embarrass him. The finish wasn't bad either. I thought he had a very good game.

We look a reasonable side at the moment, if a little unbalanced, and for me I'd like to see Carew dropped for another midfielder to give us that bit more control of things and to give us that bit more variety in our play.

Great to win, performance was so-so, individuals did well.

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Job done really, only negative about warnock is his lack of a right foot which got him into trouble in the second half in our pen area, but toher than that he did well.

I echo the thoughts about needing a RB to be playing RB as good as carlos is we need someone who is comfortable going forward, and wont continue to tuck in thinking he's still playing CB!

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Cant believe that some people seem to take pleasure in the fact Heskey may be injured. It is a squad game and he may well be needed in the coming weeks, I for one certainly hope it is not serious. As for the game, not inspiring, but got the 3 points. Think MON should have changed it to 4-5-1 earlier than he did, Portsmouth were running through our centre midfield in the second half. Defence looked strong again, though Cuellar is more suited to away games at right back. Impressed with Collins and Dunne again.

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Didn't catch the game but delighted with the result.

With the NRC thing if we'd dropped points tongues would have been wagging about all sorts. A solid, committed win puts all that to bed, and ensures a happy squad for NRC to come back to, no issues.

I reckon we could get all 3 points at blackburn, which would be a blistering start by any standards. Then we've got Man City and Chelsea, and we'll finally find out what this squad is really capable of this year. The UEFA exit seems quite some time ago now.

Overall though, I feel we're much more solid at the back, but far less fluent going forward, and poor in possession. Some of that is Ashley's subdued play, some of that is still missing Barry's passing. If we can get Carew and Ash up to speed, we'd look at properly frightening team. Looking forward to the next few weeks, for sure.

EDIT - I've really got to change my sig. Collins looks superb so far. He and Dunne are a confident, no nonsense partnership. I also really rate Cuellar, it's a shame he's out on the flank when it doesn't suit him in the slightest. But he'll struggle to get back in the centre with our new boys keeping clean sheets.

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i'll take some of the credit for the 10 minute rendition of MARTIN ONEILLS CLARET AND BLUE ARMY!

where abouts do you sit then mate?

k4 mate, banging my seat to keep it going when it started to die down! you?

your not the bloke a few rows infront of me are ya?

k4, row 28

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i'll take some of the credit for the 10 minute rendition of MARTIN ONEILLS CLARET AND BLUE ARMY!

where abouts do you sit then mate?

k4 mate, banging my seat to keep it going when it started to die down! you?

That was quality. Thought the support in the second half was good. I was a right at the front of the lower holte and the support doesn't really filter down as much. I didn't join in much though mind, developed a bit of the old man flu throughout the day.

Funny moment when O'Hara came to take a corner, some bloke stands up 'I would SHAG your Mrs mate, she is fit.' And when everyone looked at him he goes 'Danielle Lloyd mate, she is fit. I would shag her, honest.'

Gabby was quality today, his goal was good and his interplay was quite neat as well. Carew was quiet though. Credit to Collins and Dunne who dealt with everything and never looked troubled.

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