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Well, a lot more positive experience than it looked as if it might be after the first 15 minutes.
What we did well:
The first half our entire attacking strategy consisted of Kelly bombing down the wing and putting crosses in for Deane. Despite the 1-dimensional nature of this, those 2 did this superbly well - a number of excellent dangerous crosses by Kelly, and Deane really shook them up.
Second half, Pugh came more into it down the left, having reacclimatised to left back, and we carried a threat down both wings. I felt Pugh at left back gave us much more thrust and menace overall from fullbacks, with plenty of overlaps later in the game down both flanks, when Simon "world's most lightweight 21 year old" Johnson started to run at their full back a bit without bouncing off him.
Walton looks a lot more composed and elegant on the ball at centre back with the game in front of him. He did have a tendency to back off anyone running at him until he hit his own goalpost though - needed Butler alongside him to rollock him about it. Our centre of defence was generally cheerfully ripped to shreds by any movement off the ball or fast passing moves on the ground.
They kept going though, and Walton improved defensively as the game went on.
As mentioned, Deane played well. And he scored. Brian Deane scored. A goal. Deane. Goal. Scored.
I thought Lennon showed fantastic touch and pace when he came on, and was very difficult to pick up. He will always be fundamentally hampered by being 2 foot tall though.
Sully excellent as ever.
Good quiz machine in pub.
The ripping to shreds of our defence through the middle. Not helped at all by the fact that our central midfielders seemed to wander up and down the pitch together, rather than one sitting, leaving our young centre backs exposed to midfielders running at them.
Gregan (though he got better late in the game). He won't get fit if he doesn't run. Strolls too much. Too much tokenistic closing down, failing to track once a player releases the ball etc. Frustrating.
Joachim just doesn't seem to be able to read flick-ons, and knocks downs. Deane won countless balls in the air last night, but Joachim's positioning for the second ball constantly meant he was not going to get there. Real headless chicken stuff.
Spring not hugely involved, but then he needs matches. Simon Johnson too lightweight as mentioned.
Once more Blackwell made the right, positive, subs, but 10-15 minutes too late. Don't wait until Gregan can no longer walk to sub him - anticipate it, try to shape the game, not react to it and make desperate throws of the dice.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 27/10/2004.
Portsmouth are ready to use the superglue approach to keep their record signing Diomansy Kamara on the pitch and away from suspension.
The Senegalese striker was yellow-carded last night for removing his shirt after scoring - the second time in three days he had committed the offence.
He fell foul of the law, which states that the removal of the jersey is to be punished with an automatic booking, after scoring his first Premiership goal at Middlesbrough on Sunday. And the #2.3m forward clearly had not learnt his lesson when he repeated his misdemeanour after his 14th-minute strike against Leeds.