Food For Thought

Last updated : 22 March 2006 By Jim Bonner
This is the first of two columns I am writing today, so check back later tonight for the second.

Yesterday Birmingham played Liverpool at home in a game that, on the face of it bares no relevance at all to Pompey fans. I'm sure that we all know the result but for those of you that have been sleeping for the last day the result was that Birmingham lost....

... 7-0

Now if that's not a confidence smasher then I don't know what is. Should Birmingham have got something from that match then, just like us two seasons ago it might have been the catalyst for a run that saw them escape relegation come the end of the season. However after that ultimate drubbing in which they defended worse than what we have all season (and that is saying something!) and the fact their next two games are almost certain losses then they could be dead and buried come Mid-April. Birmingham fans have also pretty much accepted relegation and are calling for the managers head, something our own fans were doing only two weeks ago! Things can change very quickly in football though but this result could spell the beginning of the end for Birmingham, theoretically leaving us only with West Brom to catch.

On the flip side however, Liverpool were completely dominant yesterday. If they continue that kind of form then they are the last team we want to be playing should we need a result on the last day of the season! They have now scored 15 goals in their last three games albeit against leaky defences but then ours isn't exactly known for being solid is it? But then there's still plenty to play for between now and then and who knows? If you look at it optimistically we might even be safe on the final day of the season and who would have even dared predict that after our pathetic showing at Villa? It all seems to be down to confidence, we are playing with a lot of confidence and hopefully it will continue after the Arsenal game on Saturday.

Sticking on the topic of confidence, what about Benjani?

I'll agree with the majority of Pompey fans that Toddy should start against Arsenal but I still think that Benjani just needs to find that elusive goal whether it be a super strike or one yard tap-in. Look at Peter Crouch for example. It took him ages to score his first goal for Liverpool, even managing to squander a penalty against us in what could be Pompey "Comedy moment of the season" yet he scored a goal that was virtually put in his own net by Wigan 'keeper Mike Pollitt and then all of a sudden he starts a scoring spree! What Benjani doesn't need is confidence shattering chants from fans supposed to be supporting him, he has to score eventually right?

I don't want to sound like Mr. Motivator but confidence is a key factor in life and it seems no different in football.

And that concludes todays first column. It's amazing how confidence can affect a player and a team. The good news is that Pompey, after back to back wins, are currently full of it!