Matches From Hell

Pah, listen to you lot. The general opinion around Fratton at the moment is one of doom and gloom, Perrin out, Milan should sell up and all the rest of that rot. The way you people are talking it's as if we've never had a rubbish game at home in the Premiership before. And, given my long standing love of random lists, here's five examples of why we should realise that a defeat at Fratton in crappy circumstances should hardly be viewed with shock and awe since our time in the top flight.

5) Portsmouth 1 Norwich 1, January 1st 2005
On the plus side we didn't lose. On the minus side we didn't win despite the fact that Norwich ended up relegated, had ten men for eighty-five minutes and had Darren Huckerby up front. And it was cold, I was tired and we only scored through a thrice re-taken penalty. Consarn it.

4) Portsmouth 1 Charlton 2, October 4th 2003
This wasn't so much a disappointing performance as just generally depressing, and worryingly similar to our match against the Addicks a couple of weeks ago in that Pompey played well and took the lead in the first half, but only to throw it all away. The second half introduction of Paolo Di Canio had our defence wetting themselves and he played a big part as firstly Fortune scored the equaliser with just over ten minutes to go, then Barlett grabbed an injury time winner. It wasn't cold but it was really irritating and the post-match pub atmosphere of complete silence and long faces all round summed it up.

3) Portsmouth 1 Everton 2, 13th December 2003
Bit of a kick in the teeth this one. As if throwing away a lead at home isn't bad enough, it's even more frustrating when both were down to goalkeeper errors and the scorer of the eventual winner, Wayne Rooney, should've been sent off about eight times. Once he even walked down the tunnel for crying out loud, although you should never rely on Uriah Rennie to make the right decision. And it was cold.

2) Portsmouth 0 Leicester 2, 29th November 2003
It was obvious Leicester would be in this list somewhere. Walking away from this game I persuaded myself to try and forget everything I had seen and thankfully I've managed to block Marcus Bent's goal out of my memory, which is a start. I do remember how ridiculously crap and short of ideas we were, how we had some stupid number of players booked, how typical Leicester gits like Walker and Izzet irritated everyone all afternoon and how it was cold. The rascals.

1) Portsmouth 1 Manchester City 3, 20th November 2004
Uuurgh. I'd say it's somewhat unlucky/not especially fitting for Harry Redknapp that his legacy of games at Fratton Park, built on a reputation of attacking football and goals goals goals, should end in such a depressingly damp squib. Comedy defending, little attacking prowess, Amdy Faye - it really was absolutely dire. One of the few games I've been tempted to leave early, and not least of all because it was really, really, really cold.

A chilling lesson from the past which just goes to show that allegations of "no plan B", "no tactics", "no passion" and "no ideas" aren't new concepts. (Just be thankful I didn't feel the need to delve back into the days of Division One for nightmare matches).