Pompey Earn Stay Of Execution
By Jim Bonner
Updated Sunday, 4th April 2010
Portsmouth 0 Blackburn Rovers 0West Ham and Hull's failure to win this weekend means that Pompey aren't relegated yet despite playing out a dire goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers.
The main talking point from this game will be Vanden Borre's silly second booking for a deliberate handball that saw him dismissed, meaning he will now miss the semi-final against Tottenham next week.
With Steve Finnan not even included in the squad, it raises doubts over who will play at right back at Wembley, especially as Hayden Mullins injured his hand during the game and Richard Hughes also limped off.
The game itself was devoid of any quality whatsoever. Pompey came closest to scoring when Jamie O'Hara's header was cleared off the line by Gael Givet whilst Blackburn's Chris Samba hit the post with an early header.
The visitors dominated large periods of the game but were denied by some stubborn defending and some smart saves by Jamie Ashdown.
If there is anything positive to come out of this game it was that a back four containing Mullins, Rocha, Mokoena and Vanden Borre kept a clean sheet. When the Belgian full back was sent off, Leo Sowah came on for his Premier League debut but despite looking understanably nervous it would be stupid to judge a 17-year-old on 20 minutes of football.
That's all I have to say about this awful game so if you've only viewed this page to read about the game, then you may as well click "close" now. If you want to read my rant about the Premier League, then keep reading on...
The Premier League is hyped up (mainly by Sky) to be the "best league in the world". At the start of play yesterday, Blackburn arrived at Fratton Park as supposedly one of the top ten sides in the country and yet turned in a completely mediocre performance as they couldn't even beat the worst side in the division despite having an extra man for half an hour.
At the end of the day they were replaced by Stoke, who are essentially a carbon copy of Blackburn. They play direct, they have little quality in their team but they work hard and play harder.
Yet such mediocre football and such a turgid style of play is supposedly good enough to place you in the top ten of the "World's elite" and people will pay large amounts of money to watch this Premier League "product".
Even when we had our best season in living memory two years ago, some of the football was a chore to watch and that's with players like Lassana Diarra and Niko Kranjcar playing some of their best football for us.
In reality, I'd say that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United excluded, this league is of average quality at best and this is one of the reasons why I'm not going to miss it next season when we're "slumming it" with the likes of Barnsley and Scunthorpe.
I understand that there is a good possibility that the football will be of an even lower quality next season in the Championship but we've seen some terrible games the top flight that have had to endure during this torrid campaign, nothing can surely be as bad as yesterday's game.
When we're in the "NPower", there'll also be no games where you turn up knowing that you're in for a beating , as there'll be no "big three" next season. Is it really that much of a surprise that we've failed to beat Arsenal or Chelsea in fourteen attempts since promotion? I'd much prefer a competitive game against Doncaster personally.
I know I sound bitter, I guess it's simply because we have had one of the worst seasons imagineable. But the novelty of England's money-mad top flight had worn off years ago and in a perverse way, I'm looking forward to the Championship adventure next season, even if we have to rebuild from scratch.
And the inevitable will be confirmed if Hull beat Burnley or West Ham beat Sunderland next week.
Pompey Player Ratings
Jamie Ashdown: 8 - Produced some crucial saves.
Anthony Vanden Borre: 5 - Silly red card.
Aaron Mokoena: 7 - Rock solid.
Ricardo Rocha: 7 - Good return to the team.
Hayden Mullins: 6 - Did a good job.
Angelos Basinas: 5 - Poor passing.
Michael Brown: 6 - Did a variety of jobs.
Richard Hughes: 5 - Not involved as usual.
Jamie O'Hara: 5 - Lacked spark.
John Utaka: 5 - Faded quickly.
Kanu: 5 - Not his best game, but like the new song about him!
Leonard Sowah (Hughes 64): 6 - Some nervy moments but some promise too.
Frederic Piquionne (Utaka 72): N/A - Almost played in a couple of times.
|03 Apr 2010|
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|Portsmouth vs Blackburn Preview|
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|Tottenham vs Portsmouth Preview|
|25 Mar 2010|
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