The Opposition View: Crewe Alexandra

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 11 October 2012

How do you assess Crewe's season so far? Happy? 

Yes and no. Yes, we have a reasonable 13 points from 11 games. Bar a couple of occasions, we haven't look too much out of our depth in this league. But there have been one or two worrying signs, notable struggling to get 3 points out of 2 winnable home games in our last 2 league outings, that have me a little concerned.

We have struggled badly with injuries which have affected us throughout the season to date. We really need these problems to clear, otherwise I think we'll find it hard to get any real consistency going. This has also not helped the management, who after 11 games, are still trying to find our best 11. Overall it has been satisfactory, but there is certainly a need to do better.

What do you think of the situation at Portsmouth? 

Without wanting to sound too harsh on you or your fans, the situation disgusts me, from top to bottom. I don't think Pompey should be playing with the squad they currently have. Regardless of wether you are paying players within the admin's and FL's financial limits, to be signing players like McLeod, Williamson and Howard is beyond a joke.

The Admin's conduct has been nothing short of a disgrace, trying to get the points deduction wiped, giving Portpin the time of day. And the fans annoy me for just sitting there every week, cheering a team they don't deserve, sticking their heads in the sand whilst the people who can truly save them from this crisis, the supporters trust, bravely fight to save Pompey.

I wouldn't want to wish any club out of business, but i'm close to making an exception with Pompey.

What are your team's biggest strengths? 

Our youth set up. Produced top notch talent for 25 years now and will continue to do so in the future. We have one of the best off field set ups in the FL and the best for a club or our size imo. On the pitch, I wouldn't say we have 1 standout area.

All areas of our team have had good days when they look like world beaters and others when they look like pub players. So its hard to really identify an area that we have done exceptionally well in.

Defence would have to be my pick, where we have one of the best wing backs in the league in Matt Tootle, 2 solid centre halfs in Harry Davis and Mark Ellis, the latter who looks to be our best signing by a comfortable distance this season, and the usually reliable Kelvin Mellor.

And what are the biggest weaknesses? 

Our inconsistency. Our minute, we are almost beating Stevenage, drawing with Tranmere and narrowly losing at MK Dons, the next we are getting outplayed by Oldham and struggling to beat Hartlepool.

Like our strengths, we don't really have an area where I'd say we are really weak. The forwards have been struggling to hit the net on a regular basis, so I'd have to say there, but catch them on a good day and they'll cause any teams problems.

5What sort of match are you expecting at Fratton Park this Saturday? 

A really open end to end game with goals. Both sides have players that can score goals and neither keep many clean sheets. Our forwards should have a field day against Pompeys poor (on paper) backline, but at the same time, I can see McLeod(who scored in both games for us last season), Rodgers (former Crewe player who would love to score against us) and co getting plenty of chances against us. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw at least 2 goals a piece here.

Predict the outcome of the game. 

I've said 1-0 win in other predictions, but now I'm thinking it will be much much higher in terms of goals at both ends. I'm hopeful we can outscore Pompey, but I think we'll need to score a minimum of 2 or more likely probably 3 to win. I'm optimistic though, so I'll say 3-2 Crewe win.

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