Wigan Steal Win In Fratton Rain
Having seen Redknapp defect to Tottenham last Saturday and my poor kitten killed by a 4 x 4 on Thursday, I had a feeling we were going to get beat today.
I'm not the superstitious type by any means but after we hit the woodwork countless times and had shots cleared off the line I always thought we'd lose the game in the worst style possible and even when we equalised I thought we'd still lose.
So I wasn't at all surprised when Emile Heskey slotted in a stoppage time winner for the Latics and just to make things worse Spurs and Scummers won with injury time goals to really compound my misery.
As for the game itself it was an extremely poor affair contested by two dour teams surrounded by utterly terrible conditions. We may have hit the woodwork countless times but that only masks how bad we were today as we couldn't keep hold of the ball for any period of time in the first half with Wigan looking more dangerous.
For the second game in a row Papa Bouba Diop gave away a needless penalty by taking down Titus Bramble in the box right on the stroke of half time and Zaki hammered it in to put the Latics a goal up.
Despite our bad luck it looked like we'd salvaged a point when Niko Kranjcar's shot from the corner of the box had gone through a crowd of players and ended up in the back of the net.
If anyone thought Wigan would sit back and try and defend their lead then they thought wrong as David James did very well to block Antonio Valencia's goalbound effort. Valencia had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside earlier in the game and he must have thought Wigan would have to settle for a draw, but that wasn't the case.
Right at the death a through ball by Lee Cattermole caught out the Pompey defence and Emile Heskey slotted in his 100th career goal to silence Fratton Park.
Our biggest problem today was our lack of a midfield. We were up against a team of battlers in conditions more suited to them than us, yet Traore was too lightweight, Davis was sloppy and Diop was wasted on the right. Kranjcar's introduction in the second half made a difference but only Diarra showed any sort of bottle against the battlers like Cattermole and Palacios.
It's easy to say that on another day we'd have won that game easily but Tony Adams has many problems to address if he is to get us playing the attractive way he has vowed us to.
The midfield is the biggest of these problems, and Adams needs to find a solution quickly as our next two games are tricky ones at Sunderland and West Ham.
It should be noted that this result means that Pompey could be only two points away from the relegation zone if either Bolton or Newcastle win their games in hand (even though we're still currently ninth).
I don't know about you but I'm personally glad that this week is over. Things couldn't get any worse, could they?
Pompey Player Ratings
David James: 7 - Good saves kept us in the game.
Glen Johnson: 6 - Needs someone to work with on the right and that man isn't Diop.
Sol Campbell: 6 - Shaky return to the side.
Sylvain Distin: 6 - Solid mainly but given a tough time by Zaki and Heskey.
Nadir Belhadj: 6 - OK going forward but got caught out at the back too often.
Papa Bouba Diop: 4 - Gave away another needless penalty and was useless on the right.
Sean Davis: 5 - Outbattled in the centre of midfield.
Lassana Diarra: 7 - Had to run the midfield by himself.
Armand Traore: 5 - Too lightweight to cope with Wigan's physical presence.
Jermain Defoe: 6 - Did what he could.
Peter Crouch: 7 - Must have broke a mirror, walked under a ladder and saw a black cat before the game. So unlucky.
Noe Pamarot (Belhadj 90): N/A - I didn't understand this stoppage time sub, did Tony?
Niko Kranjcar (A. Traore 46): 6 - Added extra threat and grabbed a goal.
John Utaka (Diop 73): N/A - Wasn't given enough time.