Wigan

By Keith Allman
Last updated : 17 November 2005
What a pleasure to go to Fratton Park last week and witness a team full of self belief, total commitment, flair and players obviously enjoying themselves in to the bargain. They are managed by a clever manager who has assembled a team that are a match for any premiership team on their day, raiding football's bargain basement, working on a very tight budget, moulding rejects and misfits, mixing a blend of youth and experience with fast, free scoring strikers and a solid defence compiled of players rejected by other clubs. They are followed by enthusiastic fans who are clearly loving every minute, and singing "We're gonna win the league!" - Recognise any of this from a couple of seasons ago??

Unfortunately of course I am describing the visitors to Fratton Park and not Pompey. Enough has been said and written about Pompey's team selection and performance in this dismal display, at one point I was seriously considering that some of our players were determined to make De Zeeuw man of the match by continually pumping the ball towards him knowing he would be first to it. For me he is easily the best buy of the season, I was gutted to see my favourite player of the last 3 seasons or so, doing what he does best for Wigan - he is Mr 100% - a rock at the centre of the defence, and captain of a team which has the best defensive record in the Premiership! He is praised by Tony Blair as one of the 3 most desirable players in the country - what a shame his previous employers did not feel the same way.

The two people who decided not to take up my spare tickets at short notice made a good decision, and probably would not have got value for money had they been free of charge, unless they appreciated the flair that Wigan exhibited. In forty years of visiting Fratton Park, I have never witnessed so many fans leave before the end, and I have never had a bet on a team to beat Pompey, but for the first time ever, having had a premonition, I confess to backing Wigan to win although I mistakenly thought Pompey might have scored at least once! On this showing, I doubt that we would be even mid table in the Championship, which is where we are going if things are not changed around.

Still an easy 6 points to look forward to now - Liverpool away and then Chelsea at home - good grief.

Portsmouth Match Reports

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