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Portsmouth Preview

Yesterday was a mad game. Sky Sports pundits love to call it a classic; most pundits love to trot that out when they see a rare occurrence of a high scoring game. I thought it was a rubbish game because of some appalling defending. And mainly from Arsenal who made back pass after misjudged back pass to tease Liverpool into scoring goals. The Chelsea-Liverpool tie over two legs was a better contest, despite poor defending. But what do we care? It was a draw, a good result (although an Arsenal win would have been better) and we have something today that could make yesterday’s result count.

It’s Pompey who have problems of their own. But abject as teams might appear, they suddenly seem to run around like energizer bunnies when they face us. Either that or we have been generally shite going forward. It doesn’t take the Scotland Yard to work out which. I’ll leave that you.

In team news, Rooney, Ronaldo, Carrick, Fletcher and EVDS would surely return to the starting XI having played no part in the weekend defeat. I can’t really predict the starting line up, but Fletcher and Carrick should pair up in the middle, with Ronaldo and A. N. Other on the wings, while Berbatov and Rooney will resume their partnership upfront. The back four would be Evra, Vidic, Rio and O’Shea. (I don’t have any updates on Brown, and Rafael had a long day out at Wembley.)

Tevez would once again warm the bench with his mate, Park, and so will Welbeck and Macheda.

There, I’ve done the preview. This is a very short one because I have to run. My prediction for this one: 2-0 to United.

Come on you reds!



  1. Matt

    22 April 2009 at 21:32

    Not directly related to us but according to SSN roy keane is set to take over ipswich. Always nice to see 1 of our own in management, hopefully he will do well. Anyway onto now we need another goal, why do we just sit back when we go 1 up. What is wrong with us.

  2. m34ch

    22 April 2009 at 21:38

    Well played Anderson lad. Very well played. Good on ya. 🙂

  3. Eric the Red

    22 April 2009 at 21:38

    @Matt: To be fair, they haven’t sat back they just left their shooting boots at home.

    EDIT: not even shooting boots really but finishing boots.

  4. Matt

    22 April 2009 at 21:43

    Im sorry but the substitutions have just shown what is wrong with us this season and our totally outrageous defesnive tactics. I hear nev got injured so oshea came on and then hes got injured and rafael has come on, but can any1 tell me why we then take off what sounds like 1 of our best players for carrick when we could do with a striker on. What is wrong with these bloody defensive tactics.

  5. Liam

    22 April 2009 at 21:44

    ’bout time it’s 2-0

  6. m34ch

    22 April 2009 at 21:44

    Go on Michael! Great finish! 🙂

  7. Eric the Red

    22 April 2009 at 21:45

    @Matt: You pulled the gun a little too early there mate. LOL. Carrick scores to put it to bed.

  8. Natzca

    22 April 2009 at 21:45

    @Matt: bad timing with that comment eh?

  9. Liam

    22 April 2009 at 21:46

    @Matt: Are you watching the difference Carrick made? Anderson’s passing was shocking in the 2nd half

  10. edwin

    22 April 2009 at 21:46

    Yeah! Great pass from Scholes, Great finish from Carrick! Should be six, but I dont care!

  11. Natzca

    22 April 2009 at 21:48

    2-0 > 4-4 anyday of the week

  12. Matt

    22 April 2009 at 21:50

    @Liam: Oh come off it, when your struggling for chances you dont bring on another midfielder when we already have ando, scholes and fletcher. Why not bring on a striker. Im sorry but every season but this 1 we would have had another striker on by the 70th minute, but this year we seem to be happy to get an early goal and take our foot off the gas and once we get near the end sit on our lead. What the hell has happened to us, are we the same team anymore. It doesnt bloody seem like it from this seasons evidence.
    @Natzca: @Eric the Red: Great timing for me to make that comment lol.

  13. Liam

    22 April 2009 at 21:53

    @Matt: foot off the gas? We had about 4 or 5 attepts that would,ve gone in in any other game. Anderson was rubbish in the 2nd half, Carrick is our best midfielder. Great substitution

  14. Liam

    22 April 2009 at 21:54

    @Liam: 4 or 5 attempts 😳

  15. Eric the Red

    22 April 2009 at 21:56

    @Matt: Not sure what game you were watching mate, but not for one second did we take our foot off of the gas or sit on the lead. This was the United that we all know and love, though the finishing might have been better.

    On a side note, Everton have done us a favour drawing the Russian mob.

  16. Craig Mc

    22 April 2009 at 21:57

    @Matt: Quote “What is wrong with these bloody defensive tactics?” ANSWER – Fergie. He’s guilty as sin mate!

  17. Natzca

    22 April 2009 at 21:58

    22 shots vs 4

  18. Vivek

    22 April 2009 at 21:59

    Well that was the worst “good game” of the season. We were dire for large chunks of the game. Why the fuck cant Giggs finish? Why cant none of our players cross?? Why in the name of god do we take the foot off the pedal at 1-0???? What if the season were to come down to goal difference, which is entirely possible considering our woeful current attacking form and Liverpool’s momentum.

    No comparison to the fiesta of attacking football yesterday night. There was no pressing (bar anderson)and no fucking innovation. I hate to say it, but we have become what I hated the most – Moaninho’s Chelsea, although without the same steely determination and power in midfield

  19. Craig Mc

    22 April 2009 at 22:00

    @Eric the Red: Eric mate, the United we ALL KNOW AND LOVE WOULD HAVE FOUND THE NET, instead of only two out of ten chances taken, and three of those were Absolute sitters!

  20. Dan

    22 April 2009 at 22:01

    Great performance, we just lacked end product! Anderson, really, really looked like scoring today, he had a blinder, absolutely superb!

    See how well we play without berba AND tevez 😉

  21. johnsom33

    22 April 2009 at 22:02

    dont look now but United are quietly becoming a decent side.

  22. Craig Mc

    22 April 2009 at 22:03

    @Vivek: Mate one of our players CAN cross, but he is sitting growing splinters in his arse on the bench for the whole bloody season. I say serves Fergie the fuck right! Right result, but nail biting fucking stuff again, and really, really sloppy at times. Fergie better wake up, because better teams will punish us for all our missed chances, and giving the ball away too often and too cheaply.

  23. Eric the Red

    22 April 2009 at 22:04

    @Craig Mc: I did say with the exception of the finishing.

  24. Dan

    22 April 2009 at 22:05

    @johnsom33: 😆 😆 😆

  25. Matt

    22 April 2009 at 22:06

    @Craig Mc: I have been feeling that all these tactics have been down to fergie for a while. Its clear to me that the tatcic side of things were down to quieroz last year, now hes gone and hes left with the muppet phelan fergie is the one having to do all these tactics again. Every1 knows tactics arent fergies strong point and i think its clear from the tactics this year. I did think tho that although his tactics were poor, he was an attacking manager, so we keep hearing anyway. @Liam: I didnt watch the game so maybe that was the wrong word, but certainly something is wrong when you score so early, invite the pressure on and it takes until the 80th odd minute to seal the game. If that was chelsea they would have been 3 up at half time so wtf does it take us until near the end to seal the game. Maybe taking your foot off the gas is the wrong word but im sure they should have sealed the game much earlier. If the shooting is so bad why season after season is no1 ever helping improve it. I looked at the end of the game and we apparently we had 14 shots on target yet we only score 2. There is something seriously wrong in that department.

  26. Craig Mc

    22 April 2009 at 22:06

    @Dan: That must be the UNDERSTATEMENT of our whole season, great performance, no end product 😆 . Only too often our performances have lacked SLICK.

  27. johnsom33

    22 April 2009 at 22:07

    I hope Fergie gives Ando atleast 1 more run out, he is slowly coming to life. he does give it away cheaply at times,but he does shows brief glimpses of the potential we all saw in him. I can feel it, he is almost there.

  28. NicoQB

    22 April 2009 at 22:10

    @Vivek: I can’t believe the slagging Giggs has been receiving today. He played like he had the legs of a 30 yr old, and was unlucky not to score.
    And your complaining about our not looking like pool or arsenal last night? You mean you would trade our once-again stable defence to the joke of a defence that were both teams last night? 🙄
    And we were unlucky – it should have easily been at least three. I think its good that we are unlucky against pompey rather than a european team – we were definitely lucky against porto in the 1st leg, for e.g.

    Also I’m surprised by the lack of comments on how poor the linesman was tonight. THe offside rule states that if two players are level – implying that even if the defender is leaning back and the attacker leaning forward – the attacker is considered as onside. We had about thwo or three level calls judged as offside.

  29. Craig Mc

    22 April 2009 at 22:11

    @Eric the Red: 😆 😆 😆 Ok Bro I hear you.

  30. Red Ranter

    22 April 2009 at 22:11

    4-0 would have brought us a goal shy of the dippers in the goal difference stakes and considering the chances we created 4-0 was a realistic score. Anyway, one step at a time. Let’s win the game in hand now.

  31. Red Ranter

    22 April 2009 at 22:13

    Meanwhile, for what it’s worth, Chelsea drew Everton 0-0.

  32. Craig Mc

    22 April 2009 at 22:14

    @NicoQB: That’s because tonights linesman and referee were SCOUSERS mate.

  33. Liam

    22 April 2009 at 22:15

    @Matt: teams have days when they dominate but don’t score much. We had a good season goal scoring wise last season but for whatever reason be it luck or our change in style it’s not happening. I agree that something should be looked at with regards finishing but the fact is that we have been up against 10 men behind the ball in a lot more games this season than last season

  34. NicoQB

    22 April 2009 at 22:17

    @Matt: I have to agree that I too was miffed when Ando was substituted for Carrick! Once again Ando was guilty of stray passes (the simple ones), but he compensated by work rate and good vision (he’s actually better at making difficult passes than simple ones)

    But Carrick has shown once again that right now he has to be the sweetest shooter of the ball in our middfield. Shame that he’s often shy to make those runs in the box…

  35. NicoQB

    22 April 2009 at 22:21

    @Craig Mc: I hear you. Still miffed about the decisions though. 👿

  36. Craig Mc

    22 April 2009 at 22:21

    Well, Sheasy is out, and Nev injured again, surely Nev’s time is up. But lucky for us, Wes played an hour in the reserves in our 4-0 win Lancashire up, and I understand he came thru ok. So I really hope we got Wes back, he is immense, and we have missed him. I love the lad!

  37. Matt

    22 April 2009 at 22:24

    @Liam: Yeah i get you and i know its hard to score against teams when they have every1 behind the ball, and i didnt watch the match but some of the chances sounded like sitters and we just cant score them. And thats not just from this season, even last year we didnt put away enough chances, thats why we brought in berba. Now im not gonna go into that whole berba argument but god i just wish we were a bit more like chelsea in that they have 2 chances and its usually 1 if not 2 goals. With us we can have 5 chances, 1 goal, our shooting just seems terrible. Does any1 know if we have a strikers coach or anything like that, i know other teams employ former players there like les ferdinand at spurs. Maybe we should look at doing that, all i know is our shooting is just terrible and against a good team we might have regretted those missed chances.

  38. Rd

    22 April 2009 at 22:26

    Wow, congrats RR, this is to be one of your few correct score predictions, jk 🙂

  39. phoenix red

    22 April 2009 at 22:32

  40. NicoQB

    22 April 2009 at 22:33

    @Craig Mc: Sheasy has defintiely grown on me and I’m thankful for that.

    Is it me or has Rafael’s defending also been improving? He’s yet to measure up against an immediate dangerous opponent, but let’s hope he’ll do well.

    This performance has been of the most satisfying of late. Shame about the finishing, but I have grown to loathe 1-0 wins… So frustrating…

  41. Red Ranter

    22 April 2009 at 22:35

    @Rd: Cheers mate. In these times, I can take all the positives I can to celebrate and be happy about 😀

  42. NicoQB

    22 April 2009 at 22:36

  43. Red Ranter

    22 April 2009 at 22:38

    @NicoQB: He seems to love taking Championship clubs up to promotion and then bail, I suppose.

  44. NicoQB

    22 April 2009 at 22:44

    @Red Ranter: In any case I’ve been missing his presence in the media banter!! 😆

  45. Vivek

    22 April 2009 at 22:48


    Mate i only criticized Giggsie’s finishing.and I stand by what I said, it was simply woeful. I also said there was none of the attacking intent shown by both Arse and Pool, and it must be noted that although the defense was good, we only had Peter “the beanpole” crouch to deal with – not exactly Kaka mate

  46. Vivek

    22 April 2009 at 22:53

    Another thing I noticed was that until the gorgeous thru ball rigth at the end, Paul Scholes was just about the worst United player on the pitch. I fail to see what he brings to the team. he just passes the ball backwards or square most of the time, giving away the ball on numerous occasions. Its not like he is the destroyer ala Essien. He should be played only as a sub, late in games when we are leasding, when we need to keep the ball and tire out opponents who have to chase a goal

  47. Vivek

    22 April 2009 at 22:56

    Looking ahead at the weekend fixtures, I can positively say that we are not going to beat Spurs on Saturday if we play at the same languid pace we played today. Spurs have improved dramatically over the season, and we would have to step up big time to beat them.

  48. johnsom33

    22 April 2009 at 23:03

    @Vivek: agreed

  49. Matt

    22 April 2009 at 23:09

    @Vivek: Wilson Palacios has been a bloody beast for spurs since he signed, he is gonna show us all what a good player he is mark my words. Wish fergie would have signed him. But yeah i agree with you mate, spurs are on decent form and another performance like that today and we wont be winning, not sure about losing but we defo wont be winning anyway, we must take our chances when they come. It could be the difference between a point and 3.

  50. RedDevilEddy

    22 April 2009 at 23:11

    What a game by my boy Andy!!! :mrgreen: And what a pass. Didnt wathc the rest of the game because I replied it over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. What was the final result? 😆

    Seriously, I am delighted that FOR ONCE we grasped the opportunity to get further in front of Liverpool. The breathing space we have right now feels wonderful, and I hope it gets even bigger on Sunday. Hull are a tough nut to crack at home…

    Two brilliant team goals. The one was made by Anderson for Giggs, but his pass to Rooney was exhisite!!! And you see what happens when Paul passes the ball forward? Tick-tack, tick-tack, tick-tack and BOOOM!!! Goal for Carrick, assist for Scholes. The one pass that didnt go to a defender ended in a goal. I wish I could see that more often.

    Ronaldo was in and out of the game, and Rafael looked realy good when he came on. Giggs would have been my man of the match not for his unbelieveable misses, so I give it to Rooney. Great game by him, and it looks like he is getting used to playing as a lone striker again. Oh, and I will raise the question: When we have a strikeforce witha combined fee of £90 million, and they are all fit, why do we play witha lone front man. I think we play better this way, at least Andy and Giggs does. For once Fergie got his tactics right in a “must-win” game this season! Hopefully that continues… 😎

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