Arsenal - Play Up Pompey - An Interview
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Play Up Pompey - An Interview

1) So, Portsmouth flying high this season, how's it been for you so far?

We have lost the last couple of games, seeing our unbeaten home record ended by your 'best friends' the other week, then we lost after 6 straight away wins against Liverpool at the weekend but it has still been a fantastic first half of the season and we are still in good shape so I am delighted and in all honesty could not have really asked for much more.

2) Harry Redknapp is one of the most likable characters in the game, how do Pompey fans feel about him after his recent foray over to Southampton?

Yep, he is a character. I was asked a similar question for a questions and answers session I have sorted out for Vital Boro, so I would say a similar thing here.

Regarding his leaving I was devastated. I never expected him to go to the lot down the road, but when he did I was clearly disappointed, maybe betrayed as he said he would not do that, but to be honest as much as I might not have liked it, it was a job - he needed one, that gave him one.

When he returned I was delighted as he was the only one that would have saved us from the drop - as he did. I soon forgave, but in a way you can never fully forget his 'betrayal' but on the whole most have forgiven him now, how could you not after what he has done since he returned? Scum might be disliked by most - some even use the strong word 'hate' - but surely this bitterness still cannot allow you to not support your own manager?

3) How have the allegations of corruption affected Harry and/or the team?

Well it was all rubbish, a way of 'stitching him up'. This really did undo - or at least tried to - a lot of the hard work that he had done over the years and quickly made people who were otherwise supporting him quick turn on him - the media - so it shows how fickle some can be and how quick they are to brandish someone guilty and they have to prove their innocence. Whilst 'arry is no angel I never had any doubt of any wrong doing in the recent events.

He has taken this hard, and maybe it has affected him a little, which is fair enough but on the whole I would say no this has not caused any major problems to the team, probably and understandably to him it has, but not at our cost.

4) Who will be your most dangerous player when we match up on Boxing Day?

Hard to say mate, at home we are struggling really - but not losing apart from once, so it is hard to pick out someone as not too many are really standing out at home but I am a big fan of Niko Kranjcar and had him down as the man to watch for Boro, so seen as this game is before that one I have to go for him here too really.

5) Do you think Portsmouth can consolidate a position in the top six and a European place?

I hope that we can and I think we are good enough - so if we can get a few decent players in during January to cover the loss of those going to the African nations then we will have a fantastic chance. We started well last season but did not build on it, being a year wiser and certainly a year stronger hopefully we can learn from last season's mistakes.

6) As a club Arsenal has a rather bad reputation for the on field antics, we obviously feel this has been blown out of all proportion, but how do you feel about Arsenal as a club?

Fantastic club, how can you not like Arsenal? They play the kind of football that some could only dream of and others aspire to - apparently our U18 side are the best passing team at that level, so if they can come through I would be over the moon. My youngest brother is a Gooner - the only one of four kids that slipped the net - so I have always had a lot of time for them, so as you can have a 'second team' they would be mine.

On the field antics? Are Arsenal really any worse than any others - are they even really that bad? To be honest I cannot see any problem…

7) Which of Arsenal's young guns, under the age of 21 (Not including Fabregas) would you most like to see at Portsmouth? (Bear in mind they'll probably sign for you in 15 years)

Well 'arry is said to be keen on bringing in some of your young guns in January, so if we can I would not be unhappy, but will Wenger let any of them go?

We could do with a right midfielder and a striker can you help?

Nicklas Bendtner looks a decent striker so maybe we could borrow him, I saw Mark Randell the other night who looked ok, is he a right midfielder? Denilson and Alex Song are tasty midfielders and Song can play at the back too, but even though a left back is not really the priority for us I have really liked the look of that fella Armand Traore - he is a left back isn't he?

8) Prediction for the game?

Heart says Pompey win, head says if we even get a point I will be happy, as we are not really doing it at home at the moment… Win, lose or draw so long as we put in a performance that we have lacked at home since we beat Reading 7-4 - what a fantastic game! - I will be happy, but I will say a draw.

Thanks very much for taking the time out to answer our questions Rug, good luck for the rest of the season.

You can read my answers to Rug's questions Here.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 24 2007

Time: 10:50AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Top man, Rug. A draw is always a good result against the mighty gunners & we'll have to be better than of late to get it.
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 13:17:00

i have liked the look of pompey this season.. the teams eems to have a balance in them.. with utaka, muntari, diop,mendes,kranjkar in there.. they have a good mix of creativity and physicality.. away to pompey would be a testing match.... i'm going for a gunners' win..
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 16:00:00

It will be a tough game for sure. Lets hope their poor home form continues for one more game.
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 16:12:00

Portsmouth have been good since last year. I like Kranjcar and Benjani. But I think we can win this game considering their home record this year, which is quite strange indeed. Love that part in question #7 (Bear in mind they'll probably sign for you in 15 years) LOL Yes who knows, maybe some of our youngsters will spend the last few years of their careers there like Kanu, Campbell and Lauren are now. Don't think any of them look like they might become their Assistant Manager though! It's gonna be a good game. Yes would love to see Bendtner start alongside Ade as the kid has done enough to get a chance, if RvP (my 1st choice striker really, injuries permitting, any day of the week) is still out that is. Let Saint Nick do something again on Boxing Day!
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 16:12:00

I have a bad feeling about this game. I'm going for a 1-1 or 2-1 for pompey
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 16:30:00

WYBI, it's potentially a banana skin, true. But I'm confident of at least a draw. I'm actually more worried that nobody seems able to take points off ManU at this point. If Liverpool and Everton couldn't, I don't know how they could drop points. Whereas we do seem likely to drop points somewhere away from home, maybe not Portsmouth, but Everton's making me worried (already).
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 16:45:00

Louisa, judging from tha table, its united who must be wishin for someone to take points away from us, not the other way arnd.. there's no need to fear united or any other team for that matter.. all we need to do is focus on wat we hv and take 1 game at a time.. i reckon we were more focused on ac milan than spurs, hence the moderate performance we saw on saturday.. no more such mistakes and we shud be fine.
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 18:32:00 you know what to do
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24/12/2007 20:17:00

Louisa, you forgot Bolton took points off Manure? This EPL, any team can beat top 4 anytime regardless of statistics. I have a good feeling against Pompey because our midfield played "easy" against spuds hence I expect to see too much running in our midfield and pressure on Pompey. Eduardo can do well againt Campbell or what to do you all think? If RVP is injured I will go for Bendtner and Eduardo together.
Report Abuse
24/12/2007 20:23:00

pompey will get point off the gunners. i said it first. then everton too. wait and see.
Report Abuse
25/12/2007 21:07:00

dont rely on midfield when you play portsmouth - we have an extra man in there, and are big, strong, and talented. If you want to break us down, you need to be something special, or we just need to be awful (spurs) or very very lucky (chelski - but thtats not happening again)...good luck winning the title, you'll breeze past everton...
Report Abuse
27/12/2007 00:03:00

Well played Arsenal, we are delighted to take a point off you, good luck for the rest of the season though you dont need it as you are a fantastic side. If you have any players to loan out could we have them, in particular Van Persie and Fabregas.
Report Abuse
27/12/2007 10:30:00

A good game to watch and both sets of fans created a really good atmosphere - i would have preferred a 4-4 draw but against you guys I'll happily settle for no golas and one point. Hopefully you'll be able to regain to spot again very soon.
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29/12/2007 00:44:00


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