Date:Monday May 14 2007
So there we have it. End of season could not have come sooner for some of us, and obviously for some of the players. A slightly controversial 0-0 that saw us and Pompey both miss out on a few things. Arsenal, the prestigious 3rd and a total of 70 pts, Pompey miss out on joining the Sp*rs on a European tour through places unknown to common travelers and tourists.
When I saw the 1st team line-up I nearly fainted. Was it a 4-6-0? Taking into account my expectancies and what I was used to seeing from Baptista this year it fel? more as a 4-5-0. I wonder if Barazite, Bendtner, Fonte, Simpson or even Dennis Bergkamp could have at least gotten a few minutes which would be more effective than the Shadow of the Beast. Again I will start by giving Wenger a 5 for sticking to our no. 9 in these hours of Low Expectations.
Arsene Wenger - 5. Penalty takers should be set and a person who has missed them all during the season should not be taking them. Cesc, anyone?
Mart Poom - 6. I had a problem of rating our Estonian Gk as the last time I saw him play was DB10's testimonial. Based on that performance and the few shots he saved yesterday (notably one from Kanu in 1st half) he did ok. A 7 was there for the taking until he showed signs of reasoning for his no. 3 status, and that shot from Kranjcar I presume, which was bundled in and intelligently disallowed by Poll. 'Intelligence' and 'Poll' just doesn't seem to fit.
Justin Hoyte - 6. Justin is an old school defender. Hard-working, nothing fancy just does the job. Same yesterday. Nothing to report than one seriously misplaced cross.
Gael Clichy - 8. Again my man of the match. Came very close to scoring his first goal for the club and his abilities in the final third need a bit of a summer improvement treatment.
Phil Senderos - 6. I was happy to see him play, but I think so was Harry Redknapp. He did try really hard, made some good, hard tackles and almost assisted Pompey for a goal. He has suffered a serious free-fall in confidence and form this year, and has to rise from the gutter or he'll be looking for pastures new.
Kolo Toure - 6.5. You know what you get from Kolo. Nothing different this time and I really don't remember him being tested by the Portsmouth attackers.
Manu Eboue - 6. I have to agree with LD on his uneasiness at playing on the wing, and he looked a bit surprised with the ball in his feet and not being on the overlap. He did win the pen in an Ebouesque style, thus the rating is above 5.
Djourou - 7.5 - Looked great in MF, didn't he? He is poised and picks his passes (although most of them short) very carefully. It is obvious that he is used to playing there and showed great determination in tackles. I was a bit scared for him when he was taken out after a tackle, but a solid display and puts himself head and shoulders above Phil Senderos.
Alex Hleb - 7. I really like Alex Hleb. He is a very intelligent player. Great through passes, great movement and dribbling. Again can not hit a cow's behind with that famous instrument often heard in the music of Zakk Wylde. Another 1-on-1 missed, and AW has to hire Ian Wright to teach our players to FINISH. Much more
Diaby - 5. He seems not much bothered lately, so I will not bother describing his performance as well.
Cesc Fabregas - 6.5. He deserves a better team around him. I am assuming he would have played better had he been surrounded by someone with more initiative, incisiveness and desire. He did his part again and I am just amazed at the engine this man has. He is not a boy any more.
Julio Baptista - 4. To refer to a comment I read on one of the many Arsenal blogs - 'He missed a penalty again, and I hope he doesn't miss his plane to Madrid'. He started brightly and looked class. He was denied by James once, missed a free header, missed the penalty and then missed Spain, Sevilla days, and what not. Then he went missing. His first touch was not a touch anymore and he seemed to have replaced his feet with wooden pegs with sharp angles.
There you have it. I am as flat as our performance and I will go drink a few beers now. Read you later.
Player ratings by G4L
Date:Monday May 14 2007
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