Isle of Wight   Pompey Supporters Club
The Chairman & Old Sage's View on Being a Pompey Supporter, Life & Everything Else  ...

 

  

Firstly can I thank everybody who came to support our Race Night on Friday evening. In terms of fundraising it was a really good night. A special thanks to the minibus crowd that came over from Newport. Can I take the opportunity to remind everyone about our Xmas Draw on 6th December, so please try to see your tickets and don’t forget the complete your Members Draw slips. Thank you.

.........................................................................................

OK question for the day is when was the last time that Pompey played at home on a Saturday and when is our next home league game on Saturday?

The answer is the 20th October, we beat Fleetwood 1-0, and the next one is on 8th December when we are scheduled to play Southend. Quite frankly, approaching mid-season before any bad weather kicks in, that is simply ridiculous...seven weeks without a home game on a Saturday.

Last weekend we were victims of the latest international break as mighty Charlton had potentially three call-ups before the international squads were even announced...exactly who these players are is anyone’s guess but it all seems pretty ludicrous to me. If you add in the first two rounds of the FA Cup and the quirks of the fixture list we’re close to arriving at a mid-season break all of our own!

Of course, there is an upside to all this inasmuch as we don’t pick up any injuries or disciplinary problems, especially as our squad is now of a size to almost field a reserve team in the dreaded chekatrade.com competition. The other bonus is that Sunderland and Peterborough failed to take any significant advantage by both dropping points at home to lesser opposition and, as a consequence, we remain top of the league. However the downside is we could potentially lose momentum that could hamper our fantastic start...even though some might argue that we’d better off playing all our games away from home anyway!  

From a revenue perspective evening games do not bring in the same revenue as Saturday games but I’m guessing that there is little likelihood of any compensation coming our way. One consolation is that if we make the Third Round, that weekend we are scheduled to be away at Luton.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well our run and position as the early pacesetters goes on and on and on...and long may it continue. In combination with a lot of positives and some good fortune we find ourselves in a ridiculously strong position after just seventeen games. 

For all that, will we finish up as Champions?

Unlikely but still possible. 

Will we win of the automatic promotion slots?

Good chance. 

Will we make the play-offs?

It’ll be disappointing if we don’t. 

Will we still be in League One this time next season?

Our form and the current odds would suggest not but there’s a lot of things that can happen between now and early May. 

Perhaps, not surprisingly, there are far too many positives to list here but you’d be disappointed if I didn’t flag up a ‘government health warning’ about the possible outcome at the end of the season. 

Our current position is based on an fantastic away record and a mediocre home record although even that is the fifth best in the league. Even if you are optimistic or pessimistic it is difficult to make an accurate assessment even seventeen games in...other than the fact we won’t be relegated! 

It’ll be easier to make a more accurate appraisal of the situation when we’ve completed half the programme (23 games) and played everyone in the league and because of two rounds of the FA Cup and reduced number of evening games that won’t be until just before Xmas. Sure we’ve been ‘tested’ on a number of occasions already, even as recently as Saturday against a side that is bottom and lost six on the spin, but in the space of ten days next month we are scheduled to play Charlton, Barnsley (away) and Sunderland...there’s only one side in the bottom half the table that we haven’t played yet and that’s Scunthorpe.

If come Christmas Day we are still in the top two with a decent gap between us and fourth place then it is the time to start getting excited. 

In fairness we’ve been tested in just about every game we’ve played other that two comfortable home victories against Plymouth and Oxford so there are good reasons to be optimistic because, especially away from home, we have come through everyone. 

So let’s be cautious, we’ve got a tough few weeks and there are other factors such as the weather, injuries, possible suspensions, when bigger clubs come calling and whether the Eisner’s, Catlin and Jackett are prepared to invest in January. Our squad has strength and some quality but we still need at least one possibly two strikers. There is also the possibility of the hindrance of a cup run but that seems to me to be unlikely. 

PUP

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Overall a good night yesterday evening if you take into account weather, transport, camaraderie, a few lagers etc. But once again this was points dropped against a side best described as competent. 

At this time of the season the table may lie...a little. 

Good enough to be promoted? 

Probably. In all honesty I don’t think that too many supporters are getting carried away. It’s a fantastic start, we now need to consolidate. Some might say that six points dropped in home draws is not good enough but (a big BUT) if we maintained our current form we’d be promoted by the proverbial country mile with games to spare. 

How do you accurately assess a team/squad that is top of the table and beaten only once this season despite several disappointing performances. Last night was a case in point. Although we didn’t actually dominate we were clearly the better side carrying greater threat than Burton. That said, they were the away team. Arguably they created four (half) chances; one ball in the first-half between Anton Walkes and Jack Whatmough with a poor finish and three in the opening five minutes of the second-half (two converted) when it seemed we had left our heads in the dressing room! 

Still we hit back straightaway, that’s what you call a towering header, and should have gone to shade it but we didn’t. Not the end of the world but disappointing especially after our first-half performance. 

Overall Burton, like Fleetwood, weren’t the worst or the best side we’ll face this season. However, there are harder tests to come starting with this Saturday away at Accrington against a team that will be keen to bounce back after defeat last night and without Naylor (suspended), almost certainly Donohue and possibly Hawkins. This why we have increased our chances with more depth in the squad and logically we will see Close, Evans and Pitman come into the starting XI along with Nathan Thompson. That said, you never want to second guess Jackett. 

Take a point now? 

Possibly.

Onwards and upwards.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please note that the views expressed in this column are my personal views not those of IOWPS



Hit Counter by Digits