Les hva vår medlem Michael Pantling tenker om situasjonen, sesongen og framtiden når det gjenstår tre kamper av sesongen.
AV: MICHAEL PANTLING
MENINGER: Michael Pantling, vår britiske medlem bosatt i Danmark, har igjen delt sine tanker om Pompey med oss. Michael er den av våre medlemmer som oftest ser Pompey i aksjon live. Her er hans tanker når det gjenstår tre kamper av sesongen:
The Closing Stage
So far so good, I believe that Pompey will end up in a very solid top half position this season though unfortunately, our chances of reaching the Play-offs receded with the loss to Bradford.
There have been some good performances , most notably our recent win against Wigan but also a couple of shockingly bad results along the way.
It has been great to see Jack Whatmough (bildet til høyre) back and playing well enough to keep Burgess out and I enjoyed the times that Brandon Haunstrup has played. Ben Close has also progressed very well.
We have been very unlucky with injuries. particularly to loan players and had mixed results with those that have played – Kennedy faded as the season went on but O’Keefe has added something since his return from injury. Ronan clearly has a lot of talent but little first team experience. I was very surprised to see Henderson back but again quickly injured.
Our defence has been good
Generally our defence has been good with 3 fine centre backs and Hawking as a worthwhile stand in. Thompson is far better than Talbot but Donohue/Haunstrup aren’t as good as Stevens (yet) but could be in the future.
Close continues to improve and has worked well with Rose, O’Keefe and Donohue etc. but we have not really found anybody with the drive and determination of Doyle. May had a couple of good performance earlier in the season but has (rightly) been kept out by the others.
Good to see Evans back from injury but I don’t think he has been as effective as last season owing the us facing better opposition. Lowe is another who continues to improve an is certainly capable at this level.
Naismith hasn’t repeated his success of last season and while he has been energetic and at times creative, he loses focus all too quickly.
Hawkins has probably done better as a defender than a forward but has done ok.
Our top scorer Brett Pitman (bildet til høyre) is a bit of an enigma – we clearly missed his goals when he was injured and it is very long since anybody scored more than 20 goals in a season for us but I would question his overall contribution. He reminds me a bit of Jan Mølby who was were good at being in the right place at the right time without looking as if he needed to run anywhere. I am concerned that we are over-reliant on him and don’t really have a quality alternative – certainly not Chaplin who rarely starts.
Kenny Jacket has started to mould “his team” and I cannot complain about any of the decisions to release players.
Our playing budget is average for the league
Now is the time to look to build and hopefully strengthen for next season and the outcome will be very much dependent on our owner’s ambitions and the depth of their pockets. I’m not sure what I think of the messages from the owners that we will stay at Fratton for the next 5 years at least but potential alternative locations are off the island. There was little financial support for mid-season transfers and the playing budget is only average for the league.
Given these constraints I feel that Pompey have actually over-performed this season.
Whilst there is still an outside chance of a play-off place we have not done well enough against the top 6 clubs and would struggle to get to the final let alone gain promotion.
I would give Pompey 7/10 for their performance this season.
Already looking to next season and facing the likes of Sunderland but not Southampton who look destined for the drop.