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O'Neill's Pompey Verdict

Martin O'Neill believes our second half dominance should have warranted all 3 points in todays game.

There were plenty of chances in the game, and to be honest either side could've won it today, yet with our possession we have been made to rue spurned opportunities to pick up another 3 points and banish the memory of the Chelsea match.

Speaking on the official site, O'Neill said:

'I thought the second half belonged to us. We exerted a lot of pressure but unfortunately without reward at the end of it.

'It was always going to be a hard-fought match. I thought we did enough to get all three points but it wasn't to be.

'I just wish we could have converted some of those half chances. John Carew had a header which scraped the bar and from where I was standing, I thought it was in. Had we won the game, I would have said we deserved it.

'I thought we would break them at some point because we have players in the side who can do that.

'While we weren't at our free-flowing best, I thought with the pressure and the crowd behind us, something might give.'

Free flowing best is one comment you can't make about todays game but most of that was due to the whistle happy ref, and it ruined the type of football you expect Villa and Pompey to play.

O'Neill continued:

'There was a concern with the lads who played international football. Ironically, the best player on the pitch in my opinion was Stiliyan Petrov - who played in Georgia on Wednesday evening.

'I thought he was terrific. His defensive work was great and his driving forward was immense too.'

Maybe we should've had all 3 points, that's open for debate. Last season though this type of scrappy game would've seen us more than likely lose, so as we continue to improve I'm certainly happy with the point, as I'd have taken it before the match.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday October 18 2008

Time: 7:33PM

Your Comments

Should've, Could've, Would've.
Villan444
Didn't & that is what matters.
storagematt
What way did we line-up??? Surely Milner and Cuellar is starting should have replaced Davies and Reo-Coker/Petrov. How did we play. I amagine a 3-5-2??? Someone explain please!
deano.avfc
Actually, we played 4-4-2, Barry LB, Cuellar RB. After substitution, Barry moved in midfield and L. Young came in as LB -> Cuellar in CB, NRC RB.
Oulu Villan (Fin)
Presumably there is a pecking order as L.Young always plays ahead of Shorey even though he is not left footed, then at the other end of he scale you have the untouchables/teachers pets who never get dropped and can/are moved to play anywhere no doubt because they bring daily apples into training. Its a team game and certain players should not lose all confidence and go and cry to their Mums just because they aren't picked or get subbed off every week.
Villan444
I have to agree with Villan444... It seems odd that we have recognised fullbacks and MO'N still opts other players instead of them. It seems that he wants to keep GB happy playing in every game.
Oulu Villan (Fin)
Well that is bloody stupid - the team was working well!! When I saw the line-up I thought that O'Neill had just walked in and picked his best eleven players and hoped it would work. The only change should have been Cuellar in at CB for Davies after his disaster in the first 45mins v Chelsea (but I suppose that we didnt concede so he may not have been the problem). If he really wanted to play Milner surely he should have came in for Petrov/Reo-Coker .....or how about in for Gabby and have Milner and Young push right up as attacking wingers in support of Carew. A bit like the way Chelsea play??
deano.avfc
Your Petrov was again MOTM. you will need sharper attacking teeth to get the top 6 position you want. Carew is a good journeyman and always causes City trouble, but unless Agbonlahor is given his head you will simply not score enough goals this year to make the breakthrough you want. -- Just a view from a Man City fan.
Sindbad
Sindbad - damn you but you are so right.
Gordonsleftboot
Yes, Petrov was definitely my man of the match. I do agree with some comments regarding player's being dropped rather than being accommodated. They should earn the right to the shirt, no matter who they are or how good they can be!
Nigel-not-Reo
MON picked the team and got it wrong and was too stubborn to change it, i thought we were awful and scaringly lacked motivation.
ASPINALL
it took us 60 minutes to test james. something has to change as the Gabby/Carew partnership aint all good
Villa-in-my-Blood
Your Petrov is some player......he really deserved MOTM...... ....but you must be well fed up with the rest of the team.....they just didnt perform....
lincolnblue
This might be controversial, but I didn't detect a lack of effort or motivation from our boys (excepting Milner perhaps). There were plenty of tackles won by Stan and Hokey, and Carew helped out all over the pitch. The three lads at the back looked confident. I disagree with an earlier comment on the formation. I think it was a 3-5-2 as Barry was not anchored at left back for the whole match. It only became a real 4-4-2 when Luke Young came on and Hokey went to RB. I don't believe it was a case of individuals not working, but more of a system not working. Too often, Carew was left as the sole target for our wide men to hit, and when he has Campbell and Distin on either side, he won't win that often. I wonder what MON wants for Gabby? Everybody knows he's quick, so teams (like Pompey yesterday) just sit deep and wait. Easy. Couple THAT tactic with a doubling up on Ashley, and we are nullified. Gabby has been anonymous of late. We need a little more invention from the other midfielders around the edge of the 18 yard box to draw defenders out. The inverted triangle of Campbell, Distin and James coped comfortably yesterday and looked too solid for us to break down. Unless we find a way to do that soon, I think a lot of home matches may end up being drawn.
VillaYamYam
VillaYamYam a voice of sense, I thought we played well, but Pompey defended very well, My MOM was definitely Petrov, the guy was awesome yesterday.
steff_the_villan
You can dominate all you like .......... claim to have done this done that but unless you stick the ball in the net your screwed. Should of, could of and would of will not get Champions League football.
col8
Lack of a consistent goalscoring threat, that is our failing. We are definitely more suited to playing away, catching teams on the break. A disappointing result, but we'll come again.
glensider
Yes we're well fed up with the rest of the team lincolnblue - a top six premiership side and we're well fed up with them! What does that make supporters of clubs trailing in our wake? Suicidal!!??
glensider
 

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