So yesterday, we headed down to Pompey, got the train down there in beautiful sunshine for an eagerly awaited Away game. Being a jack in exile in Austria, I get to a few games a season, but whenever I do, an away game seems more fun, as everyone in the away end is up for it. Everyone singing and getting in the mood. Heres the days events and a quick match report.
So with my phone not having internet outside of Austria, I didnt know the pub to go in so we headed for some grub at the wrong pub. The twitter jacks had been in touch, but damn you lack of 3G. Full of Pompey, so it was top done up keeping it low key, but fish and chips, ah its good to be back…
Finally found our way to the ground through some pretty rough looking people. Fratton I guess isnt to Portsmouth what the Hollywood is to LA.
Dad was keen on keeping the coppers busy all day
We got in the ground by 2.30pm saw Gwyn and some other jacks including the bloke who runs SCFC, and finally we were back with our own kind and out the way of all the gypos of Fratton.
There was a good few Sinclair 21s on display.
When we got in dad started seeming to try and chat up some lady jacks whose words were “why we going in now, we cant get a bleeding drink inside”. Luckily I got him to the seat safely enough
Fratton Park. If you have never been, if your over 6 foot, you cant actually sit down in their seats. I tried for about 18 seconds and realised I needed a shoehorn to get my knees back out of the fisher price kids chairs they have in the away end. So standing it was for most of the game
To be fair since the end of terraced standing, its actually worse now, as at least back then, you had something to lean against, now you have to stand there arms crossed all day. The bloke infront of me fell over a couple of times, and his mate who looked like he had been drinking all day after about 30mins passed out, and just clapped when he heard everyone else, otherwise he just was struggling to keep with it. It was 27′ though and those seats dont give much room for space.
Anyways the Jack Army where in great voice all day and everyone was sporting the colours
and a fair few SCFC tattoos in the sun. We need more Spring games. Bring in a winter break.
Alright time for a Match Report?
So Swansea have been called the Welsh Barcelona, the Arsenal of the Championship, the best footballing team in the league and have 2 players in team of the season, and we have been treated to some of the best football ever this season, and having watched Sinclair, Dyer and Borini since he joined has been a joy, as to see players like that in the Black and White is amazing. We were there for the Hull game a few years ago when James Thomas scored that hat trick. We were there to watch Steve Torpey toiling away. We were there when the Swans nearly went out of business a few years ago. We have seen some extremely average players in a Swansea shirt and seen some awful football, but this season, well the last 4 infact have been amazing the difference, but I think yesterday summed it up really for the swans. We play great football, its all very pretty, but we are lacking a plan B and the ability to beat teams who are there for the taking. How many times have you watched the swans this season and thought “we are way better than this lot” but then the opposition start diving, kicking, moaning, and breaking up play and then we get distracted. How many times aswell have you seen the swans try and walk the ball in the net?
We had a shocking first 10 minutes at the back with hospital balls going left right and centre, and just putting ourselves under needless pressure against a team who had nothing to play for. We finally got into our stride, with Nathan Dyer running the show, and causing hell on the wing. Through the years, since I was young, the swans have had some great players and we have been lucky enough to see Andy Legg, Jason Bowen, Frank Lampard for a couple of games, of course Lee Trundle, Jordi Gomez, Jason Scotland in a Swans shirt
but the sight of Borini, Dyer and Sinclair as a front 3 is something I dont think any of us could have imagined years ago. Those 3 on a pitch at one time is amazing to think how far we have come.
However, its like a car without petrol, if you cant play the right balls into them, we wont score, and so often our midfield of Britton Pratley and Gower thought to just pass the ball sideways and back to Monk and Ashley Williams and when they did pass forward it was a ball to feet at the halfway line, and then expecting those 3 to go from there and score. No chance. They need a diagonal ball onto the straight run or vice versa, and playing on the counter attack. How much better does Sinclair when he gets the ball to run onto. Giving it to him at the halfway line and expecting magic is ridiculous.
Seriously though the 3 man midfield of Gower – Britton – Pratley was useless yesterday, at least Britton was tackling, but Pratley is like a headless chicken head down run until he gets a foul. And when it comes to shooting, Gower and Britton, the number of times they get the ball 20-25 yards out and everyone is just screaming “for gods sake just shoot mun!” but they pass it 2 yards sideways into Dyer or Sinclair, and we loose it.
If ever a game was crying out for Steven Dobbie it was yesterday, and we saw when he came on, he shoots, he has vision for a pass, and he got all of 4 minutes. Sorry Brendan but that lot were there for the taking.
Another thing we dont do enough is counter attack. Come on. I mean we have pace and the ability to score but we only seem happy when we are building up and giving the opposition time and space to get 10 men behind the ball, and trying to break seems foreign to us. That has to change.
Dorus De Vries – 7 – Couple of early times you thought, just kick out it long, but not loads to do.
Rangel – 6 – Good going forward, shocking marking in the first 5 minutes when they should have scored.
Tate – 8 – Always seems reliable and in these games you need someone like him.
Williams – 7 – Solid and wanted to play the ball out well. A great player.
Monk – 6 – Played ok, but has our form dipped since he came back in?
Britton – 7 – Good tackling, but lack of passing or creativity
Gower – 5 – Didnt really do anything. SHOOT.
Pratley – 5 – If he already has a contract somewhere else, he can go.
Sinclair – 6 – Quiet, but as I said, no service, no chance
Dyer – 9 – Man of the Match – all game he was giving them hell.
Borini – 8 – Please can we sign him. Solid, chases, works hard, scores and can get the ball with back to goal. His tackle on their defender was worth the ticket alone. Nearly took the blokes leg off.
Subs – Dobbie – 8 – Bright when on, please start him on Monday
Beattie – 6 – He had to run for one ball, and it was farcical the lack of pace.
Talking of Pompey. I really feel sorry for you if you follow that lot. I have never seen such an unsporting team in years of following football. The number of times a player keeled over clutching his knee/ankle/leg for nothing and then got the game stopped was ridiculous, and the ref just didnt do anything about it. At one point one of their players after a tough challenge, was off the pitch, crawled on hands and knees onto the pitch then collapsed like he had been shot on the pitch. It was just awful to watch, and with that kind of team to follow well, I wouldnt fancy another season of that.
Anyways, it was a good day out in the Sun, some good football was played, we sung, were dismayed at the ref, hated the cheating of Portsmouth, and had a good day. Anyway, Play Offs here we come, that is going to be an amazing way to reach the Premiership. Means a trip to Wembley aswell. Come on you Swans!
As there is quite a lot of people who read this blog from outside the UK, if you want to hear a real bit of Swansea banter, watch this. Genius.
Jack Army. Ipswich Home on Monday!