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|Portsmouth v Wycombe Wanderers Your Report added at 21:34:43|
A promising but slightly nervous first match of the season. We deserved at least a draw despite the fact that JET had a poor game and the home debutants, Louango and Chambers, started nervously. Blackburn Rovers were workmanlike rather than spectacular. We seemed to gain in energy and confidence in the second half and our ability to pass and move bodes well for the rest of the season.
Edwards, Martin and Scotland (sub appearance from about 70 minutes) played with courage and skill but my man of the match was Hyam.
Despite JET's poor performance, I would like us to start with same line-up next time. JET is a confidence player and he will come good. The only change I would consider making is replacing Luongo with Drury, depending on Drury's fitness and whether Jewell thinks Luongo is ready.
I hope we continue to play passing football and the 4-2-3-1 system (4-4-1-1 when Jason Scotland comes on as sub). We need to work on retaining the ball when our centre-halves and goalie have it but this will come with games.
I was really impressed by Hyam today, I hope he has convinced some doubters- especially our coaching and management team!
Loach - 6. Average- couldn't be faulted for the goal and he had little else to do. Looked reasonably confident.
Cresswell - 6. Average- usual energetic self but his distribution and crossing not up to his usual standard.
Chambers - 6. Average. I thought he looked quite nervous on his home debut and was lucky on a couple of occasions not to be caught on the ball.
Edwards - 8. Very good. I like Edwards. He's a very brave player, even when things are not going well he is always available and willing to take on players. Clearly our best defender on the day.
Smith- 7. Good. Looks a lot more confident than this time last season.
Emmanuel-Thomas - 4. Very poor. I'm a great admirer of JET"s skill but he does let his head drop when things are not going well. Imagine what a player he could be if had Edwards's courage. Seemed relieved to be subbed.
Martin- 8. Very good. Full of energy and devilment, sure to be a key player for us this season.
Luongo - 6. Clearly a good footballer but allowed nerves to get the better of him at first. Needs to look to the examples set by Edwards, Martin and.....
Hyam - 9. Excellent. Full of running and strong tackling. Also had the courage to demand the ball, especially when Luongo was looking nervous. Topped his performance with a defence splitting pass that led to our goal. I hope Jewell will give him an extended run.
Carson- 7. Good. Seemed to get better as the match progressed, indicates that he has worked on his fitness. Could be his breakthrough season.
Chopra- 7. Good. Energetic without ever really looking like scoring
Drury - 8. Very Good. Looked impressive and lively as soon as he came on but he may have been helped by the fact that all other players had already been running in extreme heat for 70 minutes.
Scotland - 9. Excellent. Everything you would want from your sub. It's often said that we revert to 4-4-2 when he plays alongside Chopra. I don't see it like that. We seem to play 4-4-1-1 with Scotland very effective at finding space between our midfield and the opposition's defence and then causing mayhem. He was a constant threat in the final 20 minutes and made our goal.
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