• Welcome to the ShrimperZone forums.
    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which only gives you limited access.

    Existing Users:.
    Please log-in using your existing username and password. If you have any problems, please see below.

    New Users:
    Join our free community now and gain access to post topics, communicate privately with other members, respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and free. Click here to join.

    Fans from other clubs
    We welcome and appreciate supporters from other clubs who wish to engage in sensible discussion. Please feel free to join as above but understand that this is a moderated site and those who cannot play nicely will be quickly removed.

    Assistance Required
    For help with the registration process or accessing your account, please send a note using the Contact us link in the footer, please include your account name. We can then provide you with a new password and verification to get you on the site.


The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
With an FA Cup and back-to-back top ten finishes in the Premier League supported by a raft of promising summer signings, the big question facing Portsmouth this season is whether or not they have what it takes to break into the private party at the top of the table. Are they good enough yet to take results from the elite and challenge for those all-important European places? On the evidence of this, Portsmouth fans shouldn't hold their breath. There's still a long way to go.

Though Manchester United needed a penalty shoot-out to secure their second consecutive Community Shield, not even the most myopic of Portsmouth fans could suggest that the result was unjust. Portsmouth worked hard to contain their opponents, but they were made to look very ordinary by the Champions who were by no means at full strength themselves. The much vaunted partnership of Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe was the dampest of squibs, with the former Liverpool striker so anonymous that he was practically invisible. No mean feat for a man of his altitude. Defoe spent his afternoon scurrying after half-chances, but found progress hard, trapped as he was in Rio Ferdinand's back pocket. They will both improve as the season pans out, learning each others movements and foibles, but Ferdinand and the equally sturdy Nemanja Vidic were never really troubled.

Harry Redknapp is too long in the tooth to panic about his 'little and large' double act falling flat on their first night, but he may be concerned about his defence. Sol Campbell was typically strong and powerful, but when Nani turned on the pace, it was like watching a rhino chase a kitten. The mind was willing, the flesh wanted to do some damage, but those ageing legs just couldn't keep up. Sylvain Distin, aside from some petulant tantrums for which he was rightly booked, made up for Campbell's short-comings, but Glen Johnson at right-back was irredeemably abysmal. The former Chelsea player gave the ball away, wandered out of position and it was no surprise when he thundered the decisive spot-kick so far over the bar that it may still be rising into the stratosphere as you read these words.

David James was the one bright spot for Redknapp, putting in one of those awe-inspiring displays that make you wonder just how good he could have been if he always concentrated like that. His full-length, one-handed save from Carlos Tevez in the second half was so good that the competition for 'save of the season' may as well be wrapped up now because no-one will do better than that.

Defeat in the Community Shield is nothing to be ashamed of, especially on penalties and Redknapp will shed no tears before preparing for his visit to Stamford Bridge this weekend. However, if this is to be the season when a promising outsider finally manages to elbow one of the big four out of those Champions League places, then we may have to wait a little longer before we discover their identity. Portsmouth aren't ready to step up just yet.