Comment: '˜Pompey puppet' with a bit of perspective
Some called me a puppet, others suggested I needed a strong coffee, while one even went as far as enquiring as to whether I was Paul Cook's adopted son!
As a Pompey fan myself, I inherit a rather privileged position among my contemporaries in following the Blues at close quarters – although sometimes it may not feel that way!
And yet last night I, like Cook himself, was in the firing line.
Suggesting Pompey’s 2-0 defeat to Morecambe was harsh on the Blues.
A quick look at the match statistics confirmed my initial pitch-side views, with the visitors enjoying the lion’s share of the possession (59 per cent) 25 shots on goal, seven on target and 14 corners.
The man of the match? Shrimps keeper Barry Roche.
So why the hostility?
Well, us Pompey lot are a passionate breed, and if things don’t go our way we don’t hold back in saying it.
It’s great and, in all seriousness, the fact fans care so deeply is why there is still a club to all proudly support at Fratton Park.
But we can also be guilty at times of lacking a bit of perspective, and in my opinion there is no crisis – yet.
Two draws and a defeat is a poor league return, nobody needs telling that.
Last night, though, the visitors were denied what seemed a clear penalty at 1-0 down which could have changed the outcome of the game – not least because Morecambe scored immediately on the counter-attack.
Am I here to make excuses for the Blues, though?
And one change I think now needs to happen is Michael Smith to be taken out of the line-up as he looks low on confidence.
While that may seem counter-productive on an individual front, the team comes first and the 24-year-old may benefit from a bit of a break.
To be honest, I’m not sure I would even stop there.
Cook, in pre-season, intimated he might go with two up top at home.
And for me it’s time to unleash Conor Chaplin, whose omission from the squad last night was baffling.
I’d pair him with Curtis Main, who has looked bright when he has been given a chance.
If the Blues boss decides to let those two loose (he should listen to his ‘adopted son’ shouldn’t he?) and that isn’t the answer, then I will welcome all the insults coming my way!
– JEFF MARSHMAN