Gaffer: Victory over Crewe inspired by best Portsmouth second-half performance I have seen in two or so years

Gaffer for a Day, Spencer Green, aged 48, from Gosport, gives his opinion on Pompey’s 2-0 triumph over Crewe on Saturday...

By Neil Allen
Sunday, 15th August 2021, 5:30 pm

Enjoy being back?

That was probably the best second half I have seen us play in a good two years at Fratton Park.

The way we passed the ball, the way we pressed the ball in the final third for 90 minutes, we didn’t stop.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

It was so refreshing. We didn’t sit back and take the 1-0, we actually refused to give Crewe any time whatsoever. A commanding performance all round.

From where I sit in North Stand Lower, in the second half all the action was taking place in front of the Fratton end we were attacking, it gave me neck ache!

Good to watch, exciting football, while the weather made the day as well to give a real feel-good factor.

Who was your man of the match?

Ryan Tunnicliffe was the man-of-the-match choice of Gaffer For A Day, Spencer Green, against Crewe. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

It is a toss up between Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunniclife, who both put in monumental performances. Yet, with two assists, Tunnicliffe shades it.

Williams is the missing midfield general we haven’t had since Michael Doyle. It’s his reading of the game, his tackle, vision and ability to pass the ball to one of his team-mates.

You can see the pair of them have played the game at a higher level and are far superior to what we’ve had in previous seasons.

To also have Joe Morrell and Michael Jacobs on the bench demonstrates the superb depth we are carrying this season.

You mentioned Morrell, how do you see him fitting into this Pompey side?

He came on for 16 minutes in place of Williams, which was a short but sweet cameo.

Already you could see that he possesses the vision for picking out passes and I was really encouraged.

For me, it’s either him or Williams in the team. Both are similar players and you can flip a coin to see who will start.

I would go for Morrell, but I don’t think you can play him any more forward than Williams.

Basically there are three players challenging for two positions in the midfield, which is brilliant to have.

Last season we had Tom Naylor, Andy Cannon, Ben Close and Bryn Morris.

A wonderful day all-round then?

Not quite! The ticketing was a debacle, absolutely shocking.

Whoever decided to introduce this new hub system 48 hours before the game needs to be sacked, it’s terrible.

They made the disabled queue in the rain and then closed the doors at 4pm on Friday when the ticket office was due to close at 5.30pm. That’s not good enough.

In fairness, I don’t think the low attendance of 11,470 is primarily down to ticketing. It’s a combination of Covid, holidays and the fact people could buy pick and choose by buying tickets individually rather than a season ticket covering it.

Having said that, it was still a surprise to see such a lack of crowd for the first game back.

Gavin Bazunu 7

Kieron Freeman 7

Sean Raggett 7

Clark Robertson 8

Lee Brown 8

Shaun Williams 9

Ryan Tunnicliffe 9

Marcus Harness 7

Ronan Curtis 8

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild 7

John Marquis 7

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.