Gaffer: Without a new striker, Portsmouth will struggle to get to the play-offs. We must act

Gaffer For A Day, Ashley Arnell, aged 22 from Fratton, gives his verdict on Pompey’s 2-1 defeat to MK Dons...

Sunday, 16th January 2022, 5:00 pm
Louis Thompson was chosen as Pompey's man of the match against MK Dons by Gaffer For A Day Ashley Arnell. Picture: Joe Pepler
Louis Thompson was chosen as Pompey's man of the match against MK Dons by Gaffer For A Day Ashley Arnell. Picture: Joe Pepler

What are your thoughts on that?

I don’t think I can be too angry apart from the 20 minutes after MK Dons scored their first goal.

By that stage we cold have scored a couple and looked pretty good – then, in their first attack, they scored and Pompey are suddenly behind.

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The second goal was a stunner, I clapped it. Theo Corbeanu could try that shot another 10 times and not even get close to replicating it.

We gave it a good go in the second half and were fine. It was just that last 20 minutes of the first half which cost us against them.

What would you like to happen in the remainder of the transfer window?

A new striker is a necessity. If we can’t do that then we’re really going to struggle getting anywhere near the play-offs.

We need a striker, a left wing-back and a number 10 in this window, yet a centre-forward remains the priority. We have to get one to be able to compete with teams.

The problem is, in January windows you can’t recruit anyone playing really well. So instead it’s players either having a really poor season or wanting to leave a club for whatever reason.

However, too often our final ball is poor and we lack a striker – we need somebody now.

What do you make of the signing of Hayden Carter?

I don’t think Kieron Freeman is good enough as a right-sided centre-half in the back through and he’ll soon be out of the side following Carter’s arrival.

A lot of Burton fans have said Carter was brilliant on loan for them last season, one of their players of the season. Soon we’ll have Clark Robertson back too.

I can’t say I was impressed with Freeman during his first spell here – and I’m still not impressed.

We also need a left wing-back. Considering Reeco Hackett has played on the wing, his delivery is not great.

He tries to turn people in such dangerous areas and gives the ball away too much, with Connor Ogilvie often having to bail him out.

Anyone impress you against MK Dons?

Ogilvie never puts a foot wrong, we are lucky to have him, but Louis Thompson is my man of the match.

I’m no fan of Shaun Williams, he’s slow, lacklustre and past it. I reckon he’s got an influence in the dressing room because I can’t see what he does on the pitch.

When Thompson replaced him off the bench, he gave us energy and changed the game. When he gets the ball he’s direct and runs at people, he’s class.

With fitness being such an issue, we all know he could play higher up the leagues. I’m just happy that we’ve got a player of his quality.

Gavin Bazunu – 6

Kieron Freeman – 6

Sean Raggett – 7

Connor Ogilvie – 8

Mahlon Romeo – 7

Reeco Hackett – 6

Shaun Williams – 5

Joe Morrell – 7

Marcus Harness – 7

Ronan Curtis – 6

George Hirst – 7

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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