Portsmouth and the secret of the best record in English football leaving Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Leeds United & Co in shade

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

It’s a record unsurpassed in English football's professional ranks.

Pompey’s 16 clean league clean sheets this term can’t be matched by any other side in the top four divisions of the game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City & Co can’t touch it. Nor can the likes of Leicester, Leeds and the rest in the Championship and beyond, as the resolute nature of John Mousinho’s side forms the foundations of their success.

In fact, you can add the National League into the mix when it comes to sides who can’t get near to the amount of shut-outs collected by the miserly Blues.

Repelling Charlton on Saturday was the fourth time in eight games the opposition had failed to breach Pompey's resolute rearguard.

At the highest level, Arsenal lead the way with 10 Premier League clean sheets with Everon, Liverpool and Manchester City all recording eight.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the Championship both West Brom and Leeds have managed 15 shut-outs from 34 games to date, while League One surprise package Stevenage have recorded the same amount.

Four League Two teams have not conceded on 12 occasions in the league (Bradford, Gillingham, Mansfield and Stockport), while in the National League Southend lead the way (11).

You have to go all the way down to the National League North to see Pompey’s record bettered by Tamworth, with 21 clean sheets.

Defender Conor Shaughnessy believes a hunger and determination to maintain standards has underpinned Pompey’s defensive success.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That’s been underlined on games where Will Norris has been beaten in otherwise comfortable wins.

Shaughnessy said: ‘I know we’ve got one of the best records for clean sheets this season and I do get frustrated when we concede late on.

‘When we were 4-0 up against Reading and conceded late on that was all I could think about!

‘Afterwards in the dressing room we’re saying “how have we conceded that goal?”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘Even when we’re 4-0 up Marlon (Pack) will turn to us and say “right, no goals now” and keep a clean sheet.

‘It’s standards and if we aim for perfection we may not get it, but we’ll get close enough to it that it will bring success.

‘It’s definitely something us defenders and, to be fair, the whole team focus on - we want to concede as few goals as possible.

‘I think we have done that, but it’s about standards and aiming for perfection in every game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘I think we’re doing a good job of that and it shows how much we care, when you see the reaction to conceding those late goals and we’re three or four up.

‘It’s something we have to do for another 11 games to make sure there’s success at the end of the season.’

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.