The festive period is always a busy one in English football even though the rest of the continent shuts down, and with the Boxing Day tradition of high scoring games upheld, not least with Chelsea’s 4-4 draw with Villa, it proved to be an entertaining day.
Except at Fratton Park.
The festivities meant that I only caught the final five minutes of the goalless draw, seeing both Gallas and Rosicky miss decent chances, but by the sound of things, I missed little as that was about the sum total of the entire match, with a less than impressive attacking performance nullified by an organised Portsmouth defence.
There has been some sensible reflection, understanding the fact that although the result was disappointing, that is only because our standards have been raised so high by a remarkable first half to the season. If you’d said in the summer that we’d be unhappy with away draws to European challengers then you’d take it as a sign of a good year to come.
There has also been some less than intelligent reactions, by people who now write the club off, almost chomping at the bit to slam the team down again at the earliest opportunity. Oddly, this comes from a section of our own fans. Sky were at it too – at the end of the game they were going on about a ‘sticky patch’, which is at interesting way to describe a run in which we’ve just beaten Chelsea and a resurgent Spurs.
Everton away is a hugely difficult game at the weekend, and once again a draw would not be a bad result. Eight points from Chelsea, Spurs, Pompey and Everton would be a very good return, ten would be outstanding. Where’s the big issue?