Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve Conclusions from Portsmouth


Leicester City1-1Portsmouth
(HT 1-1)
Nugent 24Futacs 20

King Power Stadium, attendance: 25,356
BBC Match Report


Home Team: Schmeichel, Peltier, Konchesky, Mills, Bamba, Gallagher, King, Wellens (Danns 70 ), Abe, Schlupp (Dyer 86), Nugent (Beckford 70).

Away Team: Henderson, Halford , Mokoena , Pearce, Mattock, Lawrence , Mullins, Norris, Ward , Kitson, Futacs



  • The promotion charge stutters again. David Nugent, interviewed immediately after the game, all but conceded the Foxes' chances of automatic promotion. With no wins in over a month either, those play off places are starting to seem very attractive and very elusive, too.
  • Clinical finishing is the problem. Despite what many would have you believe, Leicester are more than capable of creating opportunities but not adept at converting them into goals. Clearly a solution is needed and perhaps Billy Sharp is the answer.
  • A mediocre end to a mediocre year. There were plenty of high points in 2011 but they were equalled by a high percentage of lows. Make sure you read our Reflections on 2011 for the full story.



Winners
David Nugent
Once again did his job and grabbed the goal that put the Foxes level. It was perhaps surprising that he was replaced after seventy minutes but he can be satisfied with a good day's work.

Sol Bamba
Whilst Paul Konchesky had a torrid afternoon, Sol Bamba was a colossus at centre half. He was on hand at every opportunity to mop-up loose balls that may otherwise have gifted the visitors a chance at goal and his importance to the Leicester team should not be overlooked. As a whole the Foxes' defensive display was disappointing, but Bamba remained impressive.

Yuki Abe
Another good performance from the Japanese international, whose footballing maturity stood out particularly during a rather scrappy first half. Yuki Abe was the man who instinctively covered for the injured Bamba as Pompey broke forward on the half hour and he did well to beat big front man Futacs and deny the Hungarian a shot on goal. Once more, Abe was the man collecting the ball in midfield and building in the offensive, all the time providing a reliable source of cover for the defence.

Joe Mattock
Former Fox Joe Mattock may have been subject to jeers and derision early on as he returned to face his former side, but those noisy critics were soon silenced by a mature and capable display from a man who once held a lot of promise at Leicester. He left the East Midlands under a cloud, but returned to face City as arguably Pompey's man of the match.

Neil Danns
Showed Richie Wellens how it's done.



Losers
Paul Konchesky
This was the worst performance in a Leicester City shirt from Paul Konchesky, who looked shaky - at best - in his defensive role. Even going forward, the ex-England international left-back was poor, giving the ball away from promising positions and failing all to often to deliver the killer ball. An off-day for a usually reliable man.

Kasper Schmeichel
An off day for the Foxes' keeper saw him make a couple of mistakes that, against a player with less luck, would have seen him embarrassed. Kasper Schmeichel lacked confidence in his defence and that drew him out of position on a number of occasions. If Pompey had a more potent attacking threat, this result could have been very different indeed.

Jeffrey Schlupp
After a bright start, Jeffrey Schlupp failed to sparkle as the game wore on. If he was ever going to be effective he needed more time on the ball and greater opportunity to run at the Portsmouth defence.

Richie Wellens
Slow.

Andy King
Missing.
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