Sunday, May 31, 2009
The first candidate is current interim boss Paul Hart. The players responded to him and he led us away from the relegation zone. However the results weren't spectacular and the team seemed unable to score, it was however an improvement over Tony Adams. So far both Kanu & Distin have said that they would like him to stay on. I think that the most likely scenario is that Paul Hart will return to being in charge of the youth players as Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim has an interest in developing the academy.
The second candidate is former Lazio, England, Man City, & Mexico boss Sven-Goran Eriksson. Eriksson has been a solid club manager and in my opinion was unlucky to be dumped out of Manchester City at the end of last season. That said he is currently looking for work since being fired by Mexico after it started to look like El Tri could miss the World Cup.
The third candidate is current Croatian boss Slaven Bilić. Bilić is young and came to managerial fame by leading Croatia to Euro 2008 at the expense of England. That said I was unimpressed by his choice of playing Niko Kranjcar as a striker to accommodate Luka Modric in the midfield during the Euros. It is always a risk to appoint a manager without any club experience. Hopefully, if he gets the job, he will be like Mark Hughes or Gianfranco Zola who both made successful club management debuts in the Premier League.
I was surprised to see that a fourth candidate might be Harry Redknapp! This move would be a disaster. Harry quit us and moved to Southampton and then we brought him back. I thought it was a bad idea and it took a long time to get used to the idea of him being our manager again. Then Harry quit us again for Spurs, if we brought him back again it would make a mockery of all of us as fans. If Pompey are foolish enough to offer him the job I hope that he has enough sense not to come back.
A fifth candidate has now emerged, the former Fiorentina & Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini. He has wealth of club experience and trophies to his name. He was sacked by Inter after winning a third straight Serie A title because of his failure to win the Champions League. I think that he would be an excellent hire.
I imagine that Portsmouth will announce who will be charge sometime in the next few weeks and I have no idea who it will be but I would guess that it would be either Mancini, Eriksson or Bilić. Though as we have seen with Harry moving to Spurs and Bruce moving to Sunderland it really could be anyone.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Not too long ago I was introduced to SuperBru by a friend. SuperBru is a South African pool manager that runs pools for Super XIV Rugby, The Indian Premier League (Cricket), F1, and football, namely the Confederations Cup. I have started a pool there and you invited to join. Here is the information:
Pool code: votepale
Pool name: PompeyCanuck′s Pool
If you don't know much about the Confederations Cup you can read my preview, that way you should know what I know or at least what I think.
Unfortunately there are no prizes other than to say "I kicked Pompey's ass" or "at least I am as smart as I pretend to be" so I hope that I will see you there,
Cheers & Good Luck
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
United came out flying for the first 8 minutes and Barcelona looked a little lost, for the next 82 minutes Barcelona were in absolute total control.
I think that Park was definitely the man of the match for United - he was the only player in white that was putting in any effort. If he was a step quicker (or had longer legs) and could jump higher (or was taller) he would have had two goals, which leads me to believe that Crouch would have scored twice...
I don't have a man of the match for Barcelona - It was a victory for teamwork everyone worked hard and made good passes, without a doubt a great display from the best team in the world.
What I didn't like, 3 dives When Ronaldo leapt at Pique to draw a yellow from Pique, When Iniesta collapsed at the top of box to draw a free kick, it was disgraceful and when Puyol dove when Ronaldo got the ball.
I was surprised that throughout the match United kept attacking Puyol, in the lead up to the match there was a lot of talk about whether or not Sylvinho could deal with the pace but he was never tested.
I thought that Evra was playing too central and Barcelona kept having plenty of space on the right. Though I did think that Ferguson made the right move in bringing on Tevez at half time and moving Rooney to the right to have a go at Sylvinho, unfortunately these moves ended up not having an impact on Barcelona's domination.
United passing was poor, but Barcelona fiercely attacked loose balls, by the second half they had stopped being 50/50s and started being Barcelona possessions.
I think that Ferguson should have taken Ronaldo off after his aerial challenge with Puyol in the 62 min, his head was out of the game. After the Messi's goal Rooney seemed to stop running all together it was a disappointing lack of effort. United seemed to not have any stomach for the comeback.
Barcelona dominated the match so thoroughly that I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear about some food poisoning scandal etc to try to explain why United looked so slow out there.
I also have to mention that the dummy by Henry in the 50somethingth minute was one of the best that I have ever seen.And as Kristian Jack pointed out in his blog if you were a football fan you watched the match with a smile on your face as Barcelona put on a wonderful display of the beautiful game.
Today is the biggest club match in the World. Luckily for football fans we have arguably the two best teams in the World competing in the final, the English Champions Manchester United and the Spanish Champions Barcelona. Both teams have players suspended for the final, with United missing midfielder Fletcher and Barcelona without both of their regular full backs Alves & Abidal. It is certain to be a great game. If you would like to read more about the build up to the final then I suggest you check out The Canadian Stretford End where Sam has done a lot more research into this final than I have. If you are looking for more then why don't you head over to the BBC live text which has been running since I woke up this morning. There are also a lot of articles that you can find links to from The Score's Footy Blog.
My prediction is for a 3-2 Barcelona Victory, Sam at the Canadian Stretford End predicted 3-0 for United. What are your predictions?
Monday, May 25, 2009
In case you wanted to laugh how wrong I was 9 months ago when I predicted what would happen I had Mexico, Canada (oops), & the USA advancing with Cuba (oops again) in the playoff spot ahead of Costa Rica & El Salvador. Next up in the Qualifying Preview Tour is Africa.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
The groups in this tournament are quite lopsided in Group A we have the European Champions Spain, the Asian Champions Iraq, the Oceanic Champions New Zealand (Australia is now considered an Asian Country if you were wondering what happened to them) and the Hosts South Africa. In Group B we find the World Champions Italy, the North American & Caribbean Champions USA, the South American Champions Brazil, and the African Champions Egypt.
I have no doubt that Spain will be top of Group A. The question is which team will join them? It could really be any of the three. South Africa has been very poor of late, if you haven't been following, they lost out of the World Cup Qualifying (which doubled as African Cup of Nations Qualifying which is why they were participating) and thus will miss the African Cup of Nations in Angola. This is a huge blow as it means that the Confederation Cup are their only competitive matches until the World Cup. In a similar position is New Zealand they have already won the Oceania World Cup qualifying and await a playoff opponent from Asia in October. It has been a long time since New Zealand has played some strong opponents and making it out of this group will give them a lot of confidence going into their playoff match up. Iraq were unlucky to not advance to the final round of the World Cup qualifying. They will be focused on this tournament as a chance to brighten spirits back home, much the same way that their victory in Asia did.
I have been thinking about this for some time, and I keep switching between Iraq and New Zealand as the team to advance with Spain, conveniently for us football fans they meet in the final group game that is likely to decide who progresses to the next stage. But seeing as how I should pick someone I will stick with my gut and go with New Zealand.
Group B is also a bit difficult to figure out as Brazil and Egypt haven't been too consistent of late. To illustrate this point Brazil drew 0-0 with Bolivia in World Cup Qualifying. What is that you say it was the Altitude? Nope it must have been the attitude as the match was in Brazil! Egypt seems to have two different teams, the team that dominates in the African Cup of Nations and the team that doesn't get results anywhere else. Sadly for fans of the Pharaohs this will be another disappointing tournament as I think that Egypt will be the whipping boy of Group B and return to Cairo with 0 points. The way I see it unfolding for the rest of the teams is a draw between Italy and the US, Brazil beating the Americans, and Brazil and Italy battling to a draw. This means that Italy and Brazil advance to the semis.
In the Semis I have Spain playing Italy in another great match up, I see the Spaniards advancing to the final. The other semi pits New Zealand against Brazil, this is the end of the road for New Zealand (if New Zealand pull off a shock here it would likely be the end of the road for Dunga) setting up a great Spain - Brazil final.
In the final I think that Spain will win and cement themselves as the favourites to win next summer at the World Cup.