Date:1st September 2007 at 9:00am
Written by:

So, my first ‘What They Say’ article, and it’s against Portsmouth.

This will be a difficult game, Portsmouth have a good team that could steal the first points from us at home this season. We all remember last year’s game, when we came back from 0-2 to draw the game after a superb performance from Adebayor, who was in great form at the time.

We all know as well, that van Persie is our most individually talented striker, that Fabregas has a killer eye for the pass, and that Hleb is going through a great patch in form.

However, it’s always interesting to know what the other team’s fans think about our and their team. To know what are their expectations, as well as understanding our 2 teams’ past.

I logged on to a very popular Portsmouth forum (PompeyOnline) and asked our fellow football supporters a few questions. Here is what they had to say:

1. What are your realistic expectations for this season?

-8th. –hugoross

-Decent ‘middle league’ finish, say 8 to 12th. –dbod

-12th if were are lucky (due to the ANC where we loose 3 players) –blueman

-With the arrival of a proven goal scorer (e.g.: Anelka or Defoe) I would hope that we would be challenging for a top seven position. If the goal scorer doesn’t materialize I suspect a top half position would be considered a satisfactory result. –redarkle

– Trying to go that little bit further than last season in the league, along with a cup run. –Canada Blue

2. What’s the highest you think you could finish in the table?

-6th. –hugoross

-5th. –dbod

-9th if were lucky and get points on the table NOW) –blueman

-As outlined above much will depend upon a proven goal scorer. Consequently, 6th spot would be sensational. redarkle

-6th. –Canada Blue

3. What do you think of the 4 former Arsenal legends in your squad?

-Sol – Has been outstanding for us….never put a foot wrong and has improved them around him
Adams – He is one of the main reasons (along with Sol) that I dont worry so much when we are defending…we seem strong and composed at the back and defend as a team now
Lauren – Was deployed mainly on the right side of midfield last season (when fit) and didn’t look good. Is our best Right back by far tho!
Kanu – A hero! Harry was questioned for signing him last season and resigning him this season, but he has been proved right in his judgement. If Kanu plays a full season and doesnt give up in the new year, we could have out 15 a season man already! –hugoross

-Kanu – The African legend. Still looks absolute mustard at times. Manages to open up space at will. Never relinquishes the ball. Still has that ability to flamingo waltz through players seemingly at random. Still allergic to pre-season training and two matches in a week.
Campbell – still a total rock, still as aloof as ever.
Adams – has slotted in well, don’t see too much of him really.
Lauren – has slotted in well, seems very injury prone. –dbod

-Sol has been emense , he’s clearly someone others in the team respect
Tony Adams has been a breath of fresh air I think he and harry have worked well together I’m not too sure he’d make a good manager just yet, but one for the future… although he’ll leave too soon and cock it up if he’s not careful by leaving too early.
Kanu has a fantasic touch great skill but at time is lazy ( or appears it) last season got off to a good start, but late on did little but moan about having to drive a long way to train it must be hard earning all that money and not being able to spend it as your doing 4 hours training a day!!
Lauren looks good has ability but seems to get injured easily think he’ll be lucky to make a season with us if he’s not too careful but has the ability, plays well in the BIG games. –blueman

-Kanu: After leaving Arsenal he seemed to flounder in the footballing wilderness, only to be resurrected to his former glory under Redknapp. The man is an enigma, primarily due to his less than compelling physique, languid style of movement and rather laid back personality, despite which he is a true genius with the ball at his feet.
Campbell: I don’t know what happened at Arsenal to disintegrate his mental state, but that seems a long way behind him now. Performances on the field since joining Pompey have been immense and it can only be a matter of time before he returns to the England starting eleven.
Adams: Football success often arrives on the back of a formidable defense and it is no surprise to me that Pompey’s elevated position in the Premiership has been as a result of the experience brought by Tony Adams.
Lauren: The least impressive of the four, but does have the ability to play in a number of positions. –redarkle

Sol hasn’t surprised me as I always thought he was quality and just needed to sort his head out. Kanu however has. At times fustrating for us fans, but we play better when he’s on form. I’m still excited about Lauren as on his day he’s one of the best right backs in the league. TA doesn’t get enough credit for what he has done for the defensive unit. –Canada Blue

4. Who is your most dangerous player and why?

-Think its Utaka. He has pace and is direct when he runs with the ball. A nightmare for any defender. –hugoross

-John Utaka – raw pace, dribbling skill, eye for goal and relatively unknown in the Premier League at this stage. –dbod

-Utaka Blistering pace nice touch on the ball. –blueman

-Some Pompey fans might point the finger at our recent Icelandic signing Herman Herridisan……….. Not for the right reasons!
From a positive perspective Utaka has the raw materials to be a huge success in the Premiership; good balance, great feet, excellent attitude but most importantly blinding pace. Also, if he plays watch out for Niko, this kid has the skill to become a world class player. –redarkle

– Probably Utaka as he’s the one the opposition know least about at the moment. –Canada Blue

5. Which Arsenal player do you think will be more dangerous this weekend?

-I personally think Adebayor will hurt us most. He cam on last season and changed the game…we struggled with his physical approach and we will need to tame him if we are to win this game. –hugoross

-Cesc Fabregas – highest quality player, real pleasure to watch, could murder us with the pace around him. –dbod

-Fabregas bit of a hot head but very clever player with great ability –blueman

– Muntari will have to do a job on Fabregas. If he can stop him playing without overdoing the strong arm stuff we might just nullify the fulcrum of Arsenal’s game.

– van Persie or Fabregas. –Canada Blue

6. Where do you think Arsenal will finish in the table?

– 4th. –hugoross

– 3rd –dbod

– 4th/5th –blueman

– 6th. Higher if you had a proven goal scorer. –redarkle

– 4th. –Canada Blue

7. Which is the most memorable game you’ve played against Arsenal?

– Was the 5-1 cup defeat…..Atmosphere was outstanding and Henry and Ljungberg ripped us to pieces. –hugoross

– The 5-1 drubbing in the FA Cup when we carried on singing on, Thierry put on the Pompey shirt and finally came clean as a Pompey fan. –dbod

– First game at Highbury in the Premiership. Very fitting that Teddy Sheringham should score in front of the North Bank. –redarkle

– 1971 FA Cup 4th Round and Replay. Brian Bromley bossed both games from start to finish (well up to the last minute of the replay at Highbury). Back then you were called Lucky Arsenal, in those two games (I’m counting them as one) you were Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Arsenal. Arsenal went on to the double that year, we went on to 2nd division mediocrity. –Blue East

– The cup game we lost. –Canada Blue

8. Which starting XI do you think you will field?

– James
Lauren (if fit) Distin Sol Traore
O’Neil Mendes Muntari Taylor
Utaka Kanu –hugoross

– James.
Lauren – Campbell – Distin – Hrreiddarson
Utaka – Davis – Muntari – Kranjcar
Kanu – Anelka (keep that Arsenal link alive) –dbod

– james
lauren Distin Sol heriderson
oneil Muntari Mendes utaka
Banjo & Kanu –blueman

– James
Lauren Campbell Distin Pameroet
O’Neil Muntari Mendes Krancjar
Utaka Benjani. –redarkle

– James
Lauren Campbell Distin Herman
Gario Mendes Muntari Utaka
Kanu Benjani –Canada Blue

9. What are your expectations from this game?

-Think a draw would be a good result. –hugoross

-2 up last time out but clinging on at the death. We’ve still got nothing to lose and nothing to fear.
Redknapp seems to be finding a tiny amount of (much welcome) boldness away from home, so with 2 up front, anything can happen. –dbod

-think we can win it Just.. but expect a good game from us. –blueman

-Lots of beer, a great seat, sunshine, spectacular dribbling run from Utaka finished with a soft strike that runs through Lehman’s legs. –redarkle

– Another good team performance hopefully ending in some points coming our way. –Canada Blue

10. Care to predict the score?

-2-2 again. –hugoross

-5-1 Pompey (Kanu, Campbell, Anelka, Lauren, Adams 😉 ) –dbod

-possibily our best chance to beat you this season as Arsenal are playing well but need to concentrate on europe 1-0 Pompey. –blueman

-Draw 1-1. –redarkle

-1-1. –Canada Blue

Thanks a lot to the community at


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