Watching Tuesday night’s relegation battle between Portsmouth and West Ham United was like seeing two young adults groping each other. It was awkward, clumsy but performed at such a frenetic pace that it was entertaining to watch and you never quite knew what was going to happen next.
With both teams desperate to pick up three points, no time was wasted as players from both teams took quick corners, quick free kicks and snatched at every chance they had in front of goal with balls firing high and wide. It was a game that cried out for someone who could be composed and settle the ball down and knock it into the back of the net. For example, John Utaka and Kevin-Prince Boateng, between both of them, could have scored a hat trick for Portsmouth.
It was the same at the other end of the pitch where West Ham United could have scored several too. Granted, a couple of the chances fell to the returning Carlton Cole who came on as a substitute for the Hammers and looked sharp up front. A few more matches under his belt and I’m convinced Cole will find its goalscoring touch again.
No matter how many mistakes were made in this game and how frenetic the play was at times that resembled a game of pinball, these are two teams that don’t look like relegation material. Portsmouth is incredibly fast on the break and difficult to defend against because the team never gives up and plays with the confidence that should see them in mid-table not in last place. West Ham United, meanwhile, have got too many classy players to find the club in the predicament that they’re in. Players such as the aforementioned Cole, Valon Behrami, Alessandro Diamanti, Matthew Upson and Robert Green should keep the Hammers up, but nothing is ever certain in football.
The game ended 1-1 which was a fair result for both teams but definitely not the result that either team wanted. While the match will probably fade from most people’s memory in a relatively short amount of time, it was an exciting game to watch and one which featured two teams I hope don’t get relegated. Not only because they’re both good footballing sides, but also because they both have some of the most passionate groups of supporters in the league, both singing unique songs instead of the carbon copy chants you hear around most football grounds in England (songs that are the same, just replace the name of the team).