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Portsmouth and West Ham: Two Teams That Don't Deserve To Go Down

portsmouth west ham Portsmouth and West Ham: Two Teams That Don't Deserve To Go Down

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).

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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11 Responses to Portsmouth and West Ham: Two Teams That Don't Deserve To Go Down

  1. Brandon says:

    Agreed, especially on Portsmouth. Seems like everytime I watch them play they look like a mid to upper third table team. Great pace and they can play really attractive football.

    You know who does none of those things? Liverpool. They look like a team that deserves relegation and I’m a die hard Liverpool fan.

    What a miserable day. /rant

  2. You need more than footballing ability to survive the position that these two clubs are in and whilst West Ham might have the spirit, it’s something that Pompey have lacked. It’s almost as if they’re waiting for the points deduction that will seal their fate.

  3. patrick says:

    If there was ONE thing I would change in English football, it would be to ban for life the drummers at Pompey. That said, you’d have to hate football if you hate the way West Ham and Pompey play.

    West Ham have a soft spot in the fixture list coming up and MUST take advantage of it. They have new owners and a new zeal, but not so sure signing two over the hill strikers is all they need.

    Pompey will benefit from a table that sees basically every team in the lower half facing relegation. They need to get hot. But with Crystal Palace going into administration, it shows what so many clubs are facing.

  4. timmyg says:

    Pompey should be in administration, so this conversation is sorta moot.

    They’ve had more than enough chances to set the ship right about the financial worries. But, luckily for them, because of pride the Premier League will not allow one of its clubs to go bust.

    That’s football league stuff.

  5. masterblaster says:

    At this point, it really seems like Burnley, Hull, and Portsmouth are the teams to go down. Most of the others in the bottom half of the table seem like they have something that will carry them through (Blackburn’s defense, Bolton’s resurgence under Coyle, and so on)…while the aforementioned three have shown what trying hard can get them so far.

    I concur about the drummers at Pompey games. Makes it hard to watch on TV…not as bad as vuvezela’s or whatever this summer though.

  6. AtlantaPompey says:

    Pompey’s financial situation is absolutely awful and an embarrassment to the Premier League. However, the team still has a fighting spirit and can play entertaining football. The only way we avoid relegation is if several other teams decide to go on a long losing streak, dropping loads of points. We’re only five points from safety, but not showing any of the luck we’ll need to avoid relegation.

    Having said all of that, I believe that not only would relegation be good for the club (go down and get things in order, no matter how long it takes), but that relegation would be a victory of sorts. It would mean the club still exists.

    With a non-League club getting wound up recently for owing a mere 70K pounds, HMRC will not hesitate to wind up a club owing 11 million pounds. February 10th is the only important date on Pompey’s fixture list right now. Get past that and the match with that lot up the road will be a relief.

    Now if we can just pay our players this week so that we have a team to field against ManCity on Sunday…

    Pay Up Pompey!
    Pompey Pay Up!

    • kevin_amold says:

      Hey AP, what do you think of Kevin-Prince Boateng? Admittedly, I don’t see a lot of Portsmouth matches, but he looks lively in the ones I have seen.

  7. Logan says:

    Was really hoping for West Ham to get a result out of this one. We need the points, and let’s face it, Pompey are going down. They’re a good club, and I’m sure we’ll see them in the Prem again, but I agree with what’s been said, it will be good for them to get the finances sorted.

    The next few weeks are crucial. Come On You Irons!

  8. AtlantaPompey says:

    Boateng has been good for us. He’s consistently strong, holds the ball well, and doesn’t get shoved around. If we can get O’Hara back from Spurs, get all of our players back from the ANC, and find a striker that can finish consistently, then we have a fighting chance.

  9. SMOOTH says:

    Not a Pompy Supporter, but I always do enjoy watching Portsmouth Football. Really do hope they keep on fighting.

  10. LS says:

    I don’t buy into the premise that any team is ‘too good’ or ‘too big’ or ‘don’t deserve’ to be relegated. Ultimately, as cliche as it sounds, it comes down to results. If the results show that you are one of the three worst teams in the league then down you go, whether you are Burnley or whether you are Newcastle. There are plenty of great clubs in the Championship eager to take Premier League spots every season.

    Without the relegation possibility there would be a boatload of meaningless games late in the year. That’s one area where football really shines compared to other sports. A late season Pompey-West Ham match will have something on the line other than pride. Can the same be said of a Washington Nationals – Pittsburgh Pirates game from last season? No way!

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