We are in the middle of the bursting of the Southsea bubble. Sorry...
After what can only be described as a routine victory over the Trotters, what more is there to say about the state of the game? On a day when Portsmouth were thrown a temporary lifeline before what appears to be certain doom, I remember a commentator saying at the Pompey game recently that City could be described as perhaps the only club in the Premier League who are not facing financial crisis. One could have reasonably riposted the 'prudent' Arsenal, I suppose, but with mine own eyes I have seen the pitiful state of affairs at Stadium Developments. I will say no more.
Poor Chester City, as we have heard, are on their last legs, having been docked 25 points for going into administration, sitting rank bottom of the Blue Square, and now suffering their players refusing to get on the team coach for an away game because they haven't been paid for months. Casting aside the fact that they might possibly fare better without their players, it's sobering to think that things have come to this pass. Having been out of work myself for a while now, I can only begin to imagine how the lads at such an outfit could possibly survive for any period of time. Neither are they (Chester City, I mean) alone. Cardiff and Southend have both been up before the money beak, and both granted a short-term stay of execution. We are all painfully aware of the situation at Liverpool, and even the mighty Rags - with all their successes (and this is surely what all the money is about?) of recent years - are but a hop and a skip away from melt-down. City are cocooned for the nonce of course, shielded by the money of the only solvent sovereign state (China has a good credit rating, which is not quite the same thing) in the world, but - for how long?
On the pitch, there's not a huge amount to cheer about - Adam Johnson excepted - and a team less toothless than Bolton (say, Hull City, for example) would certainly have turned us over. His goal aside, Adebayor looked fairly ordinary. No touch, little understanding of space around him, and far too easily dispossessed. Toure is a liability, far too slow and poor distribution. Zabaleta looked OK (for once) and De Jong was as determined as ever. Tevez continues to win my respect, but got just a touch lucky with the penalty. Bridge - very poor; Kompany - solid but lumpen; Barry - disappointing (as always - solid enough, but woefully lacking in imagination); SWP - kicked off the park; Given (unusually) - shaky; Vieira - poor (as expected) and inexplicable as to why he has been signed. Sylvinho didn't get enough of the game to be able to judge (especially from my vantage point of Iraq Goals, which kept freezing every 10 minutes - most notably, just before Tevez took the penalty and about 5 minutes before the final whistle, from where I couldn't be arsed trying to restart the stream) and the overall performance was something of a disappointment. But, a win's a win for all that, and it looks as if we should just about avoid relegation.
So, as they say up at the Deva, could be worse, eh?