Poorly Branded – Pompey report

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Pompey 1-2 Latics
Saturday 1st November 2008

As Jonathan Ross has recently found out, you should never underestimate the ability of the media to twist things to suit their own narrow minded agendas.  Ross, through his sadly lacking attempts at comedy, stumbled into the Mail’s anti-Beeb (or anti-auntie) crusade and their quest to crush all things Guardian reader-ish, so it’s his own fault.  What I don’t understand is what Latics have done to upset the people at Match of the Day.

Not so much Lineaker and his couch goblins, mind.  They seem to be coming around to the idea that Latics are where they are on merit, some of them (ok, so I mean Lee Dixon) going as far as suggesting that we might have something going for us.   No, it’s the people that do the editing and scheduling that seem to have a problem with us.


I’m not about to go on a “they always put us on last” rant.  We’re on last because, most weeks, the least amount of people want to watch our game, which is basically the same season that we don’t get lengthy highlights packages.

So what am I moaning about then?  Well, just because our highlights are short doesn’t mean that they don’t have to give a fair reflection of the game.

Anyone who watched more than ten minutes of our game at Anfield a couple of weeks ago would have come away thinking that Liverpool had got off the hook, aided by Latics going down to ten men.  If you’d only seen Match of the Day you’d have agreed with Rafa’s claim that his team deserved the win and that the sending off changed nothing.

And so to this Saturday night and Latics promotion in the BBC schedules, although being put first in the “double header” slot is arguably as bad, if not worse than being last. 

Those expecting to see a decent game played out by two teams trying to attack in very British weather will have been shocked to realise that they’d got it all wrong and in fact Portsmouth had hammered Latics all over the park.  I’ve had four days to think about that, and it’s not even crossed my mind, until now to ask whether that’s an exaggeration, after all, I’m not claiming that we hammered Pompey, just that it was a fairly even game.

No doubt Pompey fans will point to crossbars hit and goal line clearances but arguably there’s minimal differences between those and shots just over and one on one saves from the keeper.  The first couple are down to poor (or unlucky) finishing, and the second are people just doing the job they’ve been asked to do.  If the penalty was on the dodgy side, then what was all that back pass business all about?

You can thank the MotD bods if you missed that one, or if you didn’t spend too much time wondering why Valencia’s goal was ruled out.  They were two incidents that may have given cold comfort to Pompey fans thinking the ref had a downer on then, but not significant enough to bother the backroom boys at the Beeb that much (or at all even).

Any way, Auntie bashing is way too fashionable for the likes of us and only deflects from what was an enjoyable game with both sides enjoying spells of dominance that neither really made the most of.  In fact three goals were poor value for the watching punter and if either set of strikers had brought their shooting boots then this could have bettered the score line up at Old Trafford.

Speaking of shooting boots, this was quite a significant game for our erstwhile ‘not so much a striker, more a modern forward in the mould of an old fashioned English striker’ and previously much maligned England man, what with him finally getting that 100th premier league goal. 

The pressure has obviously been weighing him down since the start of the season, and maybe the ‘nervy nineties’ would explain the lack of goals last term as well.  Now that the ton is up you can fully expect Emile to open his shoulders and get back to his old goal scoring ways.

Yeah, right.

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