Despite a quiet week of actual football being played, there’s been no shortage of talking points for the Fratton faithful this week.
Nicke Kabamba came off the bench to score on his Aldershot Town debut at the weekend, having joined the National League outfit earlier in the week – netting just seven minutes in to his debut.
Pompey returned to action last night against Chelsea U21s having not played since the New Year’s Day defeat at Bristol Rovers, and it was a disappointing result for Kenny Jackett’s men, despite the feeling towards the Check-a-trade Trophy from the Pompey fan-base.
Although not the star-studded first team names you’re used to hearing from the Chelsea side, an injury-hit Pompey side fell defeat to a 95th minute free-kick following Christian Burgess’ foul on Callum Hudson-Odoi to knock us out of the Checkatrade trophy.
It was nice to see Brett Pitman back on the scoresheet, and Connor Ronan making his Pompey debut, but with Nathan Thompson and Ben Close both picking up injuries, it was a frustrating evening at Fratton Park in front of just 3,116 (the biggest attendance for Pompey in this competition this season).
Whilst I agree this competition was a good run out for us, to experiment with new players and to keep the side fresh, I am concerned about the number of injuries we’re picking up, having been worsened last night – and also the reason for Premier League and Championship outfits being allowed to field an under-21s side.
To what benefit to English football or to League One and Two sides does allowing an under-21s side full of players who probably aren’t going to get close to the first team before being bombed out to lower league clubs provide – with most of whom aren’t English so the argument of assisting the future of English football and the national team is invalid.
But on to a brighter note, King Kenny Jackett has been nominated for the December Manager of the Month award – and nominated for the second time in a row.
Jackett faces competition from Argyle manager Derek Adams, following their improved run of form, Shrewsbury’s Paul Hurst who sit in second place, and Rotherham’s Paul Warne – who sit just one point below Pompey.
Best of luck to him!
Finally, there hasn’t been much further transfer news or gossip to speak of really. The links to Wes Thomas and Craig Davies were dismissed further, Toumani Diagouraga joined Fleetwood Town after scoring for Argyle at the weekend, and Jackett shot down rumours of Pitman being linked with a move to Charlton Athletic (why would he want to go there?!).
Next up we welcome Scunthorpe United to Fratton Park on Saturday as we return to league action for the first time in 12 days.