Portsmouth v Arsenal: the team

By Bulldog Drummond

In the 1920s and 1930s Portsmouth had a strong 1st Division team, and they did get a few victories over Arsenal, meaning that the head to head results look rather better for Portsmouth than one might expect.  We’ve won 32, they’ve won 15 and 24 have been drawn.

Portsmouth have of course had a spell themselves in the Premier League, and indeed if we go back before that we can note that in the first Double season we played in them the FA Cup, beating them in a reply at Highbury.

After that there was a gap until 1987/8 before they made it back to the top division (from whence they had vanished in 1959).   We picked them up again in the cup in 2004 and continued a long run of either drawing or beating them, all the way through until a defeat in 2018 in the Football League Trophy in which our under 21 team played their first team.

Our last league defeat was 29 Mar 1958 – a 5-4 knockabout at Fratton Park.  Since then, and continuing to ignore the Trophy game, it has been 21 without defeat.  Here are the more recent games…

Date Game Res Score Competition
23 Jan 1971 Portsmouth v Arsenal D 1-1 FA Cup
01 Feb 1971 Arsenal v Portsmouth W 3-2 FA Cup
29 Aug 1987 Arsenal v Portsmouth W 6-0 League Division One
01 Jan 1988 Portsmouth v Arsenal D 1-1 League Division One
13 Sep 2003 Arsenal v Portsmouth D 1-1 Premier League
06 Mar 2004 Portsmouth v Arsenal W 1-5 FA Cup
04 May 2004 Portsmouth v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
19 Dec 2004 Portsmouth v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
05 Mar 2005 Arsenal v Portsmouth W 3-0 Premier League
28 Dec 2005 Arsenal v Portsmouth W 4-0 Premier League
12 Apr 2006 Portsmouth v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
16 Dec 2006 Arsenal v Portsmouth D 2-2 Premier League
13 May 2007 Portsmouth v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
02 Sep 2007 Arsenal v Portsmouth W 3-1 Premier League
26 Dec 2007 Portsmouth v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
28 Dec 2008 Arsenal v Portsmouth W 1-0 Premier League
02 May 2009 Portsmouth v Arsenal W 0-3 Premier League
22 Aug 2009 Arsenal v Portsmouth W 4-1 Premier League
30 Dec 2009 Portsmouth v Arsenal W 1-4 Premier League
04 Dec 2018 Portsmouth v Arsenal L 2-1 Football League Trophy

That 6-0 above is the highest score we’ve gained against them, and we’ve only done it once.

Moving on…

We decided some time back to drop our predictions for the Arsenal team in forthcoming matches since this is Untold, and everyone does such predictions.  So we started putting in other people’s predictions.

And wouldn’t you know it, now Football London has edged itself a little way along to that by giving two separate predictions from two writers before the Portsmouth Arsenal game.   Of course I’m not suggesting that they have copied our idea, but it’s always nice when we are a little ahead of the game.

So this is what FoLo are offering…

They are tipping Joe Willock to come in as the link between defence and attack, but are unsure about another chance for Eddie, preferring to go with Aubameyang as the centre forward.

There is a comment that “Hector Bellerin was running on fumes on Thursday night” which is obviously an element of contemporary slang that has by-passed my household.  Anyway, I’m not quite sure that effect the fumes have but FoLo then goes on to tell us that neither Sokratis nor Ainsley Maitland-Niles are full backs, so Maitland-Niles should play.

It’s all a bit too advanced for me but the first team they offer gives us


Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Sokratis, Saka;

Torreira, Ceballos;

Nelson, Willock, Martinelli;



The second writer concurs that Maitland-Niles should come back in and Bellerin isn’t up to much.

The comments then continue with “The real change to be made is at right-back where Ainsley Maitland-Niles excelled under the Spaniard. Hector Bellerin has failed to replicate these performances and off the back of 45 minutes for the Under-23s, this could be a good time to reintroduce him while Pablo Marí should be given a chance.”

The idea elsewhere is to give players a break, and so the alternative selection is


Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Mari, Saka;

Torreira, Xhaka;

Nelson, Willock, Martinelli;


Interestingly The News, a local Portsmouth paper, leads with the headline

“Top Premier League referee to take charge of Portsmouth’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal” which then continues telling us that “Mike Dean will be the man in the middle for Pompey’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Arsenal at Fratton Park.”

We would of course expect little else.



29 Replies to “Portsmouth v Arsenal: the team”

  1. Arsenal XI: Martinez; Sokratis, Luiz, Mari, Saka; Guendouzi, Torreira; Nelson, Willock, Martinelli; Nketiah

    Beach: ?

    I haven’t seen any news about Mike Dean, so presumably that twit will still officiate.


  2. Arsenal XI:
    Sokratis, Luiz, Mari, Saka;
    Guendouzi, Torreira;
    Nelson, Willock, Martinelli;

    Beach: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Xhaka. Ceballos, Pepe, Lacazette


  3. Looks like we have lost yet another key player to an English style clogger, and a cheating ref who does nothing about it
    Every game, we are getting a bad injury

  4. And of course glossed over by the Cock Jenas et al.

    I really do wish ill on Dean. He is Scum

  5. Dean what a Pratt. Portsmouth playing in their Cup Final tonight. Arsenal playing like it’s a training session

  6. Mike Dean doing what to him comes naturally. Givig Portsmouth chance after chance for any reason. Unable to capitalise so far despite being allowed to foul with total freedom. He books Guendouzi for putting the ball down in a way that shows it wasn’t moving. Dean being the runt that he is,

  7. Despite the cheating PGMOL blind bastards Arsenal get a foul outside the box for a kick on Caballos that should have had a yellow card. Arsenal follow the ball & end up witha corner that eventually gets played in to Sokratis who puts the ball into the net with venom.

    Dean has no chance with such clean football.

  8. Stamping, kicking, tripping all apparently non-bookable. When did the rules change?

  9. Dean doing his best to f##k us .
    I would sub Guendouzi he’s now walking a tightrope ,Dean won’t be able to stop himself .

  10. 49th min and Saka fouled in the Portsmouth box but nothing seen and nothing given.

  11. Beautiful move by Arsenal gives Nketiah a chance on the near post and he finishes with superb accuracy. 2-0 to the Arsenal

  12. It’s pretty clear cut for me. A professional referee could not possibly be that incompetent. It simply has to be deliberate.

    Very professional. Lots of fans will complain that we didn’t score more. They will be the same fans that say we can’t shut down games and protect a lead. For me a team with six players aged 20 or younger bodes extremely well for the future.

  13. Very professional 2nd half performance.

    It comes to something when the most important thing is to take the referee out of the game.

  14. Mikey,

    you’ve said it : a professionalreferee. This Dean guy is just incompetent, and being part of an incompetent organisation.

  15. Four Things that were Noticed in our Win over Portsmouth

    1. Mike Dean is a cheat.
    2. Mike Dean is a cheat.
    3. Mike Dean is a cheat.
    4. PGMO is full of cheats.

    5. The medja are full of cheats.

  16. Dean should never be allowed to referee another match. This was disgraceful.

    BTSport never mentioned the foul on Torreira during the half-time break, and I don’t think they mentioned it after the match either. They must be under orders.

  17. Here’s a stupid and biased comment from the Guardian :

    “Arsenal are now one win from Wembley and two wins from, errrm, Wembley. They can start to smell success in a competition that has lit up their otherwise barren last decade and a half …”

    Never read that about Spurs or Manure….or any other team. As said we’d be winning all competitions they be saying stuff like : this just shows how bad they were all the time…

    Just f…g useless these guys. And they carry the title ‘journalist’ or ‘reporter’

  18. Glad that we have managed to win another tie , despite no help from the ref. No suprises there.
    Great work guys.
    Up the Gunners !

  19. Might be interesting to see what papers reference this one:

    An Assessment of Football Referees’ Decisions in Incidents Leading to Player Injuries
    C. W. Fuller, PhD, A. Junge, PhD, Jiri Dvorak, PhD
    First Published March 1, 2004


    In total, 148 general injuries and 84 head/neck injuries were assessed. For the general injuries, the match referees identified 47% and the referees’ panel identified 69% as fouls. For head injuries, the match referees identified 40% and the referees’ panel identified 49% as fouls.

    Conclusions seems to think that 47 is sufficiently close to 69, and that 40 is sufficiently close to 49. The data was all FIFA tournaments, so better referees than the EPL. Neither set of numbers is anywhere this silly 97% or whatever EPL claims.

  20. Portsmouth defender Bolton thinks that there was nothing wrong with his tackle which injured Torreira.


    The picture at Fo.Lo shows that Bolton has Torreira’s right leg trapped between both of his legs, and that Bolton’s left leg would not easily move if Torreira started to fall to either side.

    I think this Bolton person, should spend some time in the video library, looking at incidents where a defender tackles from behind wrapping both legs around the attackers leg and the attacker was seriously injured (or even never played again). And then ask himself again, if that was a good tackle.

  21. When I used to play back in the 70’s and 80’s you were encouraged to tackle thus:

    “Let him know you’re there son. First chance you get I want you to take the lot, man and ball. If you do miss the ball make sure you get the man. Clean him out. Take it from me son, he’ll think twice about taking you on next time”

    I lost count of the amount of times I was given, or heard, instructions exactly like, or very similar to that.

    In other words, no matter how it was dressed up, my instruction was to hurt the opponent. That may of been acceptable back then, but in this day and age this is utterly unacceptable. It is utterly un acceptable to endanger another players well being.

    That is why it is written in the laws of the game that a tackle that COULD endanger the opponent is an illegal challange. That tackle was clearly in that category. You could see what was going to happen 2 seconds before it happened. The only thing that could of saved Torreira from injury was either him jumping out of the way, or luck.

    Dean is a disgrace for allowing it to go totally un punished.

    The media are an utter disgrace to condone it.

    Honestly I am finding it harder and harder to maintain any interest in football what so ever because it has become a complete joke.

  22. Gord

    “Arsenal are now one win from Wembley and two wins from, errrm, Wembley. They can start to smell success in a competition that has lit up their otherwise barren last decade and a half …”

    So they just write of 3 FA Cups as a mere irrelevance simply to mock us with “barren last decade and a half”. Pathetic.

    Lets try that with Spurs shall we, assuming they beat Norwich, and similarly wipe their last 3 trophies from history. Will we get the following in the Guardian?:

    “Spurs are now one win from Wembley and two wins from, errrm, Wembley. They can start to smell success in a competition (well the League Cup actually but letsnot split hairs) that has lit up their otherwise barren last 28 years …”

    Or maybe the Guardian where simply eliminating any cup wins full stop, in which case it could say:

    “Spurs are now one win from Wembley and two wins from, errrm, Wembley. They can start to smell success in a competition that has lit up their otherwise barren last 59 years …”

    Somehow I doubt we’ll get anything like that sort of dig in Spurs case, despite their appalling recent trophy haul.

    What gets me is we still get some Arsenal fans coming on here saying this negative media bias is just a figment of our imagination.

    Well here’s a challange. If Spurs do overcome Norwich in the next round, which they surely should, as in the words of Cole they are “Miles ahead of Arsenal” then come on here and show us the similarly sarcastic Guardian comments that will surely be aimed at Spurs.

    I wont hold my breath.

  23. Thanks. 🙂


    Q: Why did the cockerel (rooster) cross the road?
    A: To cockadoodle dooo something!

    Q: Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?
    A: He heard the referee calling fowls

  24. I went last night. Totally professional performance by such a young team. As for Mike Dean. Did anyone bring up the fact that he scratched his knob with his hand twice in response to our chants of Mike Dean you are a c**t. Aimed towards us and with his back to the dugout and the cameras?!!
    If anyone got that on video or in picture then please send it to the FA. Any comments??

  25. Another dumb joke (invented – doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t have done it before)

    If Jose was to sell his house on his own, what would the sign out front say?

    For Sale

  26. Here is a joke that I just received.

    Husband : ” Hi Darling , I was down at the pub with the lads having a quick drink.
    Unfortunately , someone just coughed everywhere and so we have been quarantined .
    See you in 14 days.”

    Hope those lads are safe and well.

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