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…
|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.
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;
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;
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.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP