Posted by: Staff | 10.19.2009

Week Seven of the Premier League: Everton vs. Portsmouth

 ZEKE SATLOFF ’12

On September the 26th, Portsmouth faced Everton at home. For those who are unaware of the dynamics of the English Premier League (EPL), the first thing to understand is that there is a group called, “the top four” (Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal) that are normally the four best teams in the EPL. However, with big spending from Manchester City and the consistency of good play from Tottenham, the EPL is wide open this year and much more exhilarating than previous seasons. However, in this showdown between Portsmouth and Everton none of this mattered.

For Portsmouth, they were coming in struggling to get their first win while in dead last in the EPL; they  put up zero points in their last six games. While Everton, who normally are one of the top six teams in the EPL, has struggled to be in the top half of the table. For Portsmouth’s coach Paul Hart this game was extremely important because earlier that week he was told if the team did not turn around their results, then he would most likely lose his job. In my opinion Paul Hart is one of the finer coaches in the EPL, and that would be a great loss for English football.

The ninety minute game started off fairly even; Portsmouth controlled most of the possession, while Everton had the better scoring chances. However, late in the first half a threatening ball played through to Everton striker Louis Saha found the back of the net. At the end of the first half, Everton was up one to nothing. However, the second half of the match is what made this game noteworthy.

As one could suspect, Paul Hart was on the edge of his seat for the rest of the match mainly because his job depended on the outcome. I do not know what was said to the Portsmouth players, but you could truly notice that they were clearly playing for the coach in the second half. With multiple saves from the Everton keeper Tim Howard, last ditch efforts from the Everton defender, and a few lucky bounces off the cross bar, Everton maintained their lead the whole second half. Another disappointing loss for Portsmouth puts their manager Paul Hart in even more danger, as the drama from the EPL continues.

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