The Defensive Dilemma – Options Available as Bolger Sits Portsmouth Game Out

Aaron Lewis, Neal Eardley, Jason Shackell, Harry Toffolo


Courtesy of Graham Burrell

My gut feeling is that this is the one fans might like to see the most. Aaron Lewis has impressed on his appearances for the first team, not least against Everton where he set up Bruno’s goal with a driving run. There have been some calls for him to replace Neal Eardley in recent weeks and this might be his chance to stake a claim in the first team.

It means Eardley drops into the middle of the defence on the right hand side, keeping some experience in the centre but bringing a quick player in at right back.

Lewis is a player many feel to be vastly underrated; he came in on a non-contract basis of some sort, the details may be a little sketchy, but Michael Appleton is keen to give him some stability over the coming weeks. “When he [Lewis] comes back [from international duty] we will have a conversation to help him feel a little more comfortable with the situation,” he told the Echo. “As it stands, nothing can happen in terms of him moving on. But I’ve said I’ll have a chat with him to see if we can make things a little more comfortable.”

Neal Eardley does have a little more pace than Bolger or Bostwick, so we’d get that in the centre, as well as a reliable head that can read the game well. With him not being a natural central defender, it might make the pairing a little unbalanced, but Eardley is a very good player and perhaps drifting inside a little will be a natural progression as his ability to get up and down the line drifts later in his career.

As I said, my gut feeling is that the vote on the final page of this article will put this top of the fans’ choice of options,


  1. Hate to be a pedant but there’s a typo in your headline ‘availabe’ (also in the URL). I’m sure you’d like to change it :).

  2. I hope I dont see Tyler Walker on the left again, if Akinde comes on again I would like to see him take up Paynes postion. Walker must keep that central position.

  3. This was the danger. Cowley had built a dangerously unbalanced squad. If Shackel, and ageing centre back, picks up an injury we really are struggling. Or if he picks up a card as he has form for.

  4. Fully agree with Malcolm. Walker needs to stay central as he is our only one goal scoring striker. That was an odd change last Friday…
    As for tomorrow I would play 3 centre backs with Melbourne and Eards around Shackell and Lewis/Toff as a wing backs…
    Little bit worried about tomorrow’s aerial battles in our box if am honest.. We all know how good Ragget is in this aspect….

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. You don’t always get what you deserve: Portsmouth 1-0 Imps – The Stacey West
  2. Big Defensive Decision Awaits Michael Appleton This Weekend – The Stacey West

Comments are closed.