Portsmouth Paper View

Last updated : 22 January 2006 By Brian Cartlidge

Sutton kickstarts Blue uprising

What price Premiership salvation? On this evidence, a free transfer is worth significantly more than an £11million Russian makeover. Birmingham's Chris Sutton, who arrived from Celtic for nothing more than a few months' wages, slotted into his new surroundings with such positive effect he brought out the best of the players around him. While Steve Bruce purred, Harry Redknapp grrrred. There was not a lot of positive he could show Sasha Gaydamak in return for his investment. So much for a relegation dogfight. After taking a fifth-minute lead, Birmingham were rarely under any real pressure. There was no tension in the Midlands air. No threat. Portsmouth allowed this to be the most enjoyable home game the Blues have managed all season. The Observer

Birmingham lift the blues as Pennant humiliates Pompey

Suddenly, Birmingham's fight against relegation has attained real momentum and St Andrew's, where they could not win as much as an argument in the first half of the season, offers them every home comfort once more. The fact that this latest success came at the expense of fellow strugglers was added value. The Telegraph

Pompey punished as Pennant finally comes of age

A cautionary first lesson for Theo Walcott, maybe? This is where signing for Arsenal as a teenager can get you; scoring a sublime goal for Birmingham City. It may not be quite what Jermaine Pennant had in mind when he made that controversial £2 million move from Notts County to Highbury at a similar age. But for a player who has fought disappointment and the consequent demons during a career which has taken him on loan to Watford, Leeds, as well as Birmingham, before signing on a permanent basis, and a brief spell at Her Majesty's Pleasure last year following a drink-driving conviction, his performance yesterday surely qualifies amongst the zenith of his achievements. The Independent

Pennant fires five-star Blues

Beginning brightly but ending ineptly, Portsmouth’s radically and expensively remodelled side were ultimately swept away by a rampant Birmingham City. The Times