Nick W, who I met for a convivial pre-match pint last night, had a theory. Portsmouth would a game for battlers and we should get Jonathan Greening in there. He suggested at the expense of Chris Baird and I wasn’t sure – but I certainly wouldn’t have pitched him in ahead of Bjorn Helge Riise out wide. Shows what I know.
Greening started life as a winger/wide midfielder at Manchester United and, though he doesn’t have the blistering pace most managers deem a pre-requisite for a wide player these days, you can see why. He’s good with the ball at his feet and an excellent crosser.
In his own understated way, this was a good performance. He was always available for his team-mates and didn’t become disheartened by misplacing a few passes, arriving both outside Nicky Shorey in his more regular – at least for Fulham – central midfield role to provide an option.
And, of course, he took the vital goal very well indeed. Perhaps shaving off that beard had something to do with it …