After a delightful opening day win over Fleetwood in League One last weekend, Portsmouth failed to carry on their momentum as they were sent crashing out of the League Cup by Millwall on Tuesday night.
Despite taking the lead through Reeco Hackett-Fairchild in the fourth minute, Portsmouth were unable to progress through to the next round as the Championship side ultimately showed their class. Goals from Scott Malone and George Saville, within the space of six minutes in the first half, turned the game on its head and that’s the way it stayed.
One player, in particular, who struggled was summer signing Gassan Ahadme. The Norwich loanee scored a stunning eight goals in four pre-season outings for Pompey, which helped build an air of excitement over what he could do for the club when the real stuff kicked off.
Unfortunately, he has been unable to translate his form into the competitive matches as of yet. He lined up behind John Marquis against Millwall and failed to grasp his opportunity to impress, with a nightmare performance on his second appearance for the club. SofaScore handed him a rating of 6.3, which was the second-lowest in the Pompey team – only behind Callum Johnson who was sent off.
In fact, Ahadme was so poor that he was hooked off soon after Johnson’s red card as Pompey had a re-shuffle.
Danny Cowley will be fuming with the loanee’s display, as he noticeably looked off the pace throughout his time on the pitch. To this point, Hampshire Live reporter Jonty Colman gave Ahadme a score of 5/10 after the game in his player ratings piece. He wrote:
“A tough night for the Moroccan, whose only sniff of goal came on the end of an early cross where he failed to get a shot off. Tried to do too much and was often smothered on the ball in possession. Sacrificed early in the second half when Johnson departed.”
Ahadme gave the ball away nine times despite only having 24 touches, which shows that he was not reliable with the ball at his feet. He also only won four of his 13 ground and aerial duels during the match, highlighting how he off the pace with the opposition beating him to the punch in challenges both on the ground and in the air.
You could possibly forgive all of these lapses in concentration and losses of possession if he produced a moment of magic to score or create a goal, but he did not create a single chance for his teammates.
He also had two efforts on goal and both of them were off target, which further goes to show why Cowley will be frustrated with the forward’s nightmare showing.