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LUFC Portsmouth view on Ashdown, Varney and Norris

LUFC Portsmouth view on Ashdown, Varney and Norris

Vital Leeds United have been in touch with Vital Portsmouth to get the low down on the three players to join the club from Fratton Park last week.

Leeds have signed goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown, midfielder David Norris and winger/striker Luke Varney in the last seven days and Vital Portsmouth editor Pompeyrug gives us the lowdown on the trio.

Jamie Ashdown

What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Definite strengths are his shot-stopping ability, in particular from close range when he can have lightening quick reactions. That part of his game has never been in doubt although he does not command his area as well as I feel a keeper should and his distribution is pretty poor.

A good keeper that will not let you down when called upon, although I am disappointed that he has seemingly taken the easy route out and accepted a no.2 role at Elland Road as he will clearly play second fiddle to Paddy Kenny. There must have been a club that would have taken him on as the no.1, but hey, we all have to earn a crust eh!

How good is he aerially?
Not mentioned above but this too is not really one of his strongest areas. He often sits back and waits for defenders to deal with crosses rather than coming for them himself. That said I guess it is better to leave than to come and flap at something you are not sure about...

Does he command his area?
See above, a definite weakness of his as he is nowhere near as commanding as he should be.

Weakest part of his game, as mentioned above.

Shot stopping?
Positional sense (not that I am a keeper) I sometimes questioned him from free-kicks so his shot stopping from distance has, at times, been something I have questioned before but all in all his shot stopping is really good. Some of his close range reaction saves are outstanding. A double save he made against Watford a few years back are among the best I have ever witnessed personally, although one against Derby in a sky game might have been seen, that was phenomenal. Seems when he does not have time to think he excels perhaps?

If you could describe Ashdown in three words, what would they be?
Solid and reliable.

Luke Varney

What are his strengths and weaknesses?

In all honesty, whilst he started last season quite well injuries did not help so we did not see the best of him. That said I had this feeling that once he was fit his heart was not ever really in it and he had wanted to move on, but we refused a move to Forest as it was not in the best interests of the club at the time.

Strengths I would say are his pace, he has a decent amount of this when he wants to use it and can also put in a good shift, so work rate is decent if he us up for it! Weaknesses are his lack of application when he is not up for it. Also, it seems that if he has too much time to think about it he will often fail to convert.

What is his preferred position and is he versatile?
He can play out on the wing, and (as said) can do this effectively if he is up for it, but an out and out striker is where I feel he prefers to play.

If you could describe Varney in three words, what would they be?
(As far as thoughts for Leeds go) Decent squad player.

David Norris

What are his strengths and weaknesses?

He certainly puts in a shift and is not afraid to put his boot in to make a challenge, will also 'take one for the team' if needed. Sometimes it is what you do not see that makes a difference so if you do watch him he covers a lot of the pitch in a game getting up and down it. Never afraid to have a pop and scores some belters, his equaliser against Scum on the volley was awesome and will see Chuck take his place forever in Pompey folklore.

Although he did not exactly set us alight early on when he got going I really liked Chuck but would say his main weakness is perhaps his size, he is a lot smaller than I thought he was, but to be fair still has a good body strength to compensate. Perhaps his limited pace cannot help at times too.

What is his preferred position and is he versatile?
Definitely a central midfielder, but reckon he could play in front of the back four but perhaps just off the strikers would see the very best of him?

If you could describe Norris in three words, what would they be?
Dependable team player

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Date:Sunday July 29 2012
Time: 2:12PM

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