Date: 4th May 2008 at 10:18am
Written by:

If we were left in any doubt that the cup final was the most important thing on the minds of those connected to Pompey, this was confirmed yesterday afternoon when we quite literally rolled over and died for Boro, losing 2-0.

Boro 2 – Chris Riggott 40, Tuncay 53
Pompey 0

Jamie Ashdown
Glen Johnson
Sylvain Distin
Sol Campbell
Hermann Hreidarsson
Arnold Mvuemba
Papa Bouba Diop (Sean Davis 67)
Lassana Diarra
Niko Kranjcar
Milan Baros (Dave Nugent 67)
Jermain Defoe

Substitutes Not Used
Asmir Begovic
Richard Hughes

I do not want to take the victory away from Boro, I congratulate them on their win and for doing the double over us – and also thank their fans for all the support they gave us for the cup final – but there will be no match report as such, as there was not really a match to report on so I will do this instead…

PLAY UP POMPEY! – It is just a shame you could not be bothered to yesterday…


To the majority of players and staff at Portsmouth Football Club

Whilst I can understand that the FA cup is the ‘main focus’ for the vast majority of you, as it is the fans I am absolutely disgusted with what I witnessed on Saturday afternoon – and as such I was wondering if I could have my money back?

I had to leave my home at 5.30am on Saturday morning, spent the best part of 7 hours on the road travelling up to Middlesbrough – the same coming back, with this costing me – and three others – £34 each in petrol money, with a further two – who joined us along the way, paying £10 each, this is before you add the costs on the ticket, which at £24 is a near ‘bargain’ by today’s prices! So that is almost £60 before a ball is even kicked.

If we are not really going to ‘try’ then could we not have at least had some players put out on the pitch that would be willing to have a go? The vast majority of those that started the game will start the FA cup final I have no doubt, so if they were not ‘up for it’ should we not have put in players that were, or at least brought them on earlier instead of 20 minutes from the end…

As said, I can appreciate that the cup final is a huge thing to be looking towards and players do not want to get injured but we have thrown away a glorious chance to finish in the top 5 with the increasing lack of application since the FA cup semi final – the season did not ‘take a break’ between that and the cup final. We could have had 5th place almost wrapped up by now, had we even had a hint of interest yesterday we could still have been well and truly in the race to finish 5th – and as much as winning the cup will boost Pompey’s standing, finishing 5th in the league would have boosted this yet further as many people still look to the league status before the cup before deciding where they want to play their football, as someone told me this week.

The FA cup is weighing heavy on my mind too, but I still have to ‘turn up’ for work – which I have to work extremely hard at to get even the smallest of small portions of money they are on to pay for these games – I wish I had the option of not having to do so, and I still choose to ‘turn up’ for games, it is just a shame that most of the players on Saturday were not required to do the same thing!

I spent a lot of time looking at the technical area and only once did I see anyone in it, well Gareth Southgate aside, as he seemed to be in it for the full 90 minutes. In terms of Pompey I mean, this being Tony Adams towards the end of the game, I was quite amazed not to see Harry Redknapp up and barking orders at the players at all, I did not even see him out of his seat to be honest.

If we expect to be able to merely ‘turn up’ on cup final day and win we are sorely mistaken, if we turn up on cup final day off the back of another defeat to Fulham next weekend then I seriously worry that the ‘momentum’ that we will be carrying forward will be hard to shake, they say winning becomes a habit, the same applies to losing you know…

Also, do the players not believe in coming over to the fans anymore? Few did this at Manchester City recently too. Yesterday, one that was in the box at full time – I am not sure who – applauded us, but only Sean Davis, Dave Nugent and to his credit Sylvain Distin who walked from the other half to come down to us actually took this effort to do so. It is funny how two of these three were ones that actually put in any effort as they try almost in vein to win themselves a spot for the cup final, and would have no doubt offered us full commitment for 90 minutes, but only got 20 apiece at the end – give me this type of effort and commitment any day.

I am used to seeing us lose, I can deal with this as I have seen this enough over the years all over the country, and as much as the costs of going to football have become higher and higher I begrudge paying this less when there is actually some effort on display, something I saw little of on Saturday. It was still a good day, but I could not help feeling, as the day ticked round to becoming almost a full 24 hour one by the time I finally settled down to go to sleep, was it really worth it? If they cannot be arsed, should I?

My details will be found at the top of the letter, so hopefully the players will have a whip round of pocket change and they will be able to reimburse me, and the other Pompey fans that travelled?

A disgruntled, cheated and livid


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