Date: 27th August 2007 at 10:23pm
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The Carling Cup: Harry, you cannot be serious? Or can you?

The Milk, Littlewoods, Rumblelows, Coca-cola, Worthington or Carling, call it what you will! I still, and always will refer to it as the League Cup.

True, the competition introduced in the early sixties as a midweek floodlit knockout tournament, has become less and less prestigious over the years, but it is still an opportunity for a club like ours to have a cup run, ending up playing in the first ‘League’ Cup final at the new Wembley Stadium.

Obviously winning it will bring in some silverware and as some think, more importantly, a chance to secure a place in Europe (for this season at least until UEFA stop it.)

We don’t yet know how much emphasis Harry will put on it this year, but given that it is now seen (and accepted) by ‘larger’ clubs as a lower priority than other competitions, and also that some clubs make a point of fielding weaker teams I think it should be high enough up Harry’s agenda for it to be deemed important.

Boro, Blackburn & Leicester (twice) have all won it in the last ten years, so why can’t we?

Pompey play Leeds in the second round on Tuesday and as I see it there’s no excuse for not taking it seriously this time around. Another showing like the one at Newcastle last year just won’t do.

Ask yourself these questions. As I have.

Do we have to concentrate on premiership survival as we have in past years? – No, there’s still a job to be done, but surely we can’t use that as an excuse.

Is our squad big enough to risk injuries, bookings, suspensions? – Yes, we have seen more quality and numbers ‘in’ than ‘out’ this year so it appears so.

Do Pompey want European football? – Yes, at least if we want to continue to be a progressive club.

My questions to you fellas are a) how seriously should Harry take the League Cup this year and b) how far do you think Pompey can realistic progress?

Written by Chix.

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22 Replies to “Harry, you cannot be serious? Or can you?”

  • interesting article! personally i think we should take it a round at a time. theres obvious revenue to be made as well mind which would come in handy to offer something back to mr “invisible” gaydamak! also, winning the cup would be great. if we were to lose our tie at home i would be a little disappointed yet if we lose away to a decent prem team then i guess its unlucky! im not so sure we have a big enough squad (that are worthy of playing constant prem football) though. PUP! tomorrow id like to see some goals from us but more importantly NOT CONCEEDING!

  • a clean sheet will certainly mean a pompey win as we will core goals tomorrow – hopefully nugent will get in on the act! tbh i would love to see us win the league cup and can see no reason why we cant…

  • We won’t be at full strength if we got to the League Cup final because of course, our squad will get drained by the ACN. Maybe next year.

  • sart with a clean sheet and a Nugent goal that will be fine for me, otherwise i agree with spoiler take it at a round a time. I dont think HR would sacrifice league position for this tournament unless we were in the quater finals.

  • that is what a squad is for tho isnt it, to cope with these kinds of things… but by the time the league cup final came round the african nations will be over with wont it.

  • good point lysi, although we do have a core of European players through out the team, no africans in defence, Pedro, taylor, GONeil, Davis, Hughes mid field Also i dont see the benji and the zimmers being involved for more than a week and assuming Nugent gets his goal scoring boots on we should be ok. If the Defoeists or the Litarites get their dream move we should be competitive, well in my dreams anyway

  • If I were Harry, I wouldnt let my grandson wear a scummers shirt, but that apart he has stated that we can give anybody a run for their money and in fairness performances against Liverpool (clean sheet), Manure (second half) and Chelsea on Saturday bear this out. So the simple fact is if we can win six games in this competition (maybe even against second string sides) we must take it seriously if we have European aspirations

  • I think our so-called second choice players are excellent quality – I look forward to Mvuemba, Crainie and Nugent scoring against Leeds !

  • I have said it before this is a competition we can win! Rest players with knocks etc. but field the strongest possible side. We wanted to start with an easy home tie and this fits the bill although Leeds will be up for it.

  • i cant see leeds scoring somewhat and i can see us scoring. if the only players resting are james, kanu and (someone else i cant be bothered to read again) then i still think we will have an awesome team. ashdown better be ready! nugent and benji upfront i reckon. if muntari plays….. BYE BYE LEEDS! 😀 can see it being 3-0 4-0 etc. although as were pompey probably 1-0 :p would put a bet on pompey (-1AH) but got no dollars!

  • agreed fellas, we have to be looking to win this cup, so even if the usual starters dont play – players that come in as still good enough to be 1st team players, we dont have that many ‘second rate’ players in our squad do we…

  • We have to believe that we can win this trophy, our fringe players are of good quality and they need to step up to the plate and prove that they are good enough to play for Pompey, we should be putting teams like Leeds away without too many problems.

  • From my point of view every match should be taken seriously whether it’s a pre season friendly or the Champions league final. Fans pay money to watch the team and deserve to get entertained, god knows it costs enough to watch a match these days. With the high percentage of season ticket holders at Fratton these days these cup games are a rare chance for some people to get to see their team they deserve no less for their money than anybody who holds a season ticket and goes to all the games.

  • Pompey rug, your right, Benjis lot are already out, so we have him and then Nugent, i dont know which african Nation Team he plays for, but i think we can rest assured he wont be in africa either lol.

  • A bit of effort,unlike the one at Newcastle last year should see us coast home I hope. 200 miles is a long journey home for me if we should slip up !

  • It’s a good question. I reckon that if we’re even thinking about playing euro football in the near future, the challenge of effectively moving players in and out of the team for cup competitions is similar to what the big clubs go through every year (except they’re taking on premiership games, cup games and euro games) so the better we get at it, the better off we’ll be down the road. If the big teams are more stretched due to their schedules than we are and as Chix suggested, some of them aren’t really interested in the League Cup anymore, then it seems like the perfect ticket to Europe so let’s do it !

  • Leeds are on a bit of a roll by the look of it though so I’m not expecting a pushover today.

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