Date: 25th September 2008 at 8:26am
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Our league cup season came crashing to an abrupt end with a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelski at Fratton last night. Defeat was not a surprise, the manor of it maybe was though…

Even with a full strength side we would have done well to have got through, but with a weakened side – albeit it a decent enough side on paper – we did not have much chance at all. However the manor of the goals we conceded was again a worry, defensively we were a shambles again and this has been our strong point in recent seasons – we are not even getting the basics right!

Harry Redknapp, who to be honest had little or no interest in this game anyway, was not to downbeat when he spoke to The News: ‘they were too good for us, but I actually thought we did okay.

‘We were doing all right when they won a soft penalty. I was disappointed with the penalty decision.

‘Then they get the second goal right before half-time and that was it.

‘We’ve defended poorly again and given away sloppy goals.

‘But then you only have to look at their quality. They have a squad of world class players. That’s why we couldn’t get near them.’

I wanted to go but sadly could not get up to Fratton so had to make do with radio coverage, and then highlights later but we did not appear to have any interest in looking to get anything from this game at all and basically handed it to Chelski on a plate. Goals conceded were again really soft, as was the penalty so most could have been avoided.

As said even a full strength side would have struggled to have got anything against a near full strength Chelski – so it was a tough one, did you play an entire second string, or play mostly reserves but leave some regular 1st team players in? It’s a squad game some players need some time on the pitch as they have role to play in the weeks ahead – or at least should do, as we need to start rotating things around.

From a paying punters point of view you want to see the best – but it was good to see people like Noe Pamarot, Richard Hughes and Arnold Mvuemba get some football under their belts, but not giving people like Kanu and Marc Wilson longer, or playing Glen Little at all seemed strange. Maybe playing David James, Sylvain Distin and Peter Crouch at all was not ideal? James conceded more goals and made another mistake, Distin appeared to have another poor game and playing Crouch as a lone striker, when he appears on a hiding to nothing would have done little to win over his doubters as he had nothing to fed on or pass onto…

The game is done, it was depressing and disappointing – in as much as what we were given back from the sounds of it – but the Spurs game on Sunday was always going to be the one that would see how we really reacted to the humping from Citeh, another spanking last night was far from ideal but how we do against Spurs will give a clearer indication of ‘how bad’ things have become, not that they have anyway have they as we are not as bad as 10 goals conceded in 2 games suggests…


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