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Capitulation at the Riverside

Pompey have had a great season, that is clear, 9 wins away from home outweighs anything we have done for years, The cup is less than 2 weeks away, and we have a chance for the first meaningful silverware since the start of the 50's.

Thing is, have we slipped into a comfort-zone? If players are suddenly ducking out of challenges and not tracking players at set-pieces, how are they sure it won't stick with them when it matters?
We hadn't lost 3 on the bounce since the days of Perrin, but there is a real chance it could be 4 by the time Fulham have left Fratton, they will be putting bodies on the line, sticking their heads in where it hurts, but will we? I doubt it.

The fear of getting crunched a week or two before a cup final is understandable, who would want to miss out now? But what the players must realise is that the fans still shelled out 30+ quid for at ticket each, they want the commitment, and we want players to earn the right to play in the final.

Trouble is though, I think everyone knows the starting line-up for the cup final, 2 weeks in advance I will predict that if all fit it will be,
James, Johnson, Hreidarsson, Distin, Campbell, Diarra, Diop, Muntari, Kranjcar, Utaka and Kanu.

I know it, the players know it, so why should the ones in that line up want to get hurt, and why would the fringe players feel the need to prove themselves in a fruitless attempt to break into the starting line up.

Ther are a couple of players who haven't performed in weeks, the fans know who they are, they can do it when it matters hopefully, but can they lift themselves out of cruise control on the day, when they have been going through the motions for so long?




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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 4 2008

Time: 11:05AM

Your Comments

Totally agree the line up for the final, but subs not so easy. Ashdown,Lauren,Baros Nugent & one from davis,Hughes,Mendes then Mvuemba did not do himself any harm yesterday an outside chance.
pompeyyong
What worries me, is that if we are to believe what the players are saying in the papers ie: we are concentrating on our league games - we want fifth AND the cup final - we are not thinking about the cup final, just taking it a match at a time - then we are seriously off form and Cardiff are in with a good chance. As lovely as I think our team and Harry is, I just hope and pray they are the biggest bunch of liars - oops, I mean storytellers - you ever met! And I mean this nicely.
Gandor
Perhaps I should have said # I hope the Players have been taking lessons in spin and PR alongside their football training. Its not nice to hope people are liars... Anyone been keeping tabs on Cardiff's form?
Gandor
What the players say & what they do are two different things even if they mean what they say, you can understand there minds wandering after all its there career. Us (the fans) are all excited about the cup final so its only natural for the players also.
pompeyyong
cardiff been a bit indifferent of late as well, yhey pulled off a 3-3 draw last week though
paultsmouth
I wouldn't read to much into it. The players are not giving 110%. Disappointing to lose & we could have been on Everton's heels had we picked up a few results. This will be forgotton come cup final day, I hope.
storagematt
Cardiff 3 Barnsley 0. Nothing on this game so can't read a lot in to it
pompeyyong
As I said the other week it's evident the players do not want to be injured or suspended. Which is fair enough. But if they turn up to the final and give the performance they gave against West Brom they'll lose. Simple as that. It's not acceptable to let a Championship team come and press us and a Championship team which despatched Boro so easliy.
stillthewhizz
it is hard to just flip a switch and get that winning mentality and mentality of 'wanted to be arsed when you havent for so long' out of your head... clearly i want us to do this but im starting to worry for the first time that the unthinkable might just happen if we do not do the business this weekend...
pompeyrug
 

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