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A missed opportunity

Firstly, I have a couple of confessions to make, I have to take a share of the blame for our defeat last night, as I had to tempted fate before the game...

I do not get to many games these days so I uttered the most ridiculous words on the way to the Fortress to my cousin Paul and Steve, the boyfriend of one of my other cousins Louise, 'I have not seen us lose a game for X amount of years!'

Right away I knew I had committed a cardinal sin.

Not content at that I thought to myself - but did not share until after the game - that I do not think that I have ever seen us win a midweek game when I have gone, granted there might not have been too many, but home and away I cannot remember a midweek win.

Now, confessions out of the way, as I could not bring myself to doing it last night I could not do a report on the shambles when we crashed out of the league cup, today I have to leave Pompey so I will be on the train most the day - but then again to be honest I do not think the match - certainly from a Pompey point of view - deserves a report anyway, as it was a real mess and basically carried on where Saturday left off...

Very, very few players came out of the defeat to Blackburn with much credit, who in all fairness did not have to play particularly well to beat us, not saying they did not play well as they deserved to win and they do have a very good side, a well-organised side full of players that look dangerous.

In Benni McCarthy - who deserved the applause that he got for apologising when the ball smashed into someone in the crowd - and Roque Santa Cruz they have two fantastic strikers, the two wide players Morten Gamst Pedersen and David Bentley offer top service and quality and at the back they look very tight, Chris Samba was a different class, mopping up everything - so it is little wonder teams are meant to be looking at him.

The 3 of us agreed after the game that Blackburn are the team to challenge and us to look to reach, as if they do not finish at least 5th we would be surprised, the thought even being that if anyone could break into the top 4 it could quite possibly be them.

The stand out player for us was Niko Kranjcar, he was fantastic and looked a danger every time he had the ball, but did not get it enough and when he did others did not show enough to help him.

Anyway, now that the confessions, the moaning and the praise for the opponent are out of the way we really have missed a chance this season.

Yep, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal might still be in the cup but had we won last night we would have only been 2 wins away from the final - I would love to see Pompey win a major trophy, which as much as it may now be 'belittled' the league cup is still a major domestic trophy.

As much as I want us to finish high in the league I do not see it as a chance for us now 'to concentrate on the league' as I heard so many people saying after the game. I would rather have won the league cup than finished somewhere between 7th and 12th, which although we could finish higher - if we get the right players in January - we certainly need to improve.

Yep we have missed a chance here fellas, but it is our own fault.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 1 2007

Time: 9:22AM

Your Comments

. . . gutted . . .
tracyc
A missed opportunity indeed....
The Rabbi
Atleast none of you are blaming Nugent, Thats good, as i still think that guy will be a major player in time, and his unlucky/lack of confidence/over trying approach, call it whatever you want, will come good in time. Another Benji?
Midge
I hope you're right about Nuge, I still think we should give the lad a chance to shine, we always knew he would be one for the future and not an immediate superstar, but I admit to doubts starting to creep in last night when I saw that miss. But lets keep the faith with him and hope he gets a chance to shine (and takes it) soon.
tracyc
We have hit a bad patch as I thought we would - every side does. We need to work on tactics 4-5-1 worked against Reading but is it the formation for home games? Nugent needs to play games to be sharp in front of goal. Tracy is right 'Keep the Faith'. and welcome back Midge not heard from you for a while.
eastneydave
We were really rubbish last night, and it is now up to the squad to put it right at Newcastle on Saturday. Nugent needs games to improve his sharpness, and cant be blamed for the loss, we were bad all round the park. Well done Blackburn you did a job on us and deserved to win, hope you get to Wembley.
Owenspompey
Glad to hear that people are not blaming Nugent, I didnt see the game and from what the papers say they make it seem like it was his fault. but then i guess that is the papers!
Sachas_Brother
Nugent should get the same amount of time to settle as Benjani. I don't think he will though. He'll be playing for another club by the New Year. I blame Heather Mills personally...what was that all about?
The Rabbi
Well i'd have to say we were awful in the first half, but there was much improvement in the second half and on another day we may have turned it round. There were long periods when we laid siege to Blackburns penalty area but nothing would go right. Crunchy was absolutely fantastic and just keeps getting better, with him in that sort of form i don't fancy Englands chances of getting a result. Nugent needs to play top class football, he worked hard last night but his timing was off on the one real chance he had, if he was playing games i'm sure he'd have buried it. The 2nd goal was a direct result of chasing the game, any other time the ball would've been put into touch instead of trying to play out of the corner. I'd also like to absolve Rug of any blame for the result, as my friends will tell you it's my fault, i missed one home game through illness (Reading) since then we've done nothing at home so it must be my presence that caused it.
Steve C
Steve great news about Crunchy getting better and better two weeks before he faces the once mighty England.
eastneydave
With or without Crunchy, Croatia won't be a pushover. By then it won't matter because Russia will have beaten Israel. About last night; let's keep a sense of perspective......our names IS on the cup...the FA Cup. You heard it here first!
NinjaTim
ive defended nuge all the way and still do think that the fella will be a top class footballer... i just do not think it will be here... if he can i reckon 'arry will sell him in january. for the 1st time since he arrived i did go away complaining at how poor i thought he was, he had a poor 1st touch, a poor 2nd touch and so on, he could not really do anything right could he. i do not blame him for the defeat but it was a horrible miss, the kind of miss that was harder to do than score... he does need a run of games, but im not sure he will get them and as i said if 'arry can sell him in january i think he will, which will be a massive shame as he will be a very good footballer.
pompeyrug
also glad that you absolve me of all the blame Steve C :-)
pompeyrug
Was a tough game for you last night. Blackburn are one team you cannot take lightly and the result did not surprise me at all. As for Nugent does he need to go out on loan and get some confidence back or be given more fist team oppertunaties?
will it ever happen
It's quite simple - Nugent is no good against premiership sides - predicted the loss from the moment I saw the team sheet.
WalshWasGod
wow, thats a bit harsh! i would love to see him go on loan to derby, where he could be there best playor, get some confidence, and try himself as a premiership footballer. he could then come back in january brimming with confidence, score 6 goals in 1 game, and have his place cemented in our team...as for the fa cup...no chance., lets settle for the league now.
pompeycarpet
hes just low on confidence, anyone could of scored that goal, he would of done it if he had the confidence, benjani was just the same, remember his miss agaisnt reading last season?
PompeyGleamer
Rather than go to derby he needs to play for us, otherwise let us just admit we got it wrong and we wasted our money. The player hasnt had a decent run yet, Benjy was persevered with and look at him, Penalties excepted. However he need the chance to play, dont start slagging him off yet.
Owenspompey
the problem is, when you have the premierships top goal scorer playing for you - who also spends 3/4 of his time working for the team, you cant expect to get a place in the team. If we are going to see how good nugent really is, either benjani AND kanu will both have simultaneus poor runs of form/get injured - which i dont want - or he has to go on lone. i know its tough to say it, but its his and our best option.
pompeycarpet
Are we about to enter a mid-season slump ? We will know the answer to that after the Newcastle game. My anticipations on that clash are not high.
pompeygray
November and December are always our worst 2 months, Newcastle will be a good indication
paultsmouth
weve had one draw and one loss to a fantastic well organised team. i dont have any fears that HR will shake them up! Muntari wasnt playing, shows how much we need him.
PompeyGleamer
WalshWasGod, whilst i must admit i was very, very critical of nuge on the way home on wednesday and do now think that if he stays beyond this season - maybe even january - i will be surprised i do feel that you are still being alittle harsh on the fella... he will be a star, i do not doubt this - it just probably wont be here?
pompeyrug
The will-Nuge-stay-will-Nuge-go question is an interesting one. I have a feeling that come this time next year he'll be playing and scoring regularly for us. I don't think Harry is the kind of manager to splash that much cash and let it waste away and loose value on the bench. I think Harry is being rather clever. Becasue when Nuge arrived he was acting like a big time Charlie who'd made his big Premier move with an England goal under his belt. All the hanging around for an Everton offer showed his ego was a bit too big. By hardly playing him, Harry has 1) protected Nugent from fans who might quickly turn against him if he wasn't an instant success 2) shrunk Nuge's ego and made him desperate to play and prove himself 3) Not disrupted Benji's outstanding form. I think Harry is playing a long game, and as soon as we get an injury or a dip in form from Benji, we'll have a top-quality striker ready to replace him, desperate to make an impact.
NorthStandDan
Good points, well made Dan. Let's hope you're right.
NinjaTim
cracking points mate - i must admit i had never thought of it that way, but i really, really do hope you are right... i think i will use your thought when i do an article on the polls results.
pompeyrug
 

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