Date:Friday May 16 2008
This is it guys, the time for talking is just about due to end - actions speak louder than words so lets hope we can do this tomorrow and bring the cup back to the South Coast for the first time in 69 years.
Everyone has 'talked the talk' now lets see them 'walk the walk', it is time for the boys to show just how much they want the FA cup...
I am confident that we will do it, now it is time to show that this is what we have been saving ourselves for recently after some abject performances of late.
Apart for Jermain Defoe who is cup tied and Linvoy Primus, who has had a knee injury all season, we seem to have a clean bill of health.
Dave Nugent was passed fit this week after a groin problem and Sol Campbell will be back after missing the Fulham defeat with a 'hamstring problem'. The biggest bonus of all will be the return of David James after a calf problem, so Jamie Ashdown will drop to the bench.
4-5-1 or 4-4-2 has been the source of much debate this week, but it looks like being a 4-5-1 with Kanu predicable leading the line, should we go for 4-4-2 I have this feeling that Nugent would get in ahead of Milan Baros...
Sean Davis and Pedro Mendes have been putting pressure on others of late and Papa Bouba Diop will be the man most worried about missing out, and if I were picking the side he would with Mendes' creativeness seeing him get the nod over the big man to be honest.
I think it is a near certainty that Utaka will start, so if he does if he is 'interested' I feel that with the space on offer at Wembley, with his pace and power he could have a field day... lets just hope he has 'one of his days', which we have not seen that many of this season!
Robbie Fowler has not played for 5 months, but he is being given every chance to prove his fitness, which if he does will earn him a place on the bench.
Highly rated talents Joe Ledley and Paul Parry will be key to Cardiff's hopes of taking the cup back to Wales. Parry has recently gotten over a hamstring problem so he will partner Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink up front.
The Cardiff winger is one of the most highly rated footballers outside of the top flight, so this is almost certain to be his final game for Cardiff... if he is at his very best then he will cause us problems.
This meeting will be the first ever meeting in the FA cup between Pompey and Cardiff, lets just hope that the record books will be showing us one up come full time tomorrow.
We last won the cup - as we know - way, way back in 1939, holding it for almost 7 years after the outbreak of World War II. Almost 100,000 people watched us beat Wolves 4-1 that day. Cardiff famously became the first and only club from outside England to win the cup, when they managed this in 1927.
Both clubs have had to wait a very, very long time to even make the cup final again but when all is said and done on Saturday either Pompey will end a 69 year wait, or Cardiff an 80 year wait for cup success...
We cannot come this far and blow it now, we must finish the job we started back in January against Ipswich.
Maybe we have not been convincing along the way, but 'when your name is on the cup' that is all that matters - and I have felt this has been the case this season.
We will do it guys; we are going to win the cup tomorrow. A score line? I do not know, all I know is I believe we will do it... PLAY UP POMPEY!
No one knows yet, word had it that we were being invited into the Amsterdam Trophy this summer; Swindon and Torquay are also being lined up as pre-season destinations - quite a contrast there.
Either way, lets hope wherever our next fixture is, and whoever it is against we can go into it as FA cup holders...
Date:Friday May 16 2008
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