Does The League Matter Now?
With 3 matches left, and 5th place in the league two places and four points away, it's a tough ask. And Harry's said it, I agree with it, and suspect many other Pompey fans do to - "All I really want now is to win the FA Cup."
Quite apart from the UEFA cup qualification issue - the FA Cup is a big deal. We haven't won it since - well we all know since when - and have spent most of our lives following Pompey, looking at that black and white picture of Jimmy Dickinson held aloft with the cup, and wondering if it would ever happen in our lifetimes. Now it might, it just might, in fact it probably will, and we are pinching ourselves. Especially those of us lucky enough to be going.
So what about the last 3 matches of the League then? Do they really matter? Of course we don't want to jeopardise our chances of the cup final. But there's always the possibility of the unthinkable happening on the day, and if that happened, and we'd given up in the League we'd finish this amazing season feeling rather shell-shocked and bereft - with nothing to show for it at all. What a letdown! And if we did manage to finish 5th, we'd be able to play for the FA Cup for the sake of the cup itself, not the UEFA cup qualification. It might even take just a little bit of pressure off, perhaps just enough to make a difference.
If we can have a good run up to the cup final, and pick up some wins, put in some good performances, then the team's confidence will be sky high. That in itself could be what we need to overcome a Cardiff team who will be playing the match of their lives. I don't know what happened to Pompey in the first half against West Brom, but it wasn't pretty. Was it unanticipated nerves? Was it a misguided belief they just needed to turn up because the opposition were from the Championship? Was it just a bad day, like we had against Man City - and a few other times this season. Whatever it was, a good run and the confidence it will bring might just be best way to make sure it doesn't happen again on the big day.
So my view is, lets give the league a go, but rest players if we need to, see if we can put in some decent performances, pick up some points and give Everton a run for their money - and see where we finish. And then it's the really important match.
Written by tracyc.
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