FA Cup Obituary
No massive analysis required. You'll have seen it for yourself. The way we worked the ball into the box wasn't crisp or decisive enough. Never truly with acute intent to find that killer ball or touch to lead to a certain chance on goal. I mean there were moments, but that’s all they were. And there were chances, plenty of chances, but untidy ones. Pinball football. Almost there but nowhere near. Clunky.
To compound things further, we were taken to extra time and over at the City of Manchester stadium, the blues spanked the blues 5-1 to take the lead in the goal difference stakes as well as remain 4 points clear in 5th.
An extra 30 minutes of football. And the potential of penalties. Oh dreary me. Always the hard way, the Tottenham way. In the dying seconds of the 90 it was almost avoided but alas of course it wasn’t.
Why would Spurs possibly conceive about winning the game in normal time when they're so close to dragging their tormented fans through more mire? Let's not buck the trend.
From the noise inside Wembley you'd think we were the ones going broke and relegated. Pompey lapping it all up. Brave and effective on the break. Always looking a little bit more likely to score, but when you think we'd be the ones with the superior quality in front of goal - it was more or less equal. In fact, they had far better clear cut chances that were mostly scoffed. We preferred to befriend the woodwork. Sure, we had more of the ball. But this was far from ever being a masterclass. It felt more like a chemistry lesson. Er...without the chemistry.
Then extra-time. And they score. Obviously. Thanks to the Wembley grass and slip by Dawson. It’s a gift. And it’s cheap. And then we score but not according to the ref who disallows it for a foul (Niko on James) when there was no foul to be given. Cheap. I’ve seen the image of James laughing. I’d have laughed. It's enough to make you cry.
Still cluncky in front of goal. Pompey break, and then Wilson breaks our hearts. Toe to ball, but enough for the ref to still award a penalty. Clumsy. 100% a penalty? Perhaps not. Who cares. It's given, it's given. Nothing anyone can do. And yes, that's a two match ban. So no Wilson for the Scum and Scummer games. All that hard work avoiding the yellows in prior games, imploding on the wet cutting Wembley pitch. KPB makes it two from the spot and our knees are no longer trembling. Instead they're making their way to the exits.
Cue: This was not meant to happen 'shrugs of despondency’.
Bale was great. Really really outstanding great. Everything else was just blah. And the ghosts of yesteryear heartbreaks from those other semi-final defeats swagger in to say hello. No smile for the Lilywhites from the footballing Gods who prefer (today at least) that the meek inherit the earth.
Congratulations to Portsmouth. Can't say many expected this, but as far as footballing stories are concerned, this one can only be applauded. I wish you the best of luck in the final. Jamie will be happy. And their fans a tad too. I expect. Irony irony...Harry won’t be sleeping well tonight. Couple of hours on the Wii to perhaps aid in tiring the eyes.
Grant outsmarted Redknapp – in parts I guess, or maybe I'm being kind on Pompey - because neither our manager or our players found a way through their congested midfield and at times struggled with their speed on the break. There was no spark. Just wasn't happening.
We might have been the better team, if you really want to delve into the technical aspects of the game but the better team doesn't lose 2-0. No club shop DVD. We botched it. But then you can't botch up a game of football you were simply never destined to win.
We sort of did what I was hoping we wouldn't do, and that's get all messy (not Messi) with our football. Half arsed urgency that turns to desperation when all that's required is a cool head at the end of a cool cool move. Clunky. The word of the day. We had what, thirty odd chances? Gomes was still busier. The ref was no Howard Web, but still equally poor. But that's the standard, so no complaints. No point.
Onwards then. No honestly, I mean it. The mongs are visiting next week and it's under the floodlights so there is no time to despair.
How many hours before the Wednesday kick-off?