>I’m just not that romantic


Please note I have taken a full 24 hours to calm myself before writing and posting. *deep breath*
Where to start with the drama at  Wembley yesterday. Probably it is only fair to start by congratulating Portsmouth who, if they can afford the petrol, will be making the return journey in a few weeks to face Chelsea. No neutral can deny the romance and the magic that comes from Portsmouth defeating Tottenham and making into the end of season showpiece. But as the title suggests, I am neither neutral nor much of romantic.
Had Portsmouth come out, thrown caution to the wind and scored then that would be fair enough. But as every stat from yesterday will show you, that is hardly the case. Before I start winging like an A*senal fan i’ll be clear, Tottenham did not play well. Had they played well they would have won easily, as they did at White Hart Lane a couple of weeks ago. Portsmouth defended heroically and Tottenham, (read Peter Crouch,) missed the key chances that would have made the game safe. That Ricardo Rocha was named man of the match sums it all up I think.

There can be no doubt though that the key moments that turned the game decisively in favor of Portsmouth where created by Alan Whiley and that awful Wembley pitch. I said during the game that at some point the notorious turf was going to cost someone a goal and so it proved.  In extra time  Michael Dawson, (if any player deserved to lead a team out a Wembley it’s him,) slipped as he went to make a bog standard clearance and Frederic Piquionne nipped into score. Disaster, and its disgraceful that a pitch at the home English football should cost a goal in a key game, but it’s the same for everyone. Spurs then actually composed themselves and scored. Or not. Referee Alan Whiley decided that nothing was going to ruin this  particular story and decided to take a starring role, disallowing the goal for a foul on David James that James himself didn’t see. The pictures of him grinning as ‘England’s number 1’ (read 4) realises he has got away with another Calamity James moment is particularly galling. In the context of this game the penalty decision is irrelevant, although having nursed him through for a month to lose Palacios against A*senal and Chelsea to a booking for a tackle that is probably not even a foul rubs a salt mine into the wounds.

Portsmouth came to not lose and see what they could get away with. Well they got away with the lot. They are an almost pointless addition to the final, as Chelsea will do what Tottenham failed to do and take their chances. Probably about 6 of them. Most neutrals will want them to win the final, but as I say I’m just not that romantic.


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