BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
« Previous | Main | Next »

Pompey and circumstance

Post categories:

Robbo Robson | 11:31 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010

Ahhh... the FA Cup. There were them that were muttering darkly about the horror of blinking Chelsea in the Blue Bell on Saturday night.

Ancelotti's men were assisted somewhat by the official we call Lettuce - as in Webb's Wonder - as in I wonder what Howard Webb was thinking.

John Terry's Grim Reaper of a scythe at James Milner was a bit Halloween 'n' all, (Gerrard's elbow, JT's lunge... does a captain's armband mean you're above the law?) but in the end Chelski deserved it, even if O'Neill was probably doing his best Yosemite Sam impression for hours after.

Villa keep coming up short, despite the form of young James. At times, when they're defending in depth and counter-attacking with Walcottian pace, they look great. But they are still right limited, and up against the very best they still look like a short-armed kid swinging his fists while a grown-up holds him off by the forehead.

They need a goalscorer. Preferably one that can turn average into title-challenging. Rooney gets better and better, doesn't he? He's the only bloke at United at the mo who seems to know not to pull on a door that says Push. And, as with Torres at Liverpool, when he's not there, the team has all the cutting edge of a bouncy castle.
Portsmouth fan John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood  Portsmouth fan John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood
Still, I'd have said the same about Portsmouth. Picquionne? Not so much a footballer as a spicy relish. Utaka? Yep, it sounds like 'attacker' but looks like a runaway tricycle.

Dindane? He'd need four attempts to finish a fancy canapé, let alone a decent chance. With relegation assured, the semi-final must have come as a light relief, I suppose. And by heck, I almost wept for them fans when Wiley blew his final, fateful whistle.

It's been a dire season for Pompey and that wild-eyed top-hat-wearing, walking billboard of a Portsmouth fan has kept bawling out his support along with the rest of them, despite the club having been ripped open and passed around like a bag of crisps on a pub table.

The blokes who wore their colours on Sunday were noble indeed, mind. The last team to get relegated and reach the Cup final were a fine and noble tribe too: the Boro. Of course this was 1997 - the year of the two-point deduction, so we've got a hell of a lot in common with Pompey 2010. Not least that we got stuffed by Chelsea in the final...

But let's praise Pompey for getting themselves in the position to be on the end of such a kicking. First of all, they were up against that folk hero-turned 'Judas', old 'Arry. Not only did Redknapp waddle off from the south coast, but a lot of little Pompey ducklings scuttled off after him: Defoe, Crouch, Kranjcar...

Of course, there are some ex-Spurs at Pompey: Michael Brown, the ludicrously forenamed Kevin-Prince Boateng (what's his sister called? Tracy-Princess Boateng?) And the man of the match, Ricardo Rocha. That's right, they were all a bit pants at White Hart Lane.

By the way, in Portuguese, Rocha means 'rock' or 'boulder'. Never could one man have so lived up to his name. (Although one day I hope to make Timmy Mallett live up to his by using him to bash in some tent-pegs).

Boateng was a live-wire all afternoon. And Michael Brown? Well I'd give him a yellow card just for putting his boots on, that lad. He is to midfield creativity what Liam Gallagher is to oratory.

Of course, David James survived courtesy of one of them refereeing decisions. Officials in this country seem to treat goalkeepers like doe-eyed, ice-bound seal-pups who are within an inch of getting clattered by some club-wielding marauder of a striker.

James knew there was nowt in Kranjcar's challenge, but increasingly the big stopper is becoming one of them rare breeds - a smart and honest English footballer.
Avram Grant and Harry RedknappAvram won the battle of the bosses
So Redknapp was vanquished and Avram Grant now has the chance to bite back at Chelsea and win the FA Cup Final. As I say, it's not going to happen, but the Cup is and always will be about the impossible dream, so let's not pour intimate waters on the Pompey chips just yet.

They'll be back at Wembley in a month's time. During which period they can invest in some crampons so they can stay upright on the Wembley surface.

Redknapp's right - the pitch is a disgrace. If we carry on like this with our playing surfaces, I fear for London 2012: we'll have Usain Bolt sprinting along on something resembling a water bed; Team GB's rowing eight will spend half the race wiping pondweed off their paddles; questions will be raised about the use of cobblestones in the velodrome; Beth Tweddle will be vaulting off a real horse and Tom Daley will be doing a full pike with triple flick-flack into a washing-up bowl.

It's just embarrassing. I can only imagine that come 15 May, Wembley will be covered in green nylon carpet tiles.

In the meantime, poor old Tiger is still getting it in the neck for not being happy at hitting rubbish shots. If you think he's bad, you should try playing golf with me.

My local course is scarred with evidence of my progress through it. There's a tree on the fourth fairway that's got my three-iron still lodged in it. In my rage I've actually chipped a frog out of the water and on to the 10th green.

And if you dig deep enough into a greenside bunker on the 17th, you'll find a rusty piece of junk that used to be my sand-wedge.

Well done, Phil Mickelson. Augusta got the decent family man it wanted as its winner. And Westwood need not berate himself. Mickelson could carve a half-decent ice-sculpture from a fairway iron. Top man.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.