Sunday's reality check

Posted by HARSH on February 23, 2004, 07:41:59 PM

I was one of the unfortunates to make the trip down to Pompey yesterday. I say unfortunate, not because I have no pride when supporting my team, but because I was conned into paying £29 for a ticket to a stand with no roof, no toilets, a pathetic refreshment stand and then had to stand in the freezing cold whilst the players I paid to support and watch didn't bother to turn up at all.

So after a quick chorus of "where the fuckin' hell's the roof" and "shitty ground", we focused on the job at hand roaring our boys into the next round of the FA Cup. Maybe I was complacent before the game, but I fully expected them to batter Pompey. I was expecting commitment, fire, skill and a team that wanted to win the game.

Instead we saw a captain who had one ear on the bench to see if he was about to become a father, (totally understandable, despite what Shanks said life and death is more important than football), a right back who was trying to skin players in his own half, a striker who seems to expect the team to give him tap-ins and another striker who thinks he's a centre back. Ok so we were playing the age old square pegs in round holes game again then.

A while back I wrote a piece on here entitled "Dear Gerard, I'm a Liverpool fan". I sent it off to the club and heard nothing back, but for a while after I thought I had seen the answer on the pitch. Players were fighting for possession and at least were working hard in games. There was some evidence of that yesterday, but it was more reminiscent of headless chickens than an organised Premier League team.

So what we saw was indicative of what we had seen all season. players either not bothering or trying too hard. Those that can't be bothered should be left out. The headless chickens need to be organised. The blame whilst shared by the players ultimately falls at the feet of the manager and his coaches.

So what do we do now? Two thirds of the way through the season, no FA Cup, no League Cup and the Premier League title gone before Christmas. Only the Uefa Cup left to fight for and to be honest I doubt we will get very far in that the way we are playing.

Lots of cries of "sack the manager", "sell Owen", and also, well, just lots of crying from the fans. Stevie G will be getting used to that pretty soon when the baby arrives ... let's just hope it doesn't affect his performances, becuase he's the only one saving us from annhilation by all the teams we play.

So do we sack GH and try and get someone in to save our season? In my opinion no, we keep GH until the end of the season and take stock then. The reasoning behind this is simple. Who would we get now? Look at the example Spurs have set, David Pleat is not their long term choice, he's a caretaker and the club is in a mess ... if you want to get rid of your manager, make sure you have someone in mind who can take over quickly.

Sacking GH now will end our chances of 4th place and we may lose the Cisse deal. Who wants to knee jerk the baby out with the bath water? Not me.

I like GH as a person but he's not endearing himself to me as a manager right now. So the pragmatic way to look at this, and believe me it's taken a good 24 hours to get away from the emotional side of it, is to get behind the team, and manager between now and the end of the season.

I'll be there on Thursday demonstrating. Demonstrating what it means to me to lose my voice shouting for the team, trying to will them into the next round.

That's all I can do for now. What will you do?

© Harsh 2004

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