Only because I have to – Portsmouth thoughts

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I know what I said in my match preview, but I didn’t really mean it when I said that Pompey were a shoo-in to win this game.  I definitely didn’t mean it when I said that all Paul Hart needed was to find a striker in need of a kick start and he’d get goals.  But none of that changes my lack of surprise about what happened.

Latics might be facing the new week with accusations of inconsistency ringing in their ears but they’ve brought that about in the most consistently Wigan Athletic way they could.  Ask Harry Redknapp, ask Peter Crouch, ask Benjani.


The regularity of Latics gifting goals and games to seeming no hopers in the premier league is getting beyond a joke it’s happened at least once in each of the last four seasons and whilst Latics are capable of performing like this, it will happen again, this.  Need a career saving result? The book a visit to the DW, all your dreams will be answered!

I don’t want to do Portsmouth a disservice but you don’t go from propping the division up, with barely a hope to cling to, to a four nil victory without some help from your opponents.  Goals might fall at bad times, but on four occasions?  That’s more than bad luck. 

Not having seen any more than fleeting highlights, it’s difficult, but you can’t help harking back to the Arsenal and United games.  There Latics collapsed under pressure and without an old head to drive them on in the middle of the park.  I’ll be kind and assume that something similar happened here, but I suppose that it’s just as possible that they played, really, really badly.

Taking the most pragmatic line, it’s only the size of this defeat that is worrying, it was an away game after all and Portsmouth have dominated other teams this season without the rewards their performances deserved.  There maybe plenty who disagree, but in the end the cliché still reads “you’ve got to look to win your home games and pick up what you can away from home”.

“but what about the lack of consistency?” Well isn’t that just a convenient line to give pundits something to talk about?  Latics might currently be operating on the extreme boundaries of it but every season we’ve had in the top flight has been a mix of highs and lows.  We might have been more consistent in the first half of last year, but consistently drab doesn’t make for happy fans.

And it all depends what sort of inconsistency you’re talking about.  I’ll admit that sides don’t become successful unless they can maintain some kind of it, but to the same extent you have to be consistently bad to go down. 

You’ve basically got two choices, panic like hell because you’re not sure whether Latics are good enough to stay up yet, or enjoy the ride.  The second choice stops you getting an ulcer and me a headache.  The first choice? Well surely we’re past the “gerrim sacked” stage now.  Aren’t we?

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