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I Look At Portsmouth FC And Think...

Vital Manchester City newbie, Bundo sent us the following.

The FA Cup has thrown up some surprises over the years, however this year could possibly be one of the biggest in a long time as Portsmouth have had a wonderful run in, especially considering their financial predicament.

Since Manchester City's take over in 2008, Pompey's owners have not been quite as generous. They were looking at European football, with the likes of Krancjar, Crouch, Johnson, Distin, Defoe and of course Harry Redknapp leading the way, but then like a small child chewing his first 'Hubba Bubba'...the bubble burst. They just simply ran out of money (well, not as simple as that, but I am a reporter, not the Chancellor of the Exchequer) and this leads nicely to Harry Redknapp.

After working wonders by getting Pompey promoted to the Premier League in his second year in the job, and then keeping them up at 13th place, he was known as a hero there. Although he lost his said status when he left for Southampton in November 2004, 'Arry was back by December 2005 to keep Pompey up at 17th place and gain back his hero status. Harry's love affair with Pompey simply worked and it continued as the next two seasons Pompey took 9th and 8th place, plus an FA Cup.

But then it had to end as Pompey was forced to 'sell' their manager to Spurs for £5million, as it became apparent money was extremely low. He wasn't the only casualty too; Defoe, Crouch, Diarra, Glen Johnson, Kaboul, and Begovic all went as Pompey slipped down the table under Tony Adams and Paul Hart.

And I bring you to today under Avram Grant, where every week they are struggling to field a team, they've had days where their players have failed to be paid by the strap cashed owners, and after a points deduction they are now rock bottom, down and out.

After being 1-0 down with minutes to go against Coventry, Portsmouth got a slice of luck as they scored a wonderful own goal (an out of this world finish I may add) to get them to extra time. Into extra time they went and it looked like it would go to penalties, when on the last minute again - they scored - and won the game. This was then followed by another 2-1 win, against Sunderland as they proceeded further in the cup.

The cup run continued and then a very special fixture came up - Southampton. It looked close at 1-1 nearer to the end of the game however, somehow, some way, Pompey lived up to the title of '09/10 FA Cup surprise act' as they won 4-1 and got the bragging rights until their next derby (which could be nearer than we think).

The belief was there - could they go all the way? After getting past Birmingham 2-0 - into the semi's they went with their own fans urging them on...and others including yours truly.

The neutrals chose Portsmouth this year as their team, and Pompey did not let them down as their cup games were completely different to their league ones - they were winning. The likes of O'Hara, Boeteng and the manager, Avram Grant, added to the neutrals love for them in the cup as all three are very likable (even if Boeteng is a cocky so-and-so - his football is very likable) however, maybe the neutrals wanted them to win because of a frightening statistic.

Apart from Pompey themselves in 2008, the top four have dominated the FA Cup with Everton the last to win it out of the four in 94/95 (and then Spurs in 90/91) and to watch the top 4 being piped to the post by the likes of Pompey...would just be wonderful.

The semis beckoned them and the hat threw out Spurs and Harry Redknapp. With Wembley as the setting it kicked off, with Crouch, Defoe and Krancjar all playing their old team (O'Hara however couldn't play his parent team) and although Pompey had been officially relegated days earlier they were up for it and took the game into extra time.

Somehow in extra time and after Spurs dominated the rest of the game, on the 99th and the 117th minutes Pompey scored two, through Piqionne and Prince Boeteng. 'Prince Boeteng had completed the fairy-tale' the commentator kept repeating (I think he was proud of that pun) and he was right - they were through to the final. Both sides of the league sandwich were to meet in the FA Cup Final this year, and Avram Grant was to play his old team - Chelsea.

This is wonderful for Portsmouth and will get them a good few nicker for reaching the final, however controversy has also been thrown into the mixer; the team that wins the FA Cup every year gets a spot in the Europa League the following season and because Chelsea are already getting European football next season, Portsmouth should automatically get the spot. However, UEFA have said Portsmouth will not be allowed to enter the competition due to their financial problems.

So, on May 15th 2010 the top and bottom team of the Barclay Premier League will meet at Wembley for the FA Cup Final and who is to say that there won't be some more giant killing?

Good luck and 'Play Up Pompey'

Bundo, over and out.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Bundo Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 14 2010

Time: 9:37PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Bundo what a great and balanced article .. There's a lot of mutual respect between our two clubs and this article with only streghten that .. None of us are sure if we can beat Chelsea .. but one things for sure Pompey are Pompey and the players and fans and our new Messiah 'uncle Avram' will give it a hell of a go .. As you say ..Play up Pompey..
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 22:07:00

PS .. Would love to see this article on the Front Page of Vital Pompey too.. Can Johnny B and Rug arrange that ?
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 22:08:00

Chix - i've passed Rug details.
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 22:12:00

excellent..Play up Pompey...sunday was a great day..good luck in yer own darby this weekend
plymouth graham
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 22:24:00

Great article, it's good to know that other fans can see the s**t us Pompey fans have been through and not jump on the bandwagon with the press and slate the club for mis-management. My view is is that fans make the club and what goes on behind the scenes is not our fault. We pay for merchadise and tickets and go through all the ups and downs that supporting a club intails, and for money grabbing low-lives to cripple what we love is just criminal. I just hope that the people responsible for the mess our club is in are brought to justice because I'm sure there are a few off-shore bank accounts looking pretty healthy right now at the expense of our club! No such worries for you City lot and it's refreshing to see someone else competing up the top of the league, good luck to you guys.
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 22:25:00

IVe always been impressed with Pompey fans especially that fella with the drums and hat and all that lark at the games. I wish it was a team like United with their dodgey armchair fans that were having money problems ( i know they are but not as bad ) :D
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 22:46:00

Thanks Bundo, much appreciated.
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 22:48:00

Beleive it or not bundo but John 'Portsmouth Football Club' Westwood, and yes that is his actual name (Depol), gets turned away or his bell taken off him for safety reasons, or the best one I've heard is that it might insite violence should he dare support his team by ringing a bell!
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 22:58:00

well thats just silly to say the least - though to be fair he could swallow that whistle and seriously injure himself (sarcasm of course hah). They take his whistle off him and still give that kid behind me his horn ( i wouldnt mind if it wasnt so loud and right down my ear -stupid kid) some people. Puh
Report Abuse
14/04/2010 23:05:00

Forever blue, whatever the shade. Here's hoping we stop Chelsea winning the double & you stop Spurs getting 4th.
Report Abuse
15/04/2010 11:58:00

Do you pay your taxes? I do and I although I complain about it I know it is right and proper and should help to pay for hospitals, schools, our armed forces etc. Portsmouth have not thought that way for some considerable time and feel it is more important to ignore tax demands and instead buy players who they can't fully afford or indeed to pay the promised inflated wages and bonuses. Neither have they paid suppliers, both large and small some of whom have gone out of business due to their greed. Obviously, since HMRC issued a winding-up order and subsequently gone into administration the past (at least 5 years) has caught up with them. They have CHEATED you as a taxpayer, other clubs by winning with players they had no right to sign as they did not have sufficient money and their own fans who did not (and still don't)want to believe the truth. Portsmouth have been rotten to the core for years and sadly people still believe there is some sort of fairy tale down there.
Report Abuse
15/04/2010 15:31:00

R&W, I dont think anyone of us is denying what our previous owners did was right and we will all say that it was wrong, but Portsmouth fans are suffering as a result and this is where the fairytale comes from, with players who are not good enough and a manager who is basically doing voluntary working their asses off, getting to the semi final of the FA cup and giving us something to believe in again. This season as a Portsmouth fan has been hell and I would not wish it on any other football fan as its truely not fair. We have been lied to time and time again, been given false hope and seen our club fall to the ground piece by piece with the press standing by to make fools of us and make it that every bit more embarrasing. This fairytale is for Portsmouth fans to enjoy after what has been an awful time staring down the barrell and is something I hope you will never have to experience. You should blame our previous 'money' men for what has happened to this club as we do every day, its just that we are paying the price for it!
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15/04/2010 17:07:00

Couldnt have put it better myself Brucey. The situation imo couldnt have happened to a worse club (except my beloved City to be honest)
Report Abuse
15/04/2010 17:23:00

R&W - yes. They way the club was run before was wrong. However, shouldn't you be even more suppoertive towards the current administration, players (who are taking wage cuts), and manager (who isn't being paid at all) in order to get your money back. If we win the FA cup, that's going to be mean we have more to hand out at the end of the day!
Report Abuse
15/04/2010 22:32:00

and thankyou bundo - that was a great article!
Report Abuse
15/04/2010 22:33:00


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