Its here - bring on Milan!
Today is the type of day that we have been longing for for donkies years - European football is something that we have waited for an age as it is, but a plum tie against a European superpower such as AC Milan is pure fantasy stuff, so if you cannot be up for such a game you never will be!
We have only waited some 20-something years for Milan to uphold their end of the bargain, which was the promise of a game against Pompey as part of a deal that took Mark Hateley - pictured above, as if you did not know... well even if you did not after various writers used his image on the last 3 articles written, you should do now! - to the San Siro in 80s, but today this happens, even if they are not so much as fulfilling their end of the deal as having to, but we are playing them nevertheless.
A trip to Milan would have been fantastic, but the expense would have been huge - plus by being at Fratton it gives thousands more the opportunity to witness the game, whereas the numbers would have been far fewer heading to the San Siro. So, the way I see it this game is another of those 'rewards' that the Fratton faithful have earned over the years, so for it to be at the Park as I say gives plenty more the chance to see it - and we deserve it. Not to mention this gives us more of a chance of actually getting a result of course!
Plenty of big games have been played by Pompey over the years, but they do not come much bigger than a game against a world heavyweight such as Milan so I do not think that it is too much to expect something special tonight, from the players and the fans - European nights at Fratton are something we dreamt of, the opening one against Vitoria was special, this threatens to be magical...
The Milan players are not going to know what has hit them when they roll into town, the likes of Manyoo never like playing at Fratton and I suspect that Milan are going to be in a similar vein?
Lets not kid ourselves, even without the injuries that we have to key personnel this would be a tough, tough game to win against the superstars of Milan - even if a fair few might be so called 'reserves', but we need something to keep the European dream alive so we are not going to stroll around the pitch basking in awe of our opponents, these are professional footballers who want to get the job done and who would not want to say 'I was in a side that beat Milan!', or 'I scored the goal that beat Milan!' And from a crowd's point of view would it not just be another fantastic Pompey achievement to say 'I was in the crowd that saw Pompey beat Milan!' Do not think that this cannot happen, we have continued to defy the odds over the years!
Lets get Fratton rocking tonight, but come what may lets make sure that we enjoy this game.
Yep, it will be hard for us to get something, but is it even worth going, let alone playing, if you go into it with the mindset that 'we will not get anything from this game' - the stars of Milan is something that I will enjoy watching, but as always it is the boys in blue that will hold my attention more so do not write off our chances - below par side or not - of pulling off another remarkable Fratton result...
PLAY UP POMPEY!