Date:Thursday January 15 2009
The abuse that Sol Campbell received against Spurs at Fratton earlier in the season was 'understandable', even 'acceptable' but a small minority of Spurs fans took this abuse to a whole new level, and a level that is not needed and will not be tolerated - this Sunday we come face to face with our former 'messiah' Harry Redknapp, a man who could almost quite literally walk on water, and the South Coast has plenty of that, at times I believe that he felt he actually could but I do not know if he ever tried though?
I say give him the abuse and grief that he deserves - and despite everything that he did do for Pompey the fella does without a shadow of a doubt deserve this, but lets keep it at that and nothing more!
We cannot expect, or even want, one rule for abuse aimed at Campbell and then expect to get away with similar treatment of Redknapp, no matter how we feel, lets prove we are better than this and not give the media further missiles to throw at us - and God know we have enough aimed in our direction from them as it is...
Yep, I appreciate everything that Redknapp did for us - and of course Jermain Defoe, who will also get his fair share of abuse of course, and of course again rightly so! Under him we not only survived, we thrived and grew into something else, moving onto a whole new level culminating in our FA cup win last season - however we now seem to be paying a heavy, heavy price for the lavish spending that he wanted, and for that our owner Sacha Gaydamak cannot escape blame either, but to be fair he does seem to be making the right moves and noises to rectify this.
The fella enabled me to have some of the greatest days of my life following Pompey - although that is not to say that 'the dark days' did not bring me joy, as they did, to be honest I actually enjoyed the whole thing more, clearly the winning of trophies and playing in Europe cannot be bettered but great success does not always bring the level of great enjoyment one might hope - if this makes sense?
Anyway, as I so often do I digress... Anyone that says 'Pompey fans should be grateful for what he did for the club and should understand why he moved on' for me does not understand the situation, or what the man did to Pompey fans when he walked away... again! Bloody walking out on us once to end up where he did was bad enough, but to do this twice is something else!
Once again, as said, whilst I appreciate what he did for the club his true colours were once again shown, well more so in fact. The first time he left there was a devastation the likes of which I, and many others had never felt before - this soon turned to immense anger when he pitched up at 'the lot down the road' before the dust had even settled. Had he betrayed us then for what he thought was a 'golden goose' in the shape of Scum? Well he promised this was not what he was doing, but he did - probably to a fair degree to 'spite' Milan Mandaric, and both have massive egos that need massaging and if one was getting his massaged more than the other neither liked it and Harry finally cracked.
It took a bloody brave man to return, well in fact two of them, Mandaric to swallow his pride and ask him back and Redknapp to actually have the balls to come back given the 'ultimate betrayal' he had just done to the club - well he came back, some never fully accepted him again, to be honest I know of some that never accepted him in the first place as they did not like the fella or what he stood for in the game, but he was back nevertheless. We know what happened in the couple of years to follow - but his true colours was well and truly shown when he swanned off, no strike that, 'snuck off like a thief in the night' to go to Spurs.
I have felt betrayed, cheated, lied to and made to feel a mug ever since to be honest - I 'almost' worshiped the ground he walked on, yep I could not stand some things that he did but I accepted it as he was 'our 'Arry'. I backed him when others did not, stood by him and maybe even 'turned a blind eye', more the fool me! I genuinely fell for his 'I am Pompey til I die' the 'I cannot betray the fans again' and the like, but he could. 'Maybe' if he had just been honest, genuine and up front and said 'look, I love it at Pompey but I think I have done all I can, which I do not think he had, and Spurs is not a job I can turn down' I could have swallowed it more - even though it would have still have that betrayal, lying about never leaving, but that would have shown some 'honesty' even though to a large degree it would not have really been honesty anyway. It was his 'Pompey sold me as they need the money' and references to our 'financial troubles' - largely down to him anyway! - his sudden allegiance to Spurs and claims of 'I am a Spurs fan and always have been', but most of all his referral to us as 'a good little club' that got to me.
Truth was Harry Redknapp did what was best for Harry Redknapp like he always has and always will.
He knew the financial constraints he would have to work under, he knew that players had to be sold and he knew he did not want to be a part of it, he did not want the team that 'he' had assembled to be dismantled and sold off one by one to repay the price that we had paid for success. 'If' he really was Pompey til he died then he would have accepted this, stuck with the club despite this and helped us rebuild, but that is not in the Redknapp way of thinking - build something up, take all the praise and credit for it that he can and then swan off when things start going wrong, no doubt he will do the same with Spurs down the line... To top things off he has since constantly mentioned players by name in the hope of unsettling them and/or turning their heads - succeeding in tempting Defoe back to Spurs, granted he probably did not have to try to hard to get the spoilt little 'Oliver wanna be' back at Spurs.
Things might not be going right without him, but in some ways him going might actually be better for us in the long run, ok maybe the 'promised land' might not be reached but we can get Portsmouth Football Club back to being that and not the Harry Redknapp Football Club it had begun. Bloody hell if 'everything' that has been good about Pompey over the past few years has only been good because of Harry Redknapp then he really must be 'the second coming' - things were not all rosy under him in the months before he left, take away the cup win and what would he have done? The pressure would not have been on him or us though as he has the media in his pocket - that, for me is the main difference for us now, we do not have that 'safety blanket' to protect us, and this lack of protection is seeing us slaughtered in the media and leaving heads all over the place, and he is doing his part to help this...
As for Sunday, I must admit that this is not a game that I am not looking forward to going to at all - but I had already committed to 'adding' White Hart Lane to the list this season, as something has constantly come up in the past few seasons to stop me from going, but I am not looking forward to it. I rarely go to a game with any 'real fear', but I seriously travel to London with concerns that things might turn 'nasty' - something that nobody wants, although some might. I sincerely hope that the fans heed the warning from the club Pompey issue a message to fans - click here.
As far as the treatment he will get goes - 'booing', 'shouting and swearing' - within reason - at him and singing chants such as 'who the f**k is Harry Redknapp' and the like are more than fair enough, and acceptable - players and managers that part company with a club the way he and of course Defoe did deserve the rough treatment, and cannot expect anything other, but no one deserves to be hounded with chants and songs saying 'you hope they die', 'contract HIV' or you want 'their family to die' either! Animals, that is what people that come out with that type of thing are, although this is doing an injustice to animals - and there is no place for that in the world in general let alone football, again plead with fans not to soil the name of Portsmouth Football Club - do not disgrace us!
I love the banner that was pictured after he buggered off again 'once forgiven, twice forgotten', his legacy at the club should have lived on and on forever but this second betrayal will mean that this legacy cannot be in place with so many - and for that he has only himself to blame...
We will without doubt get the 'I do not know what I have done wrong' speech and the 'I gave these fans the greatest days of their life, I took them from the likes of Rotherham on a Tuesday night to Wembley and the FA cup final', but he knows as well as you and I what 'he has done wrong', the man has shown once and for all that he does not have an ounce of loyalty in him and he is out only for number one - anyone that spills out the 'he could have gone to Newcastle but did not' rubbish can keep it, for me the only reason he did not go there was not because of his Sandbanks home - ok a major reason, the real one for me was the fact that Newcastle were in such a state he was better off staying with us, had Mike Ashley agreed to his terms, that being got out the big brush and sweep away everything he did not want and promised him riches he would have gone, as he could not get that he did not. As soon as Daniel Levy did this at Spurs is was abundantly clear that they would pamper to him.
I like to think of this as 'my closure' on the whole Redknapp issue, I have tried to tell myself this will be all he wrote on him and hope this will come after the game on Sunday, win, lose or draw. I think that his betrayal this time will stay with me for the rest of my days but getting Sunday, and then maybe the first meeting at Fratton, out of the way will do this - jeez preventing Defoe from scoring and getting 3pts will mean the world to me though, even more so as I will be there, worried or not :-)
So, going full circle, a former hero becomes adversary for the first time - in the flesh anyway - lets give Redknapp the abuse that he deserves but as said I yet again plead with fans, and cannot do it enough, do not soil the name of Portsmouth Football Club, do not disgrace us, lets vent our feelings but lets keep it within the realms of decency.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Thursday January 15 2009
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