Date:Monday January 19 2009
Saturday 17th January, as the original date was, which of course became Sunday 18th May was always a date stencilled into our calendars. Of course the date changed for the live cameras of sky sports in what was a game that was probably likely to be shown live anyway, but after 'Jamie's Dad' went to Spurs it was a near certainty that this would be shown live - come on, we know sky well enough by now to know they would not miss an opportunity like this...
With West Ham playing Fulham at home on the same say, the closure of parts of the underground was ludicrous, but despite this, and the changes it meant - even difficulties at times - this did not deter people.
Of course, in media dramatisation fashion, they hyped up things to boiling point, we would go to Spurs and hurl a barrage of abuse as the deserters and they - Spurs fans - would be looking for retribution for their own that had got in trouble over the Sol Campbell issue, and of course give Tony Adams abuse for his previous - not at all though. I think that all concerned can come away with respect earned.
As was probably fairly clear to those watching on the box Campbell was booed every time he touch, or got anywhere near to the ball, but how he reacted to this, he raised his game and put in a top class display. When these came we - the Pompey fans - came back with 'when Sol went up to lift the FA Cup we were there, we were there'. Or sang 'we won the proper cup', which is the ultimate silencer, how can you respond to that! Defoe was booed or heckled with chants of 'w****r, w****r, w****r' whenever he touched, or came near to the ball, his missed chances - be that from saves, blocking his own teammates shots or missing horribly when he should have done better. It goes without saying that he was going to score, so this was no surprise at all...
Jamie's Dad got his, I heard a few, very quiet and very quickly drowned out songs at him that were not needed, but even these were not wishing anything untoward to him or his family, if anything did look to be starting it was soon drowned out by 'Play up Pompey', 'Tony Adams Blue and White Army' or the like - I think the message was clear, and would guess the twitching was more evident on Sunday afternoon as a result...
The job that we wanted to do off the pitch was done, and we did this to the credit of Portsmouth Football Club - all of us their could rightly walk away from White Hart Lane with our heads held high yesterday, we 'got the job done!'
Then of course, there is the fact of 'getting the job done on the pitch', did we? Without a doubt.
I think it was also evident that we now have a squad of players that do want to play for Pompey and will battle and give their all, we saw that yesterday and have seen this over the past few weeks - if we can bring in a couple of players before the end of the window, even if they are only 'on loan with a view to', then we will be more than ok. Adams keeps stressing that only those that want to sign will be signed - something that perhaps others might have learned or gone by in the past, as the long term plans were never thought of with this when some were signed, but then again long term plans did not come into that certain someone's thinking did they!
I was delighted for Dave Nugent, he gave two fingers up to Jamie's Dad and his celebration showed this and showed how much it meant to him - the fact that he wants to play for Portsmouth have never been shown more than it was from his celebration, our celebrations at the Lane echoed this. Maybe he is not the greatest player, but very much in the mould of player that Pompey fans love, someone that will never give in, will always try and never hides from his duties. He has that monkey off his back and now the pressure has been released, will he go on to score more goals this season? Well I certainly would not be at all surprised!
We, and Adams are getting there - he is learning more and more as time goes on and without a doubt becoming much more confident in front of the camera, often 'working' the media to his liking, and I think they are warming to him. The guy also has plenty of respect from those within the game and I think many could underestimate his 'pulling power'. His tactical calls have not always been right, but they are getting better - taking Nugent off for John Utaka had not gone down that well, but I think he had run himself into the ground and did not have much more, if anymore, to give - it was just a shame that the Nigerian offered little, or nothing yet again. But do we expect anything less now...
Two points dropped, or a point gained?
Clearly when you are ahead it is two points dropped, but anyone who tells you they would not have taken this prior to the game is a liar - it was a cracking game with the result the fairest one there could be I think. We have never got anything at White Hart Lane in the premier league have we, so is this not another positive...
I, and my fellow Vital Pompey writers, have agreed that we would not mention 'Jamie's Dad' by name again, but I think that was in certain contexts, but I cannot let this moment go without sharing a few thoughts that we - Ken, Richie and myself - overheard, or were told direct from some Spurs fans relating to him.
One fella said to us: 'he will get what he deserves today,' but the thing that gave us the biggest laugh of the day was something that we overheard someone saying: 'Harry Redknapp is honest'...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Monday January 19 2009
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