Date:Thursday May 28 2009
This time yesterday, well as late as the afternoon I would guess, the doom and gloom seemed to be all around us! We did not know which way we could turn without it looking like we were walking down an alley leading to nowhere, well at least nowhere that we wanted to go...
Fast forward to around 3pm and things starting to look up, by the early evening we felt like we had virtually gone into a parallel universe, one that we could not have imagined happening really - a billionaire Arabian property developer had seen an offer accepted and is now in the final throws of completing this swoop for 'little Pompey!'
Suddenly the summer looks amazingly bright, despite the rain I see through my window, and our future seems so much more secure - the uncertainty is going and we 'should' be able to have a nice relaxing summer looking forward to next season...
Despite our apparent 'new found wealth' I still think plenty of big decisions need to be made and plenty of players that 'could' have left still should leave, with so many of our current squad still having to look themselves long and hard in the mirror - this does not excuse some of their actions and performances, the commitment that some showed was shocking, and will linger in my memory, I know that!
So, we have a billionaire owner, and owner that has said he wanted a 'smallish club that he could build up over a number of years into something big and special'. Al Fahim looked at Newcastle, Spurs and West Ham but it was us that he took on!
Some will be expecting him to spend countless millions this summer - but none of us actually do know what will be spent anyway do we, but I hope that he has other plans, and to be honest if it were me these are the areas that I would be looking at, not in any specific order mind...
* Bring in a new manager: I have made my views perfectly clear on Paul Hart, and with the new owners secured there should be absolutely no reason why we do not allow him to return to his most influential role with the youth side of things and bring in someone else.
Names such as Sven Goran Eriksson, Frank Rijkaard and Slaven Bilic for starters should not be as out of reach as they might have appeared - with Brian Kidd already in place, the thought of Eriksson coming in after all is not so unthinkable is it, far from it - and to be fair the guy has a fantastic club record, and also does like to bring through youth as well, so a win win situation maybe?
* Secure the futures of players: Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch need to stay here, and I firmly believe that neither were looking to move away from Pompey but would have had to leave, so with the 'need' to sell them firmly removed now, why should we? Unless they want to go why let them go. They must both know where their bread is buttered eh?
* Offer 'some' free agents new deals: Give new contracts to the out of contract players that are worth keeping - some would still go without a doubt for me, if nothing else some of the younger players could, and would, do as much, if not more than them anyway!
* Redevelop Fratton Park: Lets get this done and dusted, why move into a new stadium, keep the home that we know and love. Besides 'if' England win the world cup bid we can get one then anyway, until then lets carry on as planned with our current home, making this bigger and better!
* Finally do the training ground: We need to get the bloody training ground sorted out once and for all; get the state of the art facilities that we have been trying to get sorted out for years, sorted out!
* Continue youth development: We must continue to plough money, and even more of it, into the youth development scheme. This is still our future but with even more money to throw at this we can bring through even more players to make our future even brighter - Arsenal have the right idea with their youth set-up, there is absolutely no reason why we should not model ourselves on them in this area now...
Also, speaking of youth development lets bring some of these through next season, something that I suspect was planned anyway - so 'if they are good enough they are old enough' and all that!
* Bring in some new players: I still maintain my thoughts that if we separate the wheat from the chaff in the current squad, bring through some of the kids into it and add a few names to what we have then this squad alone is more than good enough to be a top 10 side without a shadow of a doubt.
Who would I bring in?
We have some quality as it is, assuming we can keep most of that I would be looking to bring back in some heart and soul, and this heart and soul for me would be players like Gary O'Neil, Matty Taylor, Benjani and Pedro Mendes - yep I know that is going back, and yep I also know at the time most were sold for a reason, as 'better quality' was brought in, but balancing this quality with hard work, graft and dedication is also needed - although to be fair none of them are slouches are they! We could bring the lot in for £20m or thereabouts methinks...
I would still be looking at quality cheaper/free agents, such as, and off the top of my head Javier Saviola at Barcelona, I hear he is out of contract in the summer as is Citeh's Daniel Sturridge. A cheaper option could be the highly talented Giovani dos Santos. I know this might seem 'over the top', but 'if' he could stay fit then someone like Michael Owen could be a realistic option now could he not? He is out of contract, clubs will not exactly be queuing up for him so would he not be worth a cheeky punt?
So, there you have it, just my own thoughts - so far 'the summer of truth' I wanted has started pretty well, we have been sold, which was a must, now lets hope we can keep what we want to keep and go about things the right way to put Pompey back on the map for the right reasons!
I have always hoped we would have another 'European tour', but thought the chances of this had gone, but maybe in time, and time is what we need, and what I want us to do this over, there is a chance that we could still see this again - and I for one cannot wait, as I loved these times and would love to experience them again!
Whatever though, the underlining factor that I must stress is 'I hope that we do things the right way', which means not tossing away money left right and center but redeveloping Fratton, sorting out the training ground, continuing to develop youth and giving them the chance, keeping as many of the quality - yet fully committed players - as we can and bringing in others, at reasonable amounts - and the right type, along with a manager and of course treating us, the fans with respect, honesty and fairness... This all seems more than fair right?
As always, share you own thoughts below please guys...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Thursday May 28 2009
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