Writer: Dan Brett
Date:Saturday March 13 2010
What a difference four days makes..
Well, what a week that's been. With the side set to run out at Wembley on the 11th April, I'm sure I'm not the only fan with something to finally smile about this season. Mostly impressed by the sheer determination of the side during the 2-0 win against Birmingham, it really enabled me to put the rest of the season into some form of perspective.
Having watched the side tear apart a Birmingham side who had achieved a fantastic season so far, amassing forty points before the FA Cup sixth round tie, it was a sight to behold, one that which a sell-out Fratton Park fully appreciated. With chants of 'Que Sera Sera' and 'Wembley!' ringing out of the stands in unison, it showed not just the Premier League, but fans' across the globe just what 'team spirit' and fantastic morale can do for a side's fortunes.
A lot of praise, for me, has to go yet again to Avram 'Yoda' Grant, who had somehow managed to raise the morale and confidence of the squad, in a week which also saw the club's administrator scrutinised by the HM Revenue and Customs, about the 'validity' of his appointment, which could've put the club's future in yet more uncertainty. However, the sheer class of Avram allowed him to continue with his job, with all his efforts paying off for ninety-minutes of what the FA Cup is really all about.
However, what a difference just a few days can make, as the same fixture was repeated, with complete contrast. Of course, I'll take a lot of it would've come from our players being fatigued from that 2-0 win, but a quote from Avram really struck home. He told Sky Sports: "The players want to win on the pitch. But of course when you always hear about the nine points, you know you cannot do anything."
Never a truer word spoken, and that's the resolution I hope this week will hold. It's not easy, in any job nor any walk of life to perform your best in what you're doing, if you have no idea if the 'goal posts', so to speak, are going to be moved just days later, and not for the better. We need resolution from the Premier League as soon as possible, so we can start to pave our way for the remainder of the year, allowing us to, if viable, retain our Premier League status.
Should this decision prove to fall down unfavourably upon us, I for one would love to see players like Aruna Dindane sent back to their clubs, allowing us to free up some funds, and bring back the likes of Matty Ritchie to gain some vital experience, with the hope of featuring them in the Championship next season.
The other revelation that from what I can tell has just come out, is Jamie O'Hara's request for Premier League football next season. Having once again quoting the Sky Sports site, he told them: "The fans have been fantastic to me here and I have really enjoyed it, but I will be going back to Tottenham in the summer. I'll have to sit down, have a chat with the gaffer and see what he wants from me.
"If he feels it's time for me to move, hopefully I've done enough this season for a few clubs to be interested. I feel I have done enough this season to be playing in the Premiership and that's what I'll be looking to do."
This is a story that could work one of two ways for us, as far as I see it. We've got a player who clearly wants to play at the top level, being the Premier League, meaning we've got a player that is going to want to perform as best as possible until the end of the season, but what about after that? Will we just be a vehicle in his success until he's got what he wants (much like many other footballers, I guess), meaning would we be better suited looking to bring in players that will be hear next season too?
Of course, I'll wish him all of the best in the future if that does mean away from Fratton Park, as the way he's performed this season under the circumstances not only here but at Tottenham too, he's a credit to his profession. I'm just hoping that should Avram stay for a year next season, Jamie might too..
That's all for this week,
Till next time!
Date:Saturday March 13 2010
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