An open letter to Avram Grant!
Dear Mr Grant
Footballers, manager, coaches, owners etc. come and go, this, as sure as light will follow the darkness of night, is a fact of life in football - and we all accept this, hence why I rarely, if ever, make an open ended plea for someone in this field to 'stick around,' as it does not often happen...
Like I say 'change' is a fact of life, and we get this but sometimes you really hope that this change does not happen, as it is not always needed. These changes might be a fact of life, so we get it, with the only real constant in football that you can rely on really are the fans - these will not change, or at least should not change, these really are 'Pompey Til I Die.'
Most fans are 'born into a club,' whatever club, so much like your family the football family chooses you, you cannot/should not change this - much like you cannot change your family, nor would you want to, well you should not want to, then again some are less fortunate than others. This family sticks together through thick and thin, much like a football family does.
I am privileged enough, and I DO think it a privilege and an honour, to have born into being a Pompey fan - this is in my blood and I am proud of this fact, and truly thankful that this is the case. Although those that have not been born into being a Pompey fan, for whatever reason they decide to become this once they are they STAY a Pompey fan, you get that bug and cannot shake off this virus, although this is one virus that you do not want to get rid of!
Some of the personalities that come and go over the years you are happy to see the back of, some cannot wait to jump ship and like a rat abandon this ship without a seconds hesitation or thought. Some you can understand doing this more than others and if ANYONE had as much 'right' or 'reason' to have done this it would be you, Avram Grant, right?
You have had several opportunities to have left, but did not - that, for me, makes you and bigger and better man than most people over the years and for that alone you will go down in history as a 'legend' really.
You understand and respect the qualities, values and morale's that us Pompey fans come to expect. We DO NOT care if we are spanked week-in-week-out so long as we know that those representing us care and will give it everything that they have got, even if this is not good enough. We want them to understand, appreciate and respect us and you really get what it is to be associated with Portsmouth Football Club, you understand the fans.
You have earned the right to the freedom of the city - I know there are campaigns for this, so they get my backing. If you wanted to ride a herd of sheep around Fratton Park, or opted to lead a flog of Geese down Commercial Road or whatever this freedom entitles you to do, do it but 'if' you do decide to walk away at the end of the season, so be it, I will not hold this against you at all but truly hope that you have managed to find enough of Pompey in your heart to understand how much it would mean to us for you to hang around, which again - to be fair - I think you probably do, then I would be more than happy.
In all honesty I have, and no doubt would again, question some of the tactics at times - but then again what football fan does not? Is this not our right as football fans and I am sure that the you get, and understand this! In fact I am certain you do, as you 'get it.' Some of the more recent cries against your tactics have seriously confused me though as you were literally 'down to the bare bones,' what else could you do! Although if there was ever a Pompey manager that deserves to be given the chance to build, and rebuild is probably what you will have to do, then it is you.
For me Portsmouth, as a club and a city, needs a leader like Avram Grant I feel and the strength this would give the whole community, not just the club, could be 'priceless!' Of course from a football clubs points of view solely, 'if' you are given this opportunity, and feel you want to accept this challenge one more, I feel that you would be able to convince some of those that would have otherwise left to stay on, whilst convincing others to join up and help rebuild and revitalise this club.
I have found it hard to sing many people's name in the 'blue and white army' sense as easily as I have yours since (Sir) Alan Ball. I knew that when singing this he, like you, would really understand this as he too really appreciated us and knew how much this club meant to us so I have no problem singing 'Avram Grant's blue and white army,' and sincerely hope to be singing this again next season too...
PLAY UP POMPEY!