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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

That is a man that WANTS to stay...right?

Saturday was always likely to be an emotional day, in many ways, and so it proved - although it was also, I felt, a cracking day both with the football and the all-round event of the day.

The game was highly entertaining, it could have ended up representing a cricket score had some of the finishing on either side been a bit better than it was at times, and had Wolves not found England's no.1 in top, top form!

Some players have done more than enough to book their cup final place, in the squad at least, whilst others still need to offer something more to be assured of this place, but it is all good and our decent run of form leading into the final is continuing to build - ok, the league table does not lie after a season - which is almost done, but given a 'leveller' playing field throughout most of the season without half of the off-the-field issues things would surely have been much different.

Nevertheless, this cannot be changed, so dwelling on the past does not help anything, looking to the future is a must now...

Jamie O'Hara strolled off with all the player of the year awards and his half time appreciation of this fact, and that shown to the fans was quality - as was the jest of the way some of this was done.

Clearly the guy, surely, will not be here next season, you just cannot see how it is possible as we stand, but I think he summed it up perfectly by saying 'it has been an honour to play for this club'...he is right, although to be fair I guess we have to say it has been an honour to see him play for us as well really.

After the parade around the field David James was given the microphone, it was funny when he told the fans to 'shut up' so he could speak - again, his words of appreciation were something that you felt, well I felt, were sincere and genuine. Given the chance, as I hope he is, he will be here next season I am sure.

In the immediate future he has to, given the inexperience from the man I see as his closest rival, Joe Hart, go into the world cup as England's no.1...

Then onto Uncle Avram. You literally could have heard a pin drop around Fratton Park as literally no one made a single word as he spoke! I have never know it that quiet, we were hung on his every word - of course rapturous applause was given between words.

If it was not clear before this, which it was lets face it, yesterday confirmed without a doubt that had it not been for the fans he would have left a long time ago - it was also clear that we genuinely have touched his heart and he has a feeling for us, like I have said before, that I can only ever remember another manager, in my lifetime, ever having. This man being Sir Alan Ball...

He spoke about points being taken, and actions being taken against us that have damaged us but the spirit never being broken, which it has not. Most importantly he spoke about the 'pride' and how this has been outstanding and we will go to the cup final with bucket loads of this pride.

This is what he said: 'if I could shake hands with every Pompey fan I would.

'If anyone in the world wants a lesson about passion and commitment, Fratton Park is the place.

'They can take points from us, put embargos on us and they can stop us from playing in Europe. But they cannot destroy our spirit.

'In two weeks all of us, players, staff and fans, will go to Wembley very proud. We did it!'

This has left little doubt in my mind that Uncle Avram wants to stay on as our manager, and if he does then I feel - given the chance - several players would as well, although sadly this is clearly a decision that will be made ONLY when he knows the constraints of his job next season, as 'passion' and 'pride' - such wonderful things and traits that I love seeing from the manager and players, along with the 'commitment' - can only be taken so far, without being given a chance to do something next season other options can, and will, be explored, in fact taken by this man who you would not begrudge would you?

He will achieve legendary status regardless as to what happens next!

Much is starting to fall into place, or at least into place as it 'could' or 'would' want to be mapped out for next season, yet these decision and actions that are needed to be made and done 'off-the-field' will determine so much for our future, and these being right, and in the clubs best interests, will make or break us.

All we can do is continue to sit and wait, lets just hope we have some positive news, and some concrete positive news in the not to distant future - although marching onto Everton and Wembley with this continued pride first is what we do to see out the season...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 2 2010

Time: 9:48AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think he wants to stay, but will not unless the chaos is removed and he can compete on a level playing field, if we have 17 points deducted next year we will have Brian Laws or Dowie in charge!
Report Abuse
02/05/2010 09:52:00

in his 24 games, we have got 21 points. That doesn't sound great - if that form had been translated into the whole premiership, (and without the points deduction), we would be on 33 points. However, that misses the picture. In those 24 games, we played the big 4 SEVEN times. Compare that to paul hart, whos hardest fixtures were arsenal away, and spurs and man city at home.
Report Abuse
02/05/2010 11:11:00

...basically, what i'm tring to say, is that he has done an amazing job. all our easy fixtures were in the first 7 or so games, which we lost. Since then, with a depleted squad, and harder fixtures, we've been doing amazingly. simple.
Report Abuse
02/05/2010 11:13:00

yea but remember carpet those 1st 7 games our squad had been together all of 5 minutes, IF SAF hadn't wasted the time at the beginning of the season and we had brought the players we have now in earlier we would have got something from those 7 easily (remember just how unlucky we where..) and then ofc its comes down to the -9 points and without that we'd actually be above hull so yea even with the -9 IF we had actually be prepared for the 1st 7 games we'd easily be sitting up with Bolton and co in 14th and had we had Grant all season then you can make that 10th or so... just such a shame they wasted so much time at the beginning..
Report Abuse
02/05/2010 12:08:00

Can't knock Avram and won't knock Paul Hart. Both have been honourable and in PHs case left with a great deal of dignity. Hope Avram stays, and more importantly hope the club sorts itself out so that he can stay. Great speeches yesterday, was getting my uniform back out cos' thought we were off to invade France!!!
Report Abuse
02/05/2010 13:57:00

I could only hear the game on the Quay, but afterwards when Jamo spoke to the crowd he made my skin tingle. And thank you to the 19thou plus crowd who made a fitting goodbye to the PL.
Report Abuse
02/05/2010 14:29:00

Loyaltyto Pompey is one thing but would you want to commit to work for a company if you weren't sure if it were going to actually exist next year? Never been in that situation myself but I know a couple of people who have and they needed to find a new job even though they enjoyed working for their company but couldn't afford (both financially and professionally) to hang around just to be made redundant. The solvency of the employer must be a big deciding factor for a lot of these players and staff.
Report Abuse
02/05/2010 16:16:00

PH was crap, we stayed upcos those around us performed worse than we did. Uncle Avi tactically has often been poor. He seems to have learnt but I wonder if the kick and rush of the championship will be too much for him; all that said he has been a revelation ( scum brothels aside) and I would be happy for him to stay on and that the club be in a position that he feels he can stay on.
Report Abuse
03/05/2010 01:27:00

It was a strange feeling, it was as though the season was over, and yet there's still matches to play. It was good to see another spirited performance, and Jamo was excellent! It was a good way to bow out (at home) anyway of the premier league.
Report Abuse
03/05/2010 08:52:00

At the risk of 'stating the bleeding obvious' nothing is decided about Avram staying or going, whatever the papers stay. I don't believe he knows yet either. I do believe he is 'open' to staying, he clearly loves the club and the fans, but he has also indicated, and who could blame him, that he has had enough of the financial turmoil. We don't know what's going to happen with the ownership of the club, it all depends on that. IF we get new owners in, IF they have the means and desire to take the club forward and IF they decide Avram is their man, then he will most likely stay. But that's 3 big 'if's and he will probably get better offers in the meantime while it all gets sorted out. And if he does go, I wish him well, he's become a true Pompey legend in a very short period of time.
Report Abuse
03/05/2010 08:58:00


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