Date:Sunday May 2 2010
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...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Sunday May 2 2010
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