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Pompey's Popularity Growing Again

Off the back of our return to the top flight in 2003 Pompey would become most fans favourite second team. A slip in recent times has seen us fall in the popularity stakes but we're on the up again!

Pompey's battling displays and our never say die attitude during the 2003/04 season, with us also being under the guidance of the hugely popular Harry Redknapp, always a man people love to watch (his twitchy mannerisms can make interesting viewing alone!) and hear from, some of his one liners such as "I sorted out the formation last night lying in bed with the wife. When your husband's as ugly as me, you'd only want to talk football" are legendary.

The already mentioned reasons, not to mention the fans support would see us claimed as most fans favourite second team. Such fans performances like the one in the 5-1 Quarter Final FA Cup defeat by Arsenal at Fratton Park would only enhance our profile, seeing Thierry Henry hail our fans. We even saw him parading around Fratton with a Pompey shirt on (hence the selecting this glorious site for the articles image) if only…

Our popularity would continue for the majority of the 2004/05 season; however the arrival of Yugoslav Velimir Zajec in November 2004 as Director of Football, and the subsequent departure of Redknapp over this instalment and other issues, along with most notably the influx of below par Greek footballers not to mention a mediocre end to that season would see our popularity dwindle.

The first half of the 2005/06 season would see our popularity at it's lowest. The fans however would still rightly be praised for our constant performance but our on field displays under Frenchman Alain Perrin, who had arrived in April 2005 with Zajec returning upstairs, would be poor. Our exciting brand of hard grafting, gutsy, yet often quality showings had faded. We would ship goals regularly and often play poor football under Perrin.

Popular stars such as Patrick Berger, Steve Stone and the instrumental Arjan De Zeeuw would be released, only to be replaced on the whole with below average foreign imports. Laurent Robert's arrival brought some short term optimism, but this would be short lived as he constantly disrupted the side before his departure.

With Perrin sacked in November 2005 and Zajec moving on, due to suffering from ill health, thought to be motor neuron disease (often referred to as Lou Gehrigs disease, especially by our American friends) Redknapp would return in December, bringing with him renewed optimism both with most of our own, and other fans.

It took a while but the new signings eventually gelled and our never say die attitude would return and see us rocketing back up the popularity stakes as we performed what surely must go down as the greatest ever escape from relegation?

Building on last season's improvement coupled with our start to the 2006/07 season, with the way we are playing and the players we have signed our popularity can only grown once again. Only our own egos could ruin this, although knowing the Pompey folk as I do we are a modest bunch so we`ll not get carried away…

A lot of you may well not care if we are popular or not, but it is always nice to know that fellow supporters admire your club and fans. No matter how much people protest to the contrary nobody likes being unpopular.

In a poll conducted in Nuts Magazine last month we were languishing in 9th place with 5% of the vote, seeing us below an almost unheard of thing a few years ago an 8th placed Manchester United! This is how the full table would read

Liverpool 15%
West Ham United 10%
Wigan Athletic 9%
Newcastle 8.5%
Tottenham Hotspur 7%
Bolton 7%
Charlton 6%
Manchester United 6%
Portsmouth 5%
Manchester City 4%
Watford 3.5%
Reading 3.5%
Everton 3%
Blackburn 3%
Fulham 3%
Sheffield United 2.5%
Middlesbrough 2.5%
Chelsea 2%
Arsenal 1.5%
Aston Villa 1%

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 12 2006

Time: 5:07PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Not sure what to make of this one Pompeyrug statistics eh... LoL maybe Pompey fans read the Times or the daily ***** and not Nuts so they haven't voted for their own team. From the various visitors we have had to Vital pompey site we can all fully understanding of Villa's placing
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 17:33:00

Yep, Villa's right up there with Celtic in my current humble opinion.
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 18:59:00

" Nuts " Magazine eh ? Don't think I've seen that out here in Canada (unless it's the one with GWB on the cover).
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 19:03:00

Report Abuse
12/09/2006 19:13:00

We should be up there with the more popular clubs, we play good football, have great fans and at the moment are a wee bit up the league!
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 20:06:00

chartlon are above us?
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 20:16:00

oh nuts, the bastion of football, or is it the magazine that spotty oiks read when they can't get real girlfriends? What a total load of ***** having Villa at the bottom!
The Fear
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 20:19:00

hahaha its the nuts! It does have a bit on football (so i'm told!)
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 20:20:00

lol, careful there Les, you nearly admitted to being a spotty oik!!!
The Fear
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 20:23:00

almost but i think i got away with it
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 20:42:00

In a poll conducted last month!!! Who did they ask, all the tea ladies in the office block? What a load of bo**ocks or should i say nuts?
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 23:12:00

I believe the poll took place at the end of the month, so it's not as old as last month would suggest... The fact that the poll just happended to be in nuts or anywhere else was beside the point, the point being made, and to be honest something I'd wanted to write about for a while but haven't had time is our popularity, you could see this growing again at the tail end of last season, this seasons start will only enhance this. The poll and it's results were just a token gesture, and don't reflect real opinions anyway in my view, why would Villa be bottom I don't know...
Report Abuse
12/09/2006 23:45:00

Saw it last week somewhere and still cannot see how Wigan got where they are was it a sympathy vote or seomething, doesn't make sense.
Report Abuse
13/09/2006 00:36:00

You know why rugster, because nobody much likes them! because lots of em are orrible and you frequently get Villsw and others coming to our site and insulting people, which, we generally don't do. even if a clubs player has forearm smashed one of ours. Just a thought here I am very popular on the last Thursday of the month in my house.
Report Abuse
13/09/2006 00:37:00

a second team? What sort of genuine football fan has a second team? This is a poll for those fans living in towns without a football club who decide they suddenly like Liverpool more than Arsenal because they are on ITV more often. A waste of time.
The Rabbi
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13/09/2006 08:19:00

I agree Rabbi. As i said above, they most probably asked the tea ladies,lol.
Report Abuse
13/09/2006 12:25:00

It says ppompey are on the Up? Yet the article says we are in 9th place???? am i missing something here or does that imply we were actually even lower. Heaven forbid, has the planet gone mad???
Report Abuse
13/09/2006 13:59:00

One more question, the supporters who count Pompey as their second team. Who are their first team and where do these people live? I think we should be told. Any answers would be welcome....
The Rabbi
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13/09/2006 16:35:00

If you read the article it highlights we're I feel (at the end of the day this article is a point of view article, my point of view) we were at our highest and then the steady decline, since Redknapp's return it is on the up. I'd say during Zajec's and Perrin's time we'd have been far lower in the popularity states...
Report Abuse
13/09/2006 23:49:00

Plus why can't football fans have a favourite "second team?" This means your love for your team is any less... Football fans love football, and as such you admire other teams/players, which would more than likely lead you too see how they get on...
Report Abuse
13/09/2006 23:51:00

As much as I know how good Steven gerrard and ryan giggs are, I have no desire to become have Liverpool or Man U as my second team. People who have second teams are generally the sort of people who never go and watch their first team. I do have a soft spot for fareham Town though....
The Rabbi
Report Abuse
14/09/2006 09:20:00

Well Rabbi not everyone can afford to travel to watch their team, simply because you can't get to, or afford to get to see your team it makes you no less of a fan! I haven't been able to watch Pompey at Fratton, or elsewhere for a few years due to financial reasons and geographical location, this makes me no less of a fan. (I know that you didn't actually say not watching your team makes you less of a fan, but the comments seemed to maybe emply this, if I am wrong I am very sorry...) Saying only people who don't watch their team are the only people to have a "second team" is rubbish, why be afraid to admit you like so and so or so and so play good football, these kind of thoughts also make you no less of a fan, if anything they make you an even bigger fan of football as a whole...
Report Abuse
14/09/2006 10:29:00

If we finish in that position in the league then great.
Report Abuse
16/09/2006 01:21:00


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