Vital Football

Still A Season To Remember

Still A Season To Remember

With just seven games to play another season is drawing to an end already! The constant link with this star player and that star player with Pompey looking to pay out ten million pounds for one, fifteen for another, which, let's be honest we were never realistically going to pay money like that, seems like only yesterday.

A start that saw us among the countries elite for a good number of months looked as though it could bring us a place in a European competition next season, this kind of thing is unheard of for the little south coast side that is Pompey! Yep, we have slipped away since the turn of the year but whatever happens now it has still been a memorable season and a season I will not forget quickly. It is now easy to say it has been a great season whatever happens but it really has. So many of you were happy for us to just avoid relegation this season, don't try pretending this was not the case, whilst others, including myself never feared this in the slighted and hoped for something more realistic, a mid table finish. Punching above our weight, which is what we have done for the most part this season should see us finish in the top ten for this first time in over 50 years and this would be a remarkable turnabout and achievement.

On the whole we have much the same squad of players, with the exception of a few the same eleven that turned out last season, well certainly the latter stages so it is some transformation. Harry Redknapp has brought in some quality players but when you look, and this is in no way a dig at who he has signed, only two are genuine world class footballers that have been so for a decade or more, with little or no blips during this time, these two being Sol Campbell and David James. Glenn Johnson is quality, but I'm still unsure on him. Lauren brilliant, I am happy for him to replace Johnson. You don't play for Arsenal as long as he did if you do not have the quality he does. Niko Kranjcar will be a star, just hope this star shines at Fratton Park, has shown glimpses with Pompey at times. Kanu has been world class during his career, as has Andrew Cole but both arrived past their prime, Cole undoubtedly. Kanu still has something to offer but is not in the class of Campbell and James. If we can add another player or two with similar quality, ideally the right side of thirty then next season will be even better.

However, the season isn't over yet though!

We still have seven games to play but to achieve the dream that for so long looked possible of seeing Pompey possibly playing on a Thursday night in some dodgy Ukrainian city with an even more dodgy reception on channel five is fading but is not yet done. Sixth will be good enough, seventh, maybe even eighth may very well be enough for a European placing, with seventh, maybe even eighth being the intertoto cup spot so we still have a chance. But for this we will have to realistically win the majority of our games left, and these, although at home include United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Come through these three unbeaten and you never know but with our form since the turn of the year we will need something special. Something like last seasons survival run-in performances to achieve this. The constant stop start of 2007 due to the FA cup and international breaks hasn't helped though, I fully believe this, no momentum could be gained.

So whatever happens now I am still more than proud of this season's achievement, which whatever you think it has been. Adding a mere two players, albeit in key areas with genuine world-class credentials stretching back over a decade to a squad to see such a dramatic turnabout in fortunes can't be bad can it. We've had our highs; we`ve had our lows. It would be great to go out with more highs starting with three points to dent United's title challenge on Saturday. Victory is unlikely but I'll not bet against it.


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

Date:Tuesday April 3 2007
Time: 10:44AM


Any hope of Europe for next season is now just about gone. We wasted our time far too long on the likes of Cole and Kanu when sentiment is all that kept them in a blue shirt. What we needed when it mattered was a proven goalscorer, we didn't get one in the January Sales but we did have Toddy and also Niko - neither had a fair chance to prove themselves. So now our European dream will have to remain a dream - there is of course always next season and hopefully HR will not be so bloody stubborn then and face the fact that Kanu simply can't do nor will do. We lacked conviction, commitment and consistency, which is why we have slipped and others have climbed - it is also why the likes of us will never achieve the dream if we don't apply ourselves more convincingly. Far too many of our players gave up after we reached safety, appearing to use Pompey as a restful place by the seaside. They need to take a good hard long look at themselves and realise that all we want is honesty from our players. I am happy with the fact we are in the top flight again fro another season but I am also disappointed with the way we have crumbled since Christmas. Just one league win since then is all we have mustered, which is relegation fodder under normal circumstances. All we have actually done this season is turn it upside down from those before. We normally have a very poor two thirds start to the season followed by an outstanding last third - this time we've done it the other way round, a good third followed by two poor thirds. Onwards and upwards they say, let's see what signings we make in the summer - get the money out Sasha and stop faffing about with silly points Storrie, Harry you need to wake up a bit too as this should have been an outstanding season according to you. It has been in some ways, but not the way you painted it.
03/04/2007 11:13:00
We can't always look at the positives, have to look at the negatives also of course but why can't you do this more often TruePompeyBlue... Not trying to be funny mate but glass is almost always half emtpy with you and rarely half full... I feel that we don't always have to put a negative spin on things on this site, nor can we always a positive one (which maybe I do?)... I guess it gains a reaction by doing so though...
03/04/2007 13:08:00
Well, you are right buddy. If pompey dont reach europe its not the end of my world. Harry keeps hiding behind the excuse that we've done far better than last season - yes we have ...BUT... the team should do!! You play to win and do the best you can do otherwise whats the point. Losing because we have played well and tried to score goals instead of just sitting back im happy with (ie) effort, commitment and determination. Reaching 40 points, losing and playing defencive football without any heart is a total shambles!! You can see the work horses - Taylor, Hughes, O'neil, Toddy, Benji but Harry is too stubborn to use them all. Come on Harry we can see it!! Will You??
03/04/2007 13:16:00
Maybe we got to safety and some just gave up, I don't know and they shouldn't... This is new territory for us though, we aren't used to having a season end by early January are we and maybe this surprised some? This isn't right as they are paid to do something we would love to do but the pluses still far outweight the minuses. Making one man, in most instances Kanu as a scapegoat isn't fair though... I would love to see Benjani and Toddy up top together, we are now at a point where we have pretty much nothing to lose so give it a go, maybe this could see some hunger return for Kanu and he may put up more of a fight to get back in, if not let him play out his Pompey career on the bench... It was all about building this season, we've started to build let's see what happens next season if we get to a similar position, one that will not be new to us and it happens again I'll be livid...
03/04/2007 13:29:00
Fair point, but if you look at the wealth of experience its not actually new to the players, (James,Cambpell,Lauren,Traore, Kranjkar,Kanu and even Benji) etc etc have all played some form of top football, whether it may be international, champions league or top ten premier league. For me its not about Europe for me its about performane and keeping it up. This season we must learn from these mistakes and put right next season.
03/04/2007 13:40:00
No, my glass is always half full Pompeyrug, not half empty. But I've been watching Pompey for over 20 years now and whilst this is without doubt our best season for many years, it cannot and should not gloss over areas of our performance that has been poor. When you look at the likes of the usual top clubs, they focus on the inadequacies and then make their improvements in those areas. are we to sit back and not concern ourselves with these points? Are you going to be happy with mid-table mediocrity for eternity? Any true supporter will always want the best for his club, identifying problems within that club does not make a person negative - more realistic than anything.

But my gripe in general is that of under-performing "stars" who it appears feel they have a right to play in favour of anyone else when in fact they don't even deserve to play in the reserves as their performances have been consistently poor. Hence why I feel Toddy should have a chance.

As far as this season is concerned - yes it's been a good one, one that can and should be built on but only time will tell if this is ever attempted.
03/04/2007 14:11:00
I will certainly not settle for mid table mediocrity indefinitely but this season I would have, maybe now I will have too… We cannot run before we can walk, I've said it before Rome wasn't built in a day to which some replied 'but it fell in one'… The players have not given enough in 2007; this is not good enough as they get paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to do something we would do for free but I say let's see what happens next season, use this as a stepping-stone to something better… We look at our shortcomings but lets not also forget what strides we've made... We were still among the favourites for the drop even after Sol, Jamo and co arrived…
03/04/2007 16:36:00
ruggers, True pompey blue is right we had it and we are in the process of blowing it. No Rome wasnt built in a day but it pretty much was knocked down in one. Winning is everything in this game or why bother to compete (DOH !! actually this year we havent). Being practical think of the dosh, spondoolies, shekels and euros we would have been able to spend due to the up lift in TV monies received. So its important that we dont slack until the end of the season. as the dapper don said, the fat ****** might be clearing her throat but she aint yet got to the stage.... just before he got life.
03/04/2007 19:24:00
i think if you look at redknapps transfer record over his time at fratton, he will always rely on seasoned campaigners first and foremost, kranjcar could be the most skillful player in a blue shirt for years, bur harry seems reluctant to risk his flair in matches where it would leave us lacking in midfield, taylor had a storming mid season but seems to have drifted out of the first 11
03/04/2007 20:42:00
The Best Season for years is not yet proven. We are 9th and can still finish below 13th what with all the top 4 teams bar Chelsea coming to Fratton - and we can't beat alot of the others. The remaining away games are not easy, Watford proved that against Chelsea. I will not really reflect on our season as a whole until it is over. Some horses and greyhounds start off pretty fast, but it is where they end up over the finishing line that counts. Top 10 will be a wonderful achievement but on current form I have my doubts. I am thinking to more like 12th or 13th because we simply won't be a match for the likes of United. My crystal ball sees us scoring in a 1-3 loss.
04/04/2007 03:51:00
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