Date:Tuesday April 3 2007
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.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Tuesday April 3 2007
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