Date:Saturday May 8 2010
7 years of Premiership football come to a close tomorrow afternoon,we arrived full of hope, achieved much and are leaving again to an uncertain future after chasing the dream.
Pompey at the moment must resemble a raggedy old bird, feathers bare and missing, talons yellowed and long, and eyes watery and glazed over, well that's how I picture a phoenix before it bursts into flames anyhow!
The Premiership has taken its toll on our club that is for sure, we have had highs I never thought I would ever see watching my team, amazing escapes inspired by now departed players, World class players have graced our decrepict changing rooms, and we won an old silver pot a couple of years back as well.
Now we are returning to the very familiar surroundings of what to me is the old Division 2, we have been spat out by the money machine of the Premier League, lessons will have to be learned if we are ever to return, foundations need laying, a new sensible owner with a business plan and a budget need installing, and the buzz word of the year 'infra-structure' needs to be put in place.
A few fans will not have experienced anything other than top flight football, now is Pompey's chance to bring a few new ones as well, if you eat at the top table you pay top dollar, now Pompey are back at Burger King the door is open to entice a new clientele, the football will be more cut price and a new generation of Pompey fans can be seduced by the lure of Fratton Park, it is like Bagpuss, old, tatty but we LOVE IT!
Phil Neville is out after a minor operation on his knee, Fellaini will not get the chance to prove his hair is bigger than Jamo's, while Dan Gosling is a long term.
Otherwise Moye's has a pretty full squad to choose from, old boy's Yakubu and Distin will be present, the former owes his Premiership introduction to Pompey, and years after leaving remains our top scorer in the Premiership years, that is pedigree enough for me. Distin was probably the best defender we had in our top tier journey, the Frenchman oozes class.
I liked Distin, he genuinely enjoyed playing for our club for the first 18 months of his time at Fratton, he was sold the dream and it then all collapsed, I for one don't blame him for departing back in August when the ship sprang leaks, he was class all the way through, well, apart form his 'doughnut' period when we lost 3-2 to Liverpool!
Pompey have a bit of a juggling act to perform today, O'Hara and Wilson need a game, but we also want them available for next weeks cup final, Yebda has a slight strain and will be rested, while Hughes has done his hamstring again.
A couple of the youngsters will feature no doubt, Lenny Sowah has been growing at left-back, while Joel Ward looks assured every time he has featured, Matt Ritchie is another who should feature.
Mokoena has a light knock also, while Mullins may make a return.
Realistically it may well be the last we see of nearly all of today's team, after the final most will return to parent clubs, some will leave on free contracts and anyone with market value will be sold.
Everton are one of those rare teams, we have beaten them, more than they have us! We lost 1 nil at Fratton this season, but achieved the double last term.
Last chance to dance in the greatest prediction league, place your bet here.
Nice little season closer against Chelsea
Date:Saturday May 8 2010
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