Are We Ever Going On A European Tour?
But now we're an established top-half Premiership side, we have top class players, and it's in our sights. We came so so close last year; we're hungry for it, so it should be a realistic target this year - right?
But this year is much much harder than last. Man City, Everton, Aston Villa, West Ham - they all seem to have stronger sides this season than last and are all pushing hard for a UEFA cup place. Not only that, but last season the qualification went down to 7th spot. This year one of those places has already gone.
However this year - shock horror, one of the "Big 4" looks unlikely to qualify for a Champions League position. On the one hand this opens up a Champions League place to one of the chasing pack for a UEFA cup positions. On the other, it throws Liverpool into the mix for just one or possibly two UEFA spots.
Of course, we are still in the FA Cup. We had the nightmare draw nobody wanted, but we still believe we can do it. That's why I, for one, am leaving town at stupid o clock next Saturday.
But are we kidding ourselves? We have some fantastic players at Pompey, true world class. I believe our manager is a great manager, (although I recognise this has been up for debate on the site in the last few hours) who not only makes good signings, surprising ones that come good, knows football like the back of his hand and is an excellent motivator - and we've also got superb coaching staff, such as Tony Adams. But our performances lately have not been so great. We've been nicking 1-0 wins in lack-lustre performances. I don't know why - why aren't we better? Last season 'Arry was quoted as saying we were "punching above our weight". This season we are punching below. Why?
Yesterday Everton made us pay for this. Unfortunately, because it was Everton, and all credit to them, and the season they are having, and they way they are playing, it was a critical 6-pointer, and I'm not really sure where losing it leaves our UEFA cup ambition, but the word 'tatters' comes to mind.
Perhaps it will work as a wake-up call. It's a tough lesson - but if we take it, perhaps losing a crucial league game is better than a crucial cup match. However you slice it though, we've got to go to Old Trafford next Saturday and get a result for the first time. We have to pull rabbits out of the hat in a way that we haven't seen all season. After all we haven't been to Wembley since 1939 either. But we do have the quality in our side. And this could be our route into Europe as well. C'mon you blues!
PLAY UP POMPEYWritten by tracyc
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