Ten years ago, in the 1998/99 season, Portsmouth was going into administration, before Milan Mandaric; took over - however that still did not save us from the inevitable relegation fight the following year, when we narrowly avoided relegation when we won on the final day of the 2000/01 season, and Huddersfield lost. Go further back, to 1978, and Pompey were relegated to the fourth division!
How things have changed since then! Sol Campbell (before the Man City match) even dared suggest we should be looking on towards breaking into the top 4, Arsene Wenger also suggested that Pompey, alongside Man City, would challenge the top four all the way.
Then there's Southampton to compare ourselves too. Not long ago, there was one team in Hampshire struggling in the first division (and financially), and one playing premiership football. Now, the situations are somewhat reversed, and we even have an academy, that looks like it could have it's first few players break into the squad this year - in Matt Ritchie - and there look like there will be many other's following him. Liam O'Brien, Paris Cowan-Hall, too name just two!
And then there is this season. It will be something special - as our showing in the UEFA cup proved. The question of course, is "how special?" can we, or should we, better last seasons 8th placed finish? Can we challenge the top four? Can we win a cup?
The important thing though, is probably not to get too carried away. Our squad is not that strong. We are still building our team, and whilst the 20 million we spent on our strikers seems a lot, the 50 million Man City spent on there's puts it to shame. Man City look strong, and will only get stronger in January, Everton are always good, Villa look very impressive, Tottenham have an excellent selection of players, West Ham, Sunderland, Newcastle - even Middlesbrough and Wigan - are all targeting top half finishes, and getting into Europe. This is not going to be an easy season, and we should expect not to go out perfectly for every game - it's just not possible!
Our Next game against Tottenham is going to be Big. Not massive, as 6 points, considering our start to the season is still a good haul (a win against Middlesbrough, and draws against Everton, City and Tottenham, is probably what you would expect) - so if we lose that, and the carling cup game midweek, then there is no reason to panic.
Written by pompeycarpet.
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