Vital Football

Does success suit Pompey Fans?

Does success suit Pompey Fans?
I personally, as all Pompey Fans should be, are extremely chuffed living the dream that is the FA Cup, loitering around the upper reaches of the Premier League and now the UEFA Cup competition. However, we still fail to fill our stadium, often noting empty seats at the Milton End and South Upper, yet a reported 200,000 fans(?) turned out to see the FA Cup come to Pompey in that glorious day in May.

I remember watching Pompey play Derby last season, and it was during that game that I finally came to conclusion that success doesn't make our fans necessarily passionate, but defiance does!! Having our backs to the wall brings out the best in our fans. Derby took the lead in that game, and suddenly the noise levels rose significantly to the point it kind of mirrored the days when we were scrapping in the lower reaches of the Championship; We scored, we took the lead, then it was if the passion had been sucked out of the fans and quietness descended, like I said, it doesn't suit our fans - or are our expectations set too high?

It could be that with success comes cost, more games, more expense, less attendance, less passion, I don't know, but one thing is for sure, we will have that passion and atmosphere against AC Milan as we'll not be able to help ourselves from showing off to Europe as to who we are (clapping to Mike Oldfield???), yet come the Fulham game, we'll be back to the same old routine, empty seats, fragmented passion and hopefully a win.

This is just my personal take and observation, I for one, live and breath Pompey and hope that the new generation of fans coming through are not complacent enough to expect the kind of success we have experienced over the recent past. Go grab some archives of our dark days and crank up the volume and take a listen.....

Written by Different Gravy.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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Date:Tuesday October 21 2008
Time: 6:53AM


This is a great article and it did deserve to be moved on to the front page. It is a little early to go into a full rant right now, so I will come back on later to express my opinions.
21/10/2008 08:53:00
A good article but no one answer to the qusetion. Those of us who have been going 30 years + do crave & suit the success when we remember watching Pompey in Div 4. There are those who are fortunate that they can go to most/all home games. However a lot can't & the limit of not being able to pay on the day doesn't help. Too many awkward questions & answers regarding tickets to go on about them now. Passion is different, it is shown at different times & usually at the very best & worst of times but less inbetween. I'll happily settle for everything we have now on the pitch as these are the best of times. And when they are not you can't take away the memories.
21/10/2008 09:34:00
I think what Matt is saying is we can die happy and I would definitely agree with that. From Division 4 to winning the FA Cup at Wembley, top half of Premier League AND European football!!
21/10/2008 13:33:00
Thought-provoking stuff. As a kid/young adult I used to watch Arsenal on the North Bank at Highbury. One season they finished 17th in the old first division and yet the noise and atmosphere was better than anything generated in recent years, either at Highbury or the Emirates. Same goes for Chelsea - I have a friend who's followed them since the 70's at the Bridge and he says the atmosphere now is nothing like when they had their backs to the wall in the early 80s. People have said the same of Man Utd for many years. Maybe fans are blase about the success. Now I know I'm a recent convert to the cause of Pompey but I really did tire of the way fans of Arsenal and the other so called "big" clubs took their success for granted. One of the attractions of following Pompey is the beautiful uncertainty of it all (I've explained in previous threads how I was seduced by the somewhat old fashioned delights of Pompey and Fratton Park, turning my back on the opulence of Arsenal) and the fact that those lifelong Pompey fans amongst you really savour this time, don't take it for granted and, to an extent, actually have trouble believing it's all true. Your attitude to either success or disappointment reminds me of a line or two from Kipling's poem, "If -"....... "If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same.....". I take my 10 year old to Pompey and she doesn't mind who we're playing, she loves the atmosphere and has pointed out to me that a good atmosphere makes even the dullest game memorable. PLAY UP POMPEY!
21/10/2008 14:16:00
Yes Dave, in short, I would but not yet!!!
21/10/2008 15:11:00
I was not suggesting you did Matt!
21/10/2008 16:24:00
Had a chat with my mate last season, we discussed if we actually preferred Div1 football, the thoughts behind this were that we had something to aim for, rather than just trying to keep up, although since then we have won something and signed Defoe and Crouch!
21/10/2008 18:22:00
I'd be lying if I said that a quarter of me didn't want us to get relegated. I've supported Pompey since the early 90's - obviously not as much as some of you guys, but I do remember supporting us through mostly bad times. I've never been able to afford a season ticket, but gone are the times when I went to 90% of games anyway by buying on the door - I just wish I could do that now! What's even worse is that I struggle to get tickets for FA Cup final, and probably will struggle for AC Milan - although I'll give it 1000% effort - and I think for all the crap I've taken being a Pompey fan over the years I deserve to see games like this!!
21/10/2008 21:11:00
I can't help a little thought in the back of my mind that I'm going to wake up one day, Bobby Ewing will be in the shower (younger viewers will be confused here) and Pompey will be in a lower division with a load of elderly players and a half empty stadium. Sure, I remember the games of 1978-1979 (my first full season ticket season) as a time when Pompey was my entire life and in some ways it has never been quite the same again. It's a bit like remembering that the stuff you bought when a teenager, when you had to really save up for months to buy an LP for example, and remembering how special that was because of the struggle. However, although that has a sort of ascetic pride attached to it, there's no way I'd want to go back to a life when I'd have to think about whether or not I had enough money to buy a Marathon. I think the Ninja's nailed it on the head - it's about the fresh excitement a kid gets as a football follower versus the jaded cynicism of the adult. In thirty years' time his daughter might be bored with Pompey winning the Champions League yet again and again and look back with a sigh of remembrance at the good old days struggling through to that first UEFA cup victory.
21/10/2008 21:47:00
If you anybody from Pompey is bored with life in the top of the Prem. Bored with the fact that we have won the FA Cup. Bored with the fact we are in Europe. Bored with having 4 first team players in the England squad. Sod off & follow the scummers in the Championship & see how exciting that is. Ask Bournemouth die hards would they sway their heart rendering tales of survival with our 'boring' times. Or the excitement of following Aldershot in their first season back in the football league. Or what about Brighton they have some exciting times at the Withdean. Stop bleedin' moaning about Pompey!
22/10/2008 10:03:00
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