The highs and lows of being a Pompey fan
Living in Ireland, I have only been able to call myself a true fan since the age of 14, don't get me wrong, if anyone ever asked prior to my teenage years, I would always tell them I was a Pompey fan, but only since the revolution of the internet, and more importantly, radio streaming, I have become a massive fan.
Before this, my extent on following the club was to check Ceefax to see our latest scores, but with the aforementioned internet revolution, I could follow my team week in, week out. Since then I have witnessed the following highs...
1. Seeing us set the pace for the then named Division 1, early season highlights picking up 3 points at home and away under Harry, and pulling away from the chasing pack.
2. Seeing us hammer what should of been worthy opponents, such as 6-2 at home to Derby (Yak's first real performance), Millwall away 5-0 (no fans at the game, but still something special hearing individual groans as the ball struck the back of the net, plus Super Stevie Claridge saying we're gonna win the league, no doubt), beating Coventry 4-0 at their place, 3-0 at home to Reading, knock 5 past Bradford on the last day, the list goes on...
3. Getting United in the cup that season and coming so close, that Quashie run that seemed to take an eternity only to see him blaze it over (which is so unlike him).
4. Toddy diving into the crowd against Burnley and securing promotion, and the 5 goal first half followed by the lacklustre second half against Rotherham which saw us win the League.
5. The Premiership Year 1 - Opening day victory against Villa, beating United and Liverpool, and the scum. Securing survival relatively early and a respectable finish.
6. The Premiership Years 2 & 3 - Ok, there are so many high points, beating Liverpool in the cup, more home victories against the big boys. A couple of slight relegation threads overcome. I would even consider our 5-1 thrashing at home to Arsenal as a high-point, we saw what was probably the best display ever at FP, and for their players, most famously, Thierry Henry, giving our fans a lap of honour in a Pompey shirt is an image that will stay with my for the rest of my life.
The whole Harry leaving for 'them' was a bit of a gutter, but it was totally worth it for the events of 24-04-05, the day we buried the scummers mk. I. I don't even need to elaborate on that, every Pompey fan will have their own unique words to describe their ecstasy on that day. Rolling over for the Baggies was another highlight, who will ever forget the 'Let Them Score' chant.
7. Premiership Year 4 - The great escape season. Harry returned, and worked his magic to give us, in my opinion, the most rememberable 3 months as a Pompey fan. We can slag him and refer to him as someone's husband, or father-in-law, but he gave us good times, and we don't have to like him for it, but I still thank him for it. Matterface's commentary on the Mendes 93rd minute winner past Jamo sticks in my head for that (Cheers Pedro, you'll never be forgotten)
8. Premiership Year 5 - A whisker away from Europe. A dodgy curtain call decision by a media obsessed referee denied us a journey into unknown territory, but this was preceded by an amazing season that saw us pick up some too many memorable victories to mention.
9. Premiership Year 6 - Little did any Pompey fan imagine that beating Liverpool in Hong Kong to lift the 'coveted' Asia Trophy would give us a glimpse of what was to come. We saw our fan favourites leave (Benji, Gary-o and Super Matt), to be replaced by some quality names (Defoe, Muntari and Diarra). An astonishing season, which saw us pick up some great victories on the road, something we hadn't experienced to this extent until now. And need I mention, a little cup run that ended in so much joy, it is impossible to put it down in words.
10. Premiership Year 7 - Pompey invade Europe, and sheer delight against Guimaraes, both home and away, and being 'so close' against Milan, something to this day I can't elaborate on. Skipping over a few forgettable months, we made Fratton a fortress yet again to stagger over the finish line with a few games to spare.
I'll get to point 11 after the lows.
Low point 1. I'm really struggling to separate any low points so I'll round them all into one. Some embarrassing home defeats (Wigan 0-2 stand out in my head). Some forgettable away days (5-0 against Birmingham is the front runner there). Harry coming, going, coming and going again will always leave a sour taste in any Pompey fans mouth. The Tony Adams months we're mostly forgettable, but I didn't dislike the guy, we had luck against us and deserved better results then we got.
The point I am trying to make in a long-winded way is: In my personal opinion, our highs heavily outweigh the lows we have experienced in the recent era. You'd be locked up in the loony bin if 10 years ago you'd have said that 'You'll be gutted one day when you can only manage a draw against AC Milan'.
Which brings me to high point 11 - The Future.
With The Good 'Doctor' on the verge of taking Pompey further then any of us could have imagined, the possibilities are endless. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but if this continues, in 5-10 years time, we could be looking back and saying, 'Remember when we were a mid-table club, instead of being Champions League contenders consistently?' Ok, maybe I am getting way ahead of myself, but there is no harm whatsoever of dreaming.
I know I've missed a few highs and a load of lows, but they seem pointless and inconsequential after all the highs experienced. Feel free to add more below, especially those of you who have had the infamous cross-country journeys to Grimsby on a cold winter Tuesday evening, in the days before I could call myself a true fan.
I really didn't think I could rant on that far but once I started I couldn't stop, and thanks if you managed to read the whole thing, I hope you enjoyed reminiscing as much as I enjoyed writing about it.
Written by PompeyFrippy.
This was from a thread in the Portsmouth Posts forum - click here.
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