Dare to Dream
However, Pompey has all it takes to win the FA Cup again. FA Cup Shocks: The FA Cup has been famous in producing "football shocks" or "giant-killers", where a less quoted team beat a more respected one. English football has seen it happening time and time again; perhaps the most famous of all was when division 2 West Ham beat Arsenal in 1980 to claim FA Cup victory. This means that when Portsmouth's players walk out on the field to play Chelsea on May 15th, anything can happen. More recently as 2008, Barnsley has produced a "giant-killer" when they beat none other than Chelsea (1-0) in the latter stages of the competition. In 2010, Tottenham were hot favourites to reach the final against a relegated Portsmouth, but after 99 minutes Frederic Piquionne lead the way to victory which was sealed few minutes later from Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Statistics: Even if stats are just numbers that mean nothing, the football world talks statistics every now and then. Portsmouth has played a total of 7 hours on Wembley as from April 2008 in which goalkeeper David James is yet to concede. In the meantime, Portsmouth has scored 4. Semi Final 2008 - Portsmouth vs West Bromwich Albion 1-0 (Kanu) Final 2008 - Portsmouth vs Cardiff 1-0 (Kanu) Community Shield Final 2008/09 - Portsmouth vs Manchester United 0-0 (1-3 penalties) Semi Final 2010 - Portsmouth vs Tottenham 2-0 (Piquionne / Boateng ET)
Chelsea have failed before: Whoever dares to think that Mighty Chelsea has never failed is seriously wrong. In fact throughout the course of this season's premier league campaign, Chelsea have failed to win on 11 occasions; 6 defeats and 5 draws. The strange fact about these statistics is that they lost a mere 3 points to top-4 finishers; against Tottenham last month; just a few days after their shock FA Cup exit. Teams like Hull, West Ham, Blackburn and Wigan have taken points away from the lion's mouth; teams that succumbed points against Portsmouth. Wigan 3-1 Chelsea; Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea; Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea; Chelsea 3-3 Everton; West Ham 1-1 Chelsea; Birmingham 0-0 Chelsea; Hull 1-1 Chelsea; Everton 2-1 Chelsea; Chelsea 2-4 Manchester City; Blackburn 1-1 Chelsea; Tottenham 2-1 Chelsea. On the other hand, Chelsea has a habit of scoring 7!
Avram Grant: Being just a spot kick away from becoming the first Chelsea manager to lift the Champions League Cup, Avram Grant deserved more respect from his previous bosses, something he did not achieve. Avram Grant knows Chelsea very well (most of the players in his Chelsea days are still at the club), is a tactical genius, is a good motivator and would love to write history by putting one against a club that has mistreated him.
The Fans: Well-known to be the best in England, Pompey fans will surely turn up on May 15th in full numbers and colours supporting and cheering their team on the way to victory. No team in England can look up at the noisiest fans after a football match, but Portsmouth can.
These are some facts why Pompey fans dare to dream.
Written by Pompey Malta.
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