Goodbye And Thank You Uncle Avram - And Good Luck!
I honestly don't remember another Pompey manager who has built up such a rapport with the supporters. The only one who came close was Alan Ball.
He came in just as the club was in the process of imploding, when the sheer depth of the club's mess was just beginning to emerge. He went unpaid, as did his players, some of whom started to get sold off behind his back. There was also the transfer embargo, which meant that we couldn't even extend O'Hara's loan for a few weeks, never mind sign anybody.
We didn't know what to expect when Avram rejoined the club. He has a rather dour exterior, as has often been described in the press as having the 'demeanour of a funeral director'. That's why we were so pleasantly surprised at half-time at the Sunderland match. We were all fuming at the ref, and Avram stormed out to confront him. He got fined and sent to the stand, and he won our hearts over.
Then the most amazing cup run followed. If you'd had told us in January what was going to happen, we'd have all laughed our socks off. To say you're going to go back to the cup final, and on the way you're going to beat the scummers 4-1 in their own back yard and then take 'Arry's lot in the semi.
Avram has had a team cobbled together mainly from loan signings and freebies. None of them were players he brought in himself. He's suffered the points deduction, not being allowed to take our European place, and the indignity of all the effects of the club's complete mismanagement. And in doing so, he's rallied his troops and put out a team who's spirit matches the passion of the Pompey fans.
And he 'gets' the Pompey fans completely. He understands our passion for the club. And he loves us for it. And he told us so. His worshipping gesture at the scummer game said that, and he has said it himself many times.
He never lied to us. He never said that he was going to stay at Fratton Park. He didn't even commit to the end of the season. He's been totally honest and said he didn't know what was going to happen. And he hasn't walked out in the middle of the season with a match to play next day.
Uncle Avram, I really wish you were staying at Pompey. But I understand why you are leaving, and I wish you all the luck in the world. I really, genuinely do. Thank you so so much.Written by tracyc
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