G'day Everyone, I am a happy man this morning for two reasons. First off Pompey defeated the Pompey B side to advance to the FA Cup final. Secondly I finally have regular access to the Internet.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to watch the FA Cup semi, but the accounts that I have read said that David James was the hero, along with our goalscorers. Of course the pitch wasn't in great condition at the end of the match and Dawson slipped when attempting a clearance, then Piquionne was in the right place and converted the glorious opportunity. You didn't need to watch a season of Pompey footy to know that didn't happen regularly. I feel that the players are much more up for the Cup than the season, especially since we were relegated earlier this week. But I feel that this has been the case for awhile now. Winning the Cup is an attainable goal, whereas survival in the league has looked dubious ever since we found out Al Fahim was broke. It has also been a rallying point for fans, this FA Cup campaign has been the one thing that we could cheer about throughout the season. So it is a little distressing that there are stories about the lineup that we will be able to field for the final. This is because of the bonus clauses in some of the players' contracts. Luckily Richard Hughes came out and said that the bonuses could be differed until there is a new owner. As a fan I would prefer to see the players waive their bonuses to help the club, but they have certainly earned them. It is key that we are able to field a top side in the Final. Now onto the question of Europe.
In case you haven't heard Pompey are not currently in line for the Europa League place that goes to the FA Cup winner or finalist if the winner is in the Champions League. This is because we did not apply for a UEFA license because we were broke. Our club Administrator is currently looking at ways to fix this as the prospect of a Europa League campaign will certainly make Pompey more attractive to a potential buyer. I think that the chance of an appeal working is quite slim. Platini wants to be tough on debt, and rightly so, I don't think that other clubs' fans should have to endure what Portsmouth have endured this year. Don't get me wrong to be in Europe again would be amazing, the match at Fratton against Milan is probably my favourite Pompey match. If we are able to find an owner there may be a silver lining to not being in Europe. That would be that we play fewer matches. When the new owner does arrive they are going to have their hands full rebuilding a club, and the manager will have their hands full finding players. There are going to be a few sales, plus all of the players that we have on loan will return to their other clubs. Basically at the start of the next season I expect Pompey to have a small squad, at the moment I would say it is unlikely that we will bounce straight back up to the Premier League, in fact I am more worried about us being in another relegation fight. That is why fewer matches could be a good thing, especially at the start of the season.