An Introduction…

Hello and welcome to the Portsmouth FC Blog. Thank you for visiting and taking some of your precious time to read my blogs. I will do my best to get the latest news on this blog as soon as I can, although at the moment that may deem to be a bit difficult because of exams!

 

My name is Oscar Tollast, I am sixteen years old and currently reside in Portsmouth. I have been a Pompey fan for half my life and ever since I went to Fratton Park I developed a strong bond with the club. In the eight years I have supported the club, I have seen Pompey rise from the depths of the old ‘Nationwide Division One’ into the multi million pound Premier League, where we have established ourselves as a force and become FA Cup Winners! Although I may not have had the experience of seeing Portsmouth in it’s real dark days, (although have seen some scary moments) I have an understanding of what the club went through and what it was like to be a fan. Portsmouth FC has become part of my life and it’s hard to see a life without it. What would I do on every other Saturday afternoon? It’s not even worth thinking about. I would have loved to have seen Pompey in it’s successful days, champions of England with great players like ‘Gentleman Jimmy Dickinson’ and Peter Harris; however it isn’t as though we’re in a bad state now is it? Cup winners, European football on the horizon and a team full of internationals. Times are certainly good.

 

Perhaps went on for more than I needed to in that last paragraph but then again football can get the better of you at times. We are now in that period of the year where football takes a rest and everything seems to slow down which gives us fans a chance to reflect on the past season and if any improvements can be made. I must say it will be very hard to improve on last season’s performance. Who would have thought Portsmouth Football Club would be FA Cup Winners? Yes, there were suggestions that we could be ‘dark horses’ and surprise everyone but even the people that wrote that probably didn’t believe it. When Pompey were entered in the quarter-final draw, all us fans wanted was a nice easy team like Barnsley (no offence to any Barnsley fans reading this); but oh no, Pompey have to do things the hard way, Pompey can’t have even a bit of luck and so get drawn the Premier League champions….away! So with that news broken many fans gave up on the hope of seeing Campbell lifting the cup and resigned to the fact that Pompey would have to qualify for Europe by league position, which had been the original target but would be very hard to accomplish. Somehow we got a penalty at Old Trafford and somehow we won at Old Trafford and things started to look good, very good. Barnsley then beat Chelsea and then things started to look excellent.

 

Instead of feeling joy, happiness and excitement of being in a Semi-final at Wembley, I was feeling sick, nervous and apprehensive. Many Pompey fans were already believing that we’d won it, something that I had missed because from what I saw there were still three teams that were capable of winning it and capable of causing an upset. Pompey were ‘favourites’ to win the cup, when recently has that happened before? It was a tag that I didn’t want to be associated with the club personally, mainly because of the pressure it would add on to win it. The Semi-final itself was fantastic, maybe not to those watching at home but when you are at Wembley and watching your team winning and increasing their chances of winning the cup, it’s the best match in the world! West Brom are a good side and were the one team I didn’t want to face in the Semi-final mainly because I thought they were the most likely to beat us. Everything turned alright in the end though courtesy of a Kanu tap-in and we were one win away from Europe and our chance to get some silverware.

 

Cardiff City FC vs. Portsmouth FC – more likely to be a pre-season friendly than an FA Cup Final but that’s what it was, an FA Cup Final, a final that would be viewed by millions all over the world. It seemed unreal almost and came at the worst time, for me anyway. The final was lodged right in between my GCSE exams, a time where I was meant to be remembering how to solve quadratic equations and learn about consumer law. How fitting it was that the first time Pompey had gotten into a FA Cup Final for more than half a century, I was stuck doing revision! Whatever the case, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from going, I would just have to compromise the two. On the way up to London the night before the final, it wasn’t ‘Is Harry going to play 4-4-2 or 4-51?’. It was ‘What to revise first, Surds or Sin Graphs?’ Although I admit I did find time to look through the papers to see the predicted line-ups. Many were predicting 4-4-2, Baros and Kanu up front, something that hadn’t really been tested before. Did Harry really want to try it out in probably the most important game in Pompey’s modern history? As per usual the ‘papers got it wrong and Kanu was on his own with a midfield of five behind him, with the surprise introduction of Pedro Mendes. When Kanu missed ‘that sitter’ many thoughts crossed my mind, mostly pessimistic ones. All of those thoughts were soon replaced however when Kanu scored another tap-in. It took a few seconds for those ‘up in the Gods’ to realise what had happened, Kanu did a bizarre celebration that actually looked as though he was checking to see if the linesman’s flag had gone up and it was only when other players started to mob him we realised we had one hand on the cup. After that goal, we got back to our original style of play, sitting back soaking up the pressure from the opposition and keeping possesion. Then suddenly the game had reached the 90 minute mark and of course four minutes of stoppage time were added on, just enough time for Cardiff to have another go and try to equal the score but alas they could not do so and then the whistle was blown and it was all over.

 

Portsmouth were FA Cup Winners and Sol went up to lift the FA Cup and thousands of fans dreams had come true, they had been to Wembley and watched their team win the trophy.

 

This was meant to be a brief introduction but obviously that didn’t work out the way I intended it to. However for a club like Portsmouth to win it, it’s an amazing achievement and one which shouldn’t be discredited. It will do a lot for the city and the community as a whole.

 

At least I can say ‘When Sol went up to lift the FA Cup, I was there, I was there….’

- (In the future I will try and cut down the amount I write : ) Thanks for reading)

 

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