*** A PFCSWSC photographic chronicle of ALL Portsmouth FC competitive fixtures played from Seasons 2006/07 until 2015/16 ***

Monday, February 18, 2008

Article : Bring It On! by Colin Farmery

OK. Like many other Pompey fans no doubt my first reaction was one of extreme disappointment. Man United. Away. Again! No Wembley this year then. But hang on a minute. There are reasons to be cheerful, or at least positive, about the forthcoming tie at Old Trafford. I give you ten reasons why Pompey can win.

1. The FA Cup is still likely to be United's third priority come March 8. They should have seen off Alain Perrin's Lyon in the Champions League by then to book a quarter final tie in that competition and there is no doubt they will still be looking to retain their title. Fergie will fiddle with his team no doubt.

2. The FA Cup is Pompey's top priority. It is the only competition we can 'win'. Two wins and we're in the final. Sounds a better bet to me than the chase for sixth place. Harry will be looking to bring his team to a peak for this one.

3. In David James, Sol Campbell, Milan Baros and Kanu we have 'big game' players who know what it takes to get a result at Old Trafford.

4. Pompey have played poorly against Championship sides in the Cup this season. Ipswich, Plymouth and Preston have failed to motivate the team to play their best. West Brom or Cardiff in the sixth round would have been a far from straightforward proposition. United, on the other hand, should bring out the best...

5. United are not unbeatable at home. A City side no better than us went there and won there less than ten days ago. Even Coventry won there in the Carling Cup...

6. Harry has done it before against United. With Bournemouth in 1984 and West Ham in 2001 he has prepared sides to knock a supposedly superior United side out of the FA Cup.

7. We are due a win at Old Trafford. Pompey haven't won there for 50 years, but we've made a habit lately of breaking some jinxes, like winning at Villa for the first time in 38 years. We even drew at Sheffield United last season...

8. We are due a Cup win at Old Trafford. United away is one of the most common draws Pompey get. In League an FA Cup this is the 10th time this draw has occurred and we have never won one of them.

9. We have got results in the Cup at Old Trafford before. We won an FA Cup replay there in 1907 and drew there in the fifth round of the League Cup in 1994.

10. If we are going to win the Cup we have to beat Manchester United (and may be Chelsea too) some time. By the the semi final stage, the FA Cup might be United's second, or even first, priority...

And last but by no means least, let's get over this 'Wembley' thing. Sure I want to see the team I have supported play at the national stadium, but the idea of a 'day out' in the semi-final left me rather cold, I have to say.

I want Pompey to play in a final and win the competition. I have done since I was seven years old. 'Seeing my team at Wembley just once' regardless of the result or status of the fixture is indicative of a 'small-time' mentality. Auto-Windscreens Shield me up? I think not.

United in the FA Cup quarter finals at Old Trafford? And with a realistic chance of winning? Fantastic. Let's get up there and do it!

That's what Stockport at home ten years ago was all about, wasn't it?

Colin Farmery (www.pompey-fans.com)

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