Despite constant claims that Arsenal were everyone’s second team because they played the best football, or an individuals would support their local team.
The truth is that unless you were a Southampton fan, you loved Pompey.
No other team has come up (apart from maybe Leicester) and really given it such a go. People very easily forgot how small of a club Portsmouth really were. Aside from a lone season in the 80’s where Pompey reached the top tier and a great spell in the post war years Portsmouth have mostly been not just a second tier team, but a 3rd tier one.
Not in the 2000’s though, unlike most teams who consolidate and try to just survive, Pompey dared to thrive. Not just their first season in the premiership, but all of them.
With a team possessing entertainers like Lomanu LuaLua, Yakubu, and Patrick Berger this was a team that was unique amongst promoted teams. It was entertaining. They even had the flamboyant Linvoy Primus at the back, and Lua Lua’s flips set a popular trend that lasts till the current day.
This theme of excitement continued, and Portsmouth with their electric Fratton park atmosphere soon became a favourite on Match of the day.
A few years on and Portsmouth were still improving, with a squad that even now could probably challenge for Europe. Which is probably why they won the FA cup.
The 2008 Portsmouth squad is probably the biggest reason for the clubs eventual demise sadly, after all Sol Campbell doesn’t come cheap. But a team which had Jermaine Defoe and Peter crouch a year later brought the type of football that the south coast had never witnessed before.
The truth is this was a team that dared to dream and created a golden era. Even the 2010 squad which wen’t down entertained with players like Kevin Prince Boateng.
Pompey are now languishing in League two, but if you ask other clubs in the championship now if they would pay that price for such entertainment, i’m sure a few would.
Even if they are now struggling, Pompey in the 2000’s left the premier league with some pretty great memories.