Back To Reality

Last updated : 26 November 2012 By Jim Bonner

Sometimes it is good to get away from the Portsmouth FC saga and a little time off can refresh the mind. Now the holiday is over, here are some thoughts on the key issues from the last couple of weeks.

The Results

I despaired as I looked at my Twitter feed whilst in Florida as Pompey lost two crucial basement battle games against Bury and Leyton Orient. Followed by what seemed like another dreadful display against Doncaster and I believed that Pompey would be certain for relegation this season.

Whilst the 93rd minute equaliser against Coventry lifted spirits, Pompey are still ten points from safety once the points deduction is confirmed. Some people have compared McLeod's late goal to that of Pedro Mendes when the "Great Escape" of 2006 begun.

However, the fixtures fell kindly for Pompey that year and unfortunately next up for Guy Whittingham's men is a trip to top-of-the-table Tranmere, and I doubt many people will be expecting a result at Prenton Park.

The most important game of the season comes at Victoria Park on December 22nd when Portsmouth fans make the long journey to rock bottom Hartlepool. Should Pompey not take all three points there, even the most optimistic fan will be planning for League Two next season.

Still, despite the bad run of form there is still plenty of time for Pompey to get out of trouble yet.

The New Faces

I haven't watched Pompey since the FA Cup defeat to Notts County and thus I haven't had the opportunity to run the rule over the new arrivals at Fratton Park since then.

I'll admit that I'd never even heard of Nathaniel Mendez-Liang before he joined on loan from Peterborough but as a young winger with a few tricks I look forward to seeing what he can do.

As for Paul Benson I only know about him because he used to be dynamite in the lower leagues on LMA Manager 2007. His goalscoring record whilst at Dagenham & Redbridge was ridiculously good so I'm surprised he has yet to make an impact at Pompey, perhaps age has caught up with him now he's 33?

The loan signing of Jake Jervis is an interesting one. Arguably, he has had the best individual performance against Pompey this season as he battered the Pompey defence up at Carlisle earlier in the year and looked a real handful. Having seen him then, I think he would be a perfect foil for McLeod.

Finally, its great to see Ricardo Rocha back. He may be an old man now but is positional sense will never leave him and he has the ability to pass the ball out of defence. Perhaps he could teach Gyepes and Michalik a thing or two?

The Trust's Takeover

I'll have to admit that a cynic such as myself never saw the Trust's bid ever making it this far, so for that in itself the work of everyone involved has to be commended.

However, I still can't help be concerned that the call for pledges to be completed has come at a worse possible time with Christmas round the corner given how expensive it is these days. I also wonder how many people who originally pledged no longer have the money to do so because of other financial commitments?

I do think the Trust will win the court battle against Portpin. The authorities should see that Chainrai is demanding an unrealistic figure for Fratton Park and doesn't have a leg to stand on morally because he cannot pass the owners & directors test.

I dread to think what would happen if the court ruled in Portpin's favour. It would surely mean liquidation barring the miracle of a "white knight" figure as per the Southampton situation when they were on the verge of liquidation themselves.

But for some (not entirely logical) reason I am confident Kushnir and his cronies will be defeated. My primary concern is Portsmouth Football Club relying on a working class fanbase to provide a significant amount of income in such a short space of time, at what is probably the worst possible time.

Only time will tell if the fans who have pledged and the "High Net Worth" individuals have enough money to not only rescue Pompey in the short term but also keep the club running in the long term.

If not, the whole "Phoenix Club" debate will begin all over again.