Parallel dimensions

By Keith Allman
Last updated : 24 January 2005
Now obviously you can go through every game in the season pointing out this moment and that moment, and it's an ultimately pointless exercise. For example, what would have become of us last season had Kevin Phillips seen his late effort in the back of the net, rather than off the post? Ok, so it's pointless - but fun anyway, so here I go.

We travel to Southampton on Saturday (I bet you didn't know that!) and there's two different universes waiting to unravel in front of our eyes. So join me, won't you, as we take a glimpse into the future - and what the next seven days may hold, depending on the result.

1) Yakubu misses a string of good chances, including a penalty, as we go down 1-0 losers. After the match he reveals a deal to Newcastle is practically completed, and he signs on with Amdy Faye; meanwhile Fuller moves to Southampton as promised. Pompey's transfer targets fail to materialise and we finish the month without any new signings.

2) Yakubu still misses a string of good chances (it wouldn't be believable otherwise) but we win 2-0 anyway. After the match he reveals his desire to stay at Pompey whilst Basinas, Babic and Bulykin also put pen to paper at Fratton Park. Oh, and Amdy Faye still leaves after Willie McKay holds him at gunpoint.

Now I know what you're thinking! Number two is surely the best option isn't it? BUT IS IT! (Insert your own dramatic organ music here).

Say we do win. The players get a bit complacent and it isn't until April that we win again - with home games against Boro, Newcastle and Villa, alongside trips to Spurs, United and Arsenal, it's not as hard as you might think. The new players get unhappy with the seeming lack of success and don't play very well. Same goes for the Yak, who still has his mind on a bigger club and fails to put in the effort we know he can. It takes a scramble at the very end of the season to save Pompey, as fans turn on the board and chairman and indeed Milan begins to doubt his own position at the club.

Or we lose. The players are stung and hurt beyond belief and go on to thrash Boro, propelling confidence up a gear. Those left behind are desperate to prove that they're up to the task and, when injured players return - much like last season - we go on a fantastic run and finish safely midtable. Kamara and LuaLua finally hit form and score the goals to do so. The cup game is forgotten on April 24th when we send Southampton down.

What's the point I'm trying to make here?

I don't really know.

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