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(Don’t) Play Up Pompey


And a fitting end to March…

If truth be told, the fact that Pompey got called off isn’t really a surprise – the weather sucked big time last night, and even though it stopped raining the wind would have made it even more difficult.

The club is getting quite a few brickbats, mainly from Pompey fans, about not putting covers down, and you can’t blame them for feeling pissed off right now.

Problem is, would covers have worked? As in, would they have a) kept the rain out anyway, and b) would they have actually stayed in KM and not ended up in Reigate?

It doesn’t make us look good though, especially in front of the Sky cameras (although I don’t think we actually get TV money for getting shown – it’s a collective bargaining thingy for L1/L2).

Whatever, it’s another additional evening game, and a missed opportunity to get over Hartlepool. Had we played, and won (or even got a draw), then at least there would be a bit of a boost – even if it’s just a temporary one.

As it stands though, we’re now without a match. But it doesn’t mean there won’t be an SW19 match report. Keep reading…

Plus points: We didn’t lose. Clean sheet.

Minus points: We didn’t win. Failed to score again.

The referee’s a…: Was it the same referee who did the pitch inspection as was about to do the game? By all accounts, he didn’t have much choice. Bet he’s cursing that he’ll now have to go to Homebase today instead.

Them: Clearly pissed off, if their supporter reactions on Twatter are anything to go by, though I seem to remember a game in the WFC days where Fratton Park also fell in near identical circumstances…

Point to ponder: Could today prove to be the massive hammer blow to our (fading) playoff hopes?

A quick look at the fixtures suggest we could be in 11th and six points behind seventh. Wycombe are at Notts County, Orient are at home to Hartlepool and Carlisle host Brizzle Rovers.

If there’s a home win at Brunton Park, then we’ve practically lost that weird psychological advantage of having more points but playing more games.

When it comes to results elsewhere recently, we’ve got pretty lucky. On Friday, only Wycombe won, but when you’re playing catchup you have to win games and hope the others drop points.

Momentum helps, of course, but that’s always easier said than done. And with this month about to end, we only won once in a March that featured games against those in 18th, 21st and 23rd.

And we needed a last gasp worldly to win that one.

So if you’re still expecting us to be well in the playoff chase, you might have that beaten out of you before too much longer. If you’ve been expecting us to fade, you’re probably trying to feign your surprise.

One has to speculate if the players and indeed the management team themselves believe it’s now unlikely – at least, deep down.

Somebody recently observed that NA himself looked burned out, and perhaps maybe might now have real difficulty in trying to get that final push.

There was definitely an element of that at Hartlepool, and might have been today (though had it gone ahead, I reckon we would have played a lot better).

If that’s the case, it’s very hard to reverse it – and previous campaigns have seen us doing exactly the same thing. Only this season, because of the Jan/Feb run, it will look even more of an underachievement…

Truth is stranger than fiction: Just how bad is our pitch to begin with? I know Ks failing to look after it doesn’t help, and it’s been noted from on high, so to speak, but this doesn’t make us look good. Especially if everyone else in the South East goes ahead…

Anything else? The big fallout from this postponement is that we won’t even get to collectively vent against last week.

I’m sure SW19’s comments yesterday had nothing to do with pushing Erik’s programme notes on the OS, though one wonders if the DTB knew it was going to be called off anyway.

The point about our all-round communication still stands, by the way. And no “winking” emoji or whatever they’re called, either.

The words from Mr Samuelson do seem to have that reassuring, calming effect that is needed right now. It’s a blow anyway, but tardiness in saying something – anything – will just make things worse at the moment.

By the time the next home game comes around, currently Crawley on the 16th April, we’ll know a lot more and can react accordingly.

For now, Erik’s comments will do. I note that it’s been seen as “one more hurdle” rather than something more devastating. Hurdles can be literal obstacles of course, but this is seen as a delay and not much more.

The main angle here is that we’re still waiting to see exactly why it’s (officially) been called in. While we can all guess the real reason here (hint: politicans in an election campaign), there are still loose ends to tie up and further things to be jigged about.

Indeed, the last bit about “we’ve face bigger hurdles than this” is almost his version of an impassioned rallying cry. Though whether it’s NPL-related or AFCW generally, only he knows.

There’s a lot made about how thorough all this has been, and I suspect that will be the line we’ll continue to take. As is the no-engagement line with those who actively want this project to fail.

Personally, I think we could be just a little bit more forceful, although if Galliard in particular are advising us to hold back on going all-in, then it’s just more sitting tight and doing what’s been asked.

One more thing – it’s interesting he made mention of a “rare” trip to social media and guestbooks. Perhaps a little aside to something that, to be blunt, became very OTT on Tuesday evening?

Satan help some people if the consultation goes against us and we have to appeal or even resubmit our planning application. The Samaritans will be on overtime.

Speaking of the guy who decided to call NPL in – it seems that the knives are starting to come out for him here and more devastatingly here.

As said in the last update, being politics it will always have an agenda attached to it of course, but it would be funny if it wasn’t just a mere co-incidence…

So, was it worth it? You have a free day now.

In a nutshell: 1245 kickoffs suck anyway.