I'm not sure how often it happens but happen it did, Portsmouth find themselves in the FA cup final, the opposition: Chelsea. The beaten semi-final opponents: Tottenham Hotspur. Getting one over on old twitchy never seemed to be on the cards during the first few minutes, a superior opposition and a ramshackle bunch of players thrown together, some after long term injury problems. Credit must go the players out of form and position, Mullins, importantly kept things tight at left-back up against a quality wide man. Boateng, for a flair player and a temperamental one at that, put in an excellent high-energy display, the kind that was the foundation of the only form that the team managed to put together throughout the season. Brown, hassling kicking and biting the charges of his former employers for a full 120 minutes, one tackle of note on Kranjcar put the former Pompey man as near as out of the game for the remaining half hour of the tie. James, a quality keeper and one who has enjoyed a career of ups and downs, a final hoorah in the cup final would be fitting for a man who has kept himself in great shape even at the age of 40 (minus a hundred or so days).
Relegation on the over hand spells the end of this era, with the well paid players to be shipped out, the hefty Premier League ticket prices to be retained. Things will change, the dead wood culled and new organisation, playing staff and backing will be needed. If it is found, the little engine that could, may once more be bulldozing aside far more expensively assembled opposition. That is, if our healthy slices of luck and vigour are somehow retained, precious as they have proven to be.