Portsmouth suffer relegation from the Championship but that is the least of their worries

Portsmouth will be playing their football in League 1 next season if they are able to sort out their financial problems which have dogged the club for years now.

Portsmouth have 40 points from 45 games

It is difficult to talk about Portsmouth without referring to the finances these days and I think that it is very harsh and the media should talk more about their loyal fans and committed staff who continually work through all their problems even when their job is constantly in danger. But let’s just focus on the actual football rather than anything else. Michael Appleton first of all deserves great praise because he has had been very dignified throughout the whole time and without the 10 point deduction they probably would have stayed up comfortably. Although he has only won eight games in charge of Pompey at least he has stayed the course and this is not having a go at Steve Cotterill who was in charge for 61 games. But maybe he should have tried to keep some stability at the club but when a more secure offer comes along, you can’t blame him for taking it.

There is an expected exodus from the club in the summer and some of the players will be missed as they have been great servants for the club. Jason Pearce looks as though he will leave and Leeds United are heavily linked with him at the moment. Even though he has only been at the club for one season he has put his in some brave performances and deserves a lot of praise from the fans and I’m sure they will wish him well in the future. Joel Ward is another that has been linked away from the club, Ipswich Town are chasing him and he will most likely leave. In the last two seasons he has played over 40 games for the club and he has actually benefitted from all their problems and lack of players because it has allowed him to show off his potential and possibly get a move back to the Premier League in the future.

Other players that have been at the club for years have not been as helpful to the club in my opinion because they have huge wages and not really performed when they have had the opportunity. Tal Ben Haim is one of these players because he must still be on a Premier League wage and has played 33 games this season but has he really helped the cause by staying?

One player that has impressed me this season is David Norris who should be a hero to the Pompey fans now after scoring that dramatic equaliser against Southampton which will be one of the high points from this season. He is the top scorer of all the players still at the club and would be a good addition to any team in the Championship next season so they will do well to keep hold of him.

Up front they have not performed that well with Benjani only scoring one goal in his 18 games. Although 12 of his appearances have came from the bench. Kanu also only has one goal in 11 games but yet again most of his appearances have been as a substitute. These players need to leave the club and they have in the past done a very good job for the team but they have should have been let go when all of their problems started and resigning them may have pleased the fans to begin with but they must realise that it is time to move on and start again.

I personally hope that Portsmouth recover because they have such fantastic fans who are very loyal and do not deserve any of this that has happened to them. Some people need to realise that the fans are the most important part of any club and the Portsmouth fans deserve a lot of praise because it would have been easy for them to become disenchanted but they haven’t and still go to Fratton Park optimistic every week that their club will finally turn the corner.

Haven’t we seen you before… David Nugent

David Nugent now at Leicester City was one of the hottest prospects in the Championship when he was at Preston but for some reason maybe poor decision making on his part his career fell away but now under Nigel Pearson he might just be getting his career back on track.

In March 2007 he must have been in dreamland when he made his debut and scored in the last minute for England against Andorra but since then this dream has turned into a nightmare. He left Preston that summer for Portsmouth for £6 million and was finally realising his ambition of playing in the Premier League. But his move to the south coast was a complete disaster and in the same transfer window he was already linked with a move away from the club which shows that something wasn’t right and he didn’t exactly fit in at Pompey for one reason or another. It took him 18 months to score his first goal in the league for the club and ironically it was against the man that signed him Harry Redknapp, he then followed this up with two more goals towards the end of the season but it still didn’t change the fact that he was a poor signing and was a failure. However, in his defence he is a striker and does all of his good work up top chasing the ball down and latching onto through balls but for Portsmouth he was played on the right wing and therefore his opportunities to score were clearly limited.

He then left the club on loan to join Burnley and enjoyed moderate success with six goals in his 30 Premier League games but under Brian Laws the team were relegated and left Nugent in limbo as to whether he would be joining permanently or staying at Portsmouth. In the end he stayed at Portsmouth and had his best season for a long time ending the campaign as their top scorer but he decided to leave the club that summer for Leicester City where he has again had a decent season and looks like he is getting back to the levels he was at when he was called up to the national squad.

In his role as the pantomime villain away to Southampton, he produced arguably his best performance for many years, constantly terrorising the Saints defence by running at them and linking up well with strike partner Jermaine Beckford. He showed tremendous pace throughout the game and scored the opening goal with a clinical finish from just outside the box. There is no doubt in his mind what he was going to do when he picked up the ball on the left wing and cut inside, he expertly curled the ball into the corner leaving goalkeeper Kelvin Davis with no chance.

He is never going to get back into the England squad but it is nice to see players that have struggled for a while get back to their best and he can always be proud of his one cap one goal record for England.