Southampton - Why I'd rather be a scummer than a skate any day
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Why I'd rather be a scummer than a skate any day

ith such drastic changes on the south coast between us and our rivals from down the M27 over the last few years, both sets of fans can`t help but wonder who`s had the worse of things, and why our respective sides of the motorway are the superiors.

It`s a question that has fuelled an entire rivalry between 2 clubs intent on doing one better than the other, but despite our years of relegations and heartache, I`d rather be a scummer than a skate any day of the week.

So why is the red half of Hampshire the truly dominant side of the South Coast?

Premiership years - we spent 27 years in the highest pinnacle of English football, the top flight. Sure we didn`t do a Chelsea and win the title nor did we have a Champions league campaign, but nor did Portsmouth. What we did do is finish in very respectable positions in the Premier League and pull off some decent results against the likes of Manchester United along the way.

What`s so special about being a mid table Premiership side? Perhaps the fact that we achieved those positions on shoe string budgets and a threadbare squad, relying on less costly imports rather than spending millions on an overpaid Argentine.

Something that is non existent in today`s Premiership.

The Blue few on the other hand? Similar to us they didn`t exactly set the Premiership alight, Tax dodger 'Arry built a squad of past timers on a shoe string budget, and then 2 years of relative success. But we all know where that success got them.

They eventually managed 7 years in the top flight, a small fraction of our tenure.

What else did we achieve in those 27 years of top flight football? Oh yes the FA cup final against Arsenal who beat us narrowly 1-0, That could be a redundant reason to say the red half of Hampshire is the most dominant seeming as Portsmouth went one further and won the cup.

But perhaps what we can say is that when we did it, we did it without spending 70 million on England Internationals and heavily paid imports from all over Europe.

we on the other hand did it with a team of cheap and cheerful transfers and youth team prospects, the likes of Chris Baird playing in the final alongside Wayne Bridge instead of a multi million pound signing from France. And something tells me if we spent 70 million on players we wouldn`t have done too badly in the league either.

We can also have pride in the fact that we faced sides of considerable quality throughout our cup run, with a mix of tough championship sides as well as Tottenham by 4 goals as early as the third round.

Portsmouth on the other hand? Ipswich, Preston, and Plymouth followed by Manchester United and West Brom, before a final match against Cardiff.

Those are some tough championship teams and Manchester United aren`t exactly an easy side to beat on any day, but when you spend 70 million and have the likes of Defoe and Crouch playing, beating Man Utd just isn`t as special.

Maybe I`m just being a bit of a spoilsport and trying to discredit them, but when we beat Manchester United we did it with the likes of Pahars and Oakley for crying out loud, we did it without spending over the odds and they would be wise to remember that.

Even the final of their FA cup win is questionable, we faced an Arsenal side on the top of their game back in 03, and the likes of Henry and Cole were all included in a side that was the big force in English football.

Who did the blue few face then? Chelsea? Liverpool? Nope, instead they faced the 'mighty` Cardiff City who at best are a strong championship outfit. And despite the facts that they were up against a championship side and fielded a side blistering with International players they still only managed a 1-0 score line.

Why else could it be better to be a skate? Maybe the fact that they got to this years FA cup final? It was certainly an achievement for them as a cash strapped squad to the extreme managed to beat Tottenham and Birmingham (as well as us) to reach the final.

But with that in mind what else happened this year for them? The fact that the Tax man has been on their back amid a huge tax bill, the fact that the club has lost player after player and may not have any of those finalists come next year, and were relegated from the Premiership.

When you look at their season as a whole you realise that such a cup run was merely a silver lining on a very dark cloud.

They did indeed achieve those successes during their somewhat short time in the Premier League, but we almost equalled those successes with less than half the resources and nothing but grit… and at least on a moral perspective I know that we did things the right way.

History - Portsmouth fans may like to point out that they are the longest holders of the FA cup in 1941 and as statistics go they are absolutely right, but was that down to them defending the cup for that time? As we all know that is definitely not the case.

The only reason they gained that 'record` was due to the outbreak of world war 2, and the fact that football wasn`t exactly a priority. This is perhaps the only time in history that a football club can thank Hitler for their on pitch success.

But what about the history of the South Coast Derby? Well this is something else they would like to avoid looking at as the stats show that we have indeed had the upper hand.

Southampton wins - 34

Portsmouth wins - 21

Draws - 13

I guess they could argue that the last 2 results of 4-1 are some sort of testament to blue superiority, but for me? They are still 13 wins off equalling our record, and looking at the direction they are going in that doesn`t seem likely.

4-1 FA cup win - Cause for gloating? Think again

I guess you could gloat if you think that beating your opposition on their home soil for the first time since 1988 is something to celebrate, and your first ever win at your fiercest rivals new stadium comes when the said team is in the third division, and missing several key players.

Even those facts didn`t stop Papa Waigo almost scoring twice in the first half if it was not for the agility of David James. And 4-1 being very much an unfair score considering the circumstances, something that even Portsmouth fans have admitted.

You also have to ask which side came out of it better, we went on to lift the Johnstones Paint trophy whilst Portsmouth sunk further into Premiership obscurity.

We have a future - Perhaps the most significant reason why being a 'scummer` is so much better than a skate is the future of both clubs. We are a side with fantastic owners who have put money into our team, we are set to make a promotion push to the Championship and beyond as well as selling over 13,000 season tickets already.

The Blue few on the other hand? A measly 5,000 season tickets as reported in their local news website and financial troubles that are slowly becoming worse and worse.

Whilst we strengthen our squad Portsmouth are imploding theirs, with countless players either joining other clubs or being released, and all the while we go into next season with a cheerful perspective and a unified squad, the blue few and their fans sit anxiously as the HMRC dig their claws further into the club.

We may have had a rotten few years then but we have still come out on top, millions may have been spent by our old enemy but the 'scummers` still top the roost in Hampshire, and the 'skates` are set to drop further in the rapid changes that have ravaged through football.

And to end this article with a question, who would win if we were to play their depleted youth team/first team now? And who is set to rise and fall in this war of 2 cities?

Never have I been more proud to be considered a 'scummer`.

Pompey fans - why do you think otherwise? and why do you solemnly believe that the blue half is the better half if at all? and looking at both clubs and the direction that we look to be going in, what's your realistic vision in the future of both clubs?

Do you think you will be relegated or do you believe that you will be battling with us in the Championship? even Premiership in years to come? these are the questions we want to know.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Red Army Comrade Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 20 2010

Time: 2:35PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I found this cos I'm a cardiff fan...never read an article like it. Clearly a case of 'little brother syndrome' from a Saints fan -- just my opinion but why do you care so much about Pompey
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20/07/2010 16:22:00

'Little brother syndrome' - are you trying to say that we envy them? when you look at the fact that we are the 4th richest club in the country, the only club to be sponsorless, a club that has spent more in the January transfer window than any championship side, and the fact that they are facing huge financial repercussions at this current point... having ''little brother syndrome'' is the last thing that comes to mind. I'm sure you do articles on vital Cardiff about your rivalry with Swansea, after all it is pre-season and therefore little to report on besides transfer talk. These articles get people talking about rivalry which is a huge part of football. Surely you would agree?
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 16:25:00

Amen ....... not just in footballing terms either, pompey is a very run down area in my opinion, yeah Southampton has some - how can i put it, unpleasant areas, but portsmouth is one big unpleasant area, as someone put it to me is the @rsehole of the country - and i agree, Southampton is an area where i am proud to bring up my kids, I'll most probably get slated for saying this as well, but over the years we have produced and seen some amazing talent to grace our football pitches/Club, our youth set up as well, 2nd really to no other, and the good news is, its had a little bit of money thrown at it to bring it in line with the modern game, as it has slipt up a little recently, at the end of the day the blue few can come on here and try and have a go, Saints are a much bigger club in all aspects ........... AMG
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20/07/2010 16:26:00

totally agreed AMG, when it comes to youth talents like Le tissier, Walcott, Bale, and Alan Shearer and then compare it to the talents that have gone through the Pompey youth system it makes you even more proud to be a Saint, players who have been playing for the club from the lowest levels of the youth team to becoming club legends... better than the 'legends' that were bought by the blue few during their little spending spree.
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 16:28:00

Bonesy, 'little brother syndrome' ............ because it just feels good !!!!
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20/07/2010 16:28:00

if were the little brother, were the little rich successful politician brother who's bigger brother has just had his house repossessed and who's wife has left him for an Israeli royal.
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 16:35:00

Ahem, 25 continous seasons in the old first division including 3 FA Cup finals and two championships as opposed to 2nd & 3rd division oh & 2 FA Cup semis. Before 1960 there was no rivalry, certainly not the stupid hatred we see now, in fact for a few years you played your home games at Fratton Park thanks to Mr Hitler so things were a lot more friendly, and IMHO should return to that. As someone who moved to the area I can sort of get it, as a kid our two local teams had an intense but friendly rivalry, but the rivalry with the city down the road was much more negative. There were other rivalries which didn't involve football and were far more destructive. You are far too obsessed with us to be good for your health, it's obviously eating away inside. I suggest a spell in a darkened room and then a little lie on SFC's couch is required, he has a far more well balanced attitude. Admittedly you are not alone, we have similar problems on our side but it doesn't have to be this way.
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20/07/2010 18:13:00

Lemmi - this isn't a ''I hate those ********s from portsmouth'' article, this is a bit of open debate on why you think that your respective team is the top dog on the south coast, meant to evoke some friendly banter between both sides of the M27. If I wanted to turn this into an insult match/Lynch mob there are much stronger things I could have said. But I didn't. The news and other media sources did articles in the same ilk before we played each other in the cup game and perhaps we can be realistic about our clubs. Part of me wishes we had the likes of Crouch and Defoe at one time, just like I'm sure there's things that we have that you would envy... maybe you believe that a stadium of a bigger size would be a bonus to your team... I think rivalry is healthy when done in the right way... and theres nothing wrong with starting some good old banter.
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 18:21:00

As a Cardiff fan who is in love with all things Swansea I guess you wouldn't really understand bonesy would you?
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20/07/2010 18:37:00

Ouch Lemmi that was painful. He would not want my couch trust me. Ask SFC in fact. You admit that it is only since we became top dog that the intensity has arisen. Jealousy smacks somewhat there. Not by yourself I must add. When fed by the newshounds it is so easy for it to spread.
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20/07/2010 18:42:00

Rivalry will always exist in football, violence in football? that's more media fuelled. Clubs like Millwall were latched onto in the 80's and highlighted by the media, and fans were treated as criminals in the old days, and if you call someone a criminal or treat them like a criminal enough times, they will then believe that they are indeed one. People say they hate the other side but don't really understand just what the word 'hate' means, I dislike Portsmouth and want Saint's to be the better team, just like Pompey fans want their team to be the better team... but hatred is a term that means going completely beyond that... and the term rivalry has changed. This article was about debate, not war...
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 18:47:00

And speaking of SFC's couch, he probably paid good money for it from DFS or some other couch place... so I think he gets a say on who can lie on his couch!
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 18:48:00

Pompey have had the majority of the last century as top dogs. However as the only club in sunny Hants with collateral I also think that we will soon be seen everywhere as the south's top dogs. Sadly pompey have a hell of a hill to climb and may struggle this season unless somebody comes to their rescue and quickly. You may still need to sell to keep going I don't know. I do hope that you can stay put because then we know we will meet you next season to put all arguments to bed for a while
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20/07/2010 18:57:00

What's ironic is that both teams have always had such drastic changes in fortunes, Portsmouth went from winning the FA cup to relegation and financial trouble, we went from being poor financially to being very rich, we were the better team for many years when Portsmouth were in the old nationwide, they went up and came close to equalling us, then we went down a league and they were the top team ect ect.... the changes in financial fortunes seem to be parallel in the respect that there hasn't been a time where both clubs are financially sound and really doing well. I can see Saint's being higher than Portsmouth for another tenure but who knows, Portsmouth could once again be higher than us after that... this scenario is perhaps only similar between Rangers and Celtic who swap in terms of dominance.
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 19:02:00

RAC, I'm all in favour of friendly banter, preferably in a decent pub over a couple of pints of decent ale! I take your point. I just had the feeling that if there were an article on the size of Alan Pardew's nose somehow we'd be mentioned. No offence meant at all. I certainly think we should have had a new stadium over new players and built the infrastructure and I think most Pompey fans would want that. Over the years we've been promised the earth and none of us believe anything anymore until we see things happening.
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20/07/2010 19:28:00

These things certainly happen in cycles, a bit of see-saw really.
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20/07/2010 19:29:00

Agreed on the see-saw point, and we are not constantly trying to bring you into articles, its just that the 2 main taboo subjects have been finances in football and rivalry in football... as you will see from our Bournemouth article we aren't going anti-portsmouth, we are just evoking some banter on our otherwise conservative site. And it just so happens that your club is a major part in both subjects, if that makes sense. And I'm not sure we will take on your idea of an article about Alan Pardews nose :D but we couldve done worse, I mean look at DOWIE!!!
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 19:37:00

Lemmi we have been there and can sympathise with you especially with the way everything is being dragged out. Problem is that when we were in the same position everyone else in our league had a head start. That is where your main problem lies at the moment I think. The not knowing is worse than actually receiving the news even if bad.
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20/07/2010 19:51:00

mind you an article on his nose might be a good idea. He has cerainly sniffed out some decent players for us has he not?
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20/07/2010 20:05:00

That would be such a great anecdote for a ''who will pardew sign next article''! Seeming as I've got more time before college and the healing of my broken metatarsal I might as well do an article titled ''alan pardews nose''!
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 20:08:00

As I am a girl does that make me a scummess? And no I am not laughing.
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20/07/2010 21:07:00

VSgirlT, i have'nt stopped laughing since poor old pompey's demise, childish i know but i am absolutely loving every second of it !!! ...... you could'nt scripped it really !!!
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20/07/2010 21:45:00

I just pray that they stay where they are for a while longer so we can sort it out once again next season.
VS sparkle
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20/07/2010 21:48:00

How is it doing so far Red army comrade?
VS sparkle
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20/07/2010 21:59:00

Sparkle, If you mean my metatarsal its healing well :) but it also means I have nothing else to do but write articles and scour the internet. AMG , I wouldn't say I've been laughing, but after the amount of bragging from the blue few when we were in the ***** I can't help but find it amusing that its completely backfired on them, I guess on that respect those people sure look like fools at the moment!
Red army comrade
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20/07/2010 22:46:00

Some of them are a real pain but the noisiest ones are in the minority. Haven't noticed many of the older responsible brigade making the same stupid comments. Most clubs, ours included, have a few, maybe 10%, that incite the problems. Most are like at every club. They just want to be able to watch a good game of football with their club winning more than they lose.As has been said by a few earlier, the problem is mainly down to the fact that we don't seem to be able to have both clubs on a high at the same time. That will always leave a space for jealousy.
SFC Forever
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20/07/2010 22:59:00

Now there's an article, which club had had the ugliest manager? I vote us, Harry wins by a mile, mind you you're right about Dowie and Gordon Strachan is no oil painting. At least we never had Jimmy Sirrell!
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20/07/2010 23:16:00

We did have big John Mcgrath as a picturesque centre back. Brick ****house of a player and looked less than friendly to boot.
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20/07/2010 23:39:00

You're not famous any more.
AFCB Left Winger
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21/07/2010 01:17:00

Left winger as you seem so sure perhaps you could explain why?
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21/07/2010 08:14:00

AFCB - you were never famous! better to have been famous and knowing we will be famous again to have always been the third team and more importantly the team that we all patronise!
Red army comrade
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21/07/2010 09:52:00

Lemmi - Most crazy characters? we had Alexander Ostlund aka 'Jesus', and I'm sure you've had some wacky players over the last few years! like that 5ft nothing japanese guy... he was funny!
Red army comrade
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21/07/2010 09:54:00

David James haircut. I swear it was his hair stopped a shot last year to put us 1 up. :D)
SFC Forever
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21/07/2010 14:38:00

That's something else we can brag about, Pompey players have worse haircuts!
Red army comrade
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21/07/2010 15:03:00


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