Where is our famous atmosphere? What happened to partisan support for Fratton Park in Portsmouth
“We were able to keep the crowd quiet at times when they got behind them. I think that’s a credit to all the players out there.
Portsmouth-raised Leeds fan Tim Hoolahan had a rather different perspective after witnessing the kind of night under the lights that has crackled so often over the years.
“This is nothing like the Pompey I know from growing up here,” he wrote on social media.
“I always knew Pompey fans were some of the loudest outside of the Prem – tonight was like tourists.
“Me and four neutrals were louder than any local supporter…I feel so lost as a club that was once hardcore.”
It was no one-eyed trolling to get a bite out of other clubs’ fans on social media.
The reason we know that wasn’t the case is because that’s the kind of sentiment echoed by many Pompey fans.
‘It pains me to say that the Charlton fan is singing ‘is this a library?’ was perfect,” @mickpoth60 tweeted.
“Can we also stop talking about the atmosphere at Fratton Park.” added @adarkelimited. “There is literally no buzz.”
Well, the obvious starting point is what we’re looking at.
Charlton’s loss was the third defeat in five games at PO4, with just one win over struggling Morecambe in that time.
After a powerful form late last year, Danny Cowley’s men are also desperately struggling to find fluidity and attacking power with the patterns of their games stuck in repeat.
But Pompey struggled more over the years and received fervent support. In fact, some of the most famous stay-at-home moments happened against such a backdrop.
Of course, it’s generally seen that the Fratton faithful are at their best in those underdog, back-to-the-wall moments.
On the third tier, however, Pompey remains a big fish and so often a target to be shot – especially when other camps arrive on Portsea Island to take advantage of their visit.
What cannot be ignored as a major factor around the perceived downturn in atmosphere is the reality that fans are watching their team sleepwalking towards a SIXTH season at this tier – and an 11th successive campaign at the lower tiers.
The team currently sit two points closer to the Ligue 1 hatch than the top six.
Even after a miserable defeat at Bristol Rovers 12 months ago, Pompey was 10 points and eight places better after the same number of games under Kenny Jackett.
The debate to be had on this subject will play out in more depth in the coming days, but the anger surrounding these issues has clearly resurfaced – and is no doubt contributing to the increasingly audible murmurs of displeasure at Pompey’s home.
A stadium that is part of a construction site and an ever-changing fan culture are other factors aired and taken into account, with opinions divided on their credibility.
Is it a problem ? Is it a perfect storm of a number? Whatever the answer, hearing those who bleed royal blue search their memories for the last time they heard the old maid at her best is a daunting experience.
A message from the editor, Mark Waldron
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