This is the first Bone Idle Gossip of the new season (you mean you hadn’t noticed its absence before now?) and there’s a reason I don’t like to start too early.
These days, it does seem football fans are so reactionary. Every win means their team is going to win the league; every defeat results in calls to sack the manager.
Similarly, Pompey fans were writing off our chances for the new season about six weeks before it began as they fretted over which players were going to leave and which we were, or weren’t, going to sign in their place.
I don’t know if it’s social media that makes people act this way but I’m afraid I can’t join in with it.
My view at the start of last season was that we had a decent chance of promotion (which was about right - we did, up until Brett's 'fatal' pass to Viv) and I’ve started 2019-20 in much the same frame of mind.
I don’t think we’ll run away with it, and I’m not sure we’re any more likely to win automatic promotion than we were last year, but I think we’ve every chance of finishing in the top six. And if you do that often enough, eventually you’ll go up through the play-offs.
If I had been forced to part with money down the bookies on Pompey’s prospects, I’d have gone for a play-off spot.
That was my pre-season position, and nothing I’ve seen with my own eyes or read about since in the first month of the campaign has changed my mind. Five points from five games is not a brilliant return, and having a couple of blank Saturdays now won't improve our position, but it's not reason enough to sack the manager nor demand wholesale changes, in my opinion.
We’ve got a good squad, and the additions of Marcus Harness and John Marquis look excellent. But we do have weaknesses and clearly our back four needs work before it is anything like as watertight as it will need to be if we’re to challenge.
Maybe, like last year, we’ll do okay in the league but find ourselves distracted by a cup competition. A little run in the League Cup, the only trophy we’ve not won, wouldn’t be bad for starters. Okay, to be more precise, I'd quite like us to get through one more round of it.
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Read Bone Idle Gossip in the Sports Mail every Sunday throughout the season (apart from any when a blank space appears in its place, or the author forgets to write it)