Victory would make Avram feel like Roy of the Rovers

By Danny Caro, May 13, 2010

Wimbledon's incredible victory against Liverpool in the 1988 final is rightly considered as one of the great FA Cup stories. But if Portsmouth beat newly-crowned Premiership champions Chelsea in the final tomorrow, I'd rate it as an even better achievement.

It would be the ultimate victory for the underdogs and almost all neutrals will be cheering for Avram Grant's team at Wembley.

It's brilliant that at a time when big clubs continue to dominate the Premier League, a relegated team is flying the flag for the minnows.

Win, lose or draw, Avram Grant is already a legend as far as Portsmouth supporters are concerned. Not many would have stuck with the club during what has been a turbulent season both on and off the pitch.

Administration and four owners later, he will pit his wits against the hand that used to feed him – a team he took to the Champions League final no so long ago. What Grant has achieved is no fluke.

Odds-on favourite to become West Ham's next manager, he has really shown his worth. A source close to Grant said: "Avram has been given an assurance that the job is his if he wants it. Before giving his response he will clarify if West Ham have a budget for strengthening the squad."

Like Steve McClaren, he has made the critics eat their words this season. Few gave Pompey a chance in the semi-final against Spurs but the master tactician did the business. It is clear that he has given hope to others and no-one deserves it more than the man the press love to make fun of.

Tal Ben Haim should make the Portsmouth squad. If he plays, he would be only the second Israeli to play in the cup final, following Yossi Benayoun.

● Daniel Levenfiche, last season's JC MSFL Player of the Year, could be forced into early retirement due to injury. Scans revealed a cyst on his ankle connected to cartilage between his foot and shin and requires an operation.

The North West Neasden striker , 27, will go under the knife on May 19. He has been told that the operation has an 85 per cent success rate. If successful, he would be on crutches for a fortnight and then wait four months for the swelling to go down. But he has been warned that a crunching tackle could leave him unable to walk properly again. If unsuccessful, the surgeon would take cartilage from one of Daniel's knees and insert it into the ankle - a procedure which requires nine months recovery.

Levenfiche said: "It's a horrible situation. Everyone is telling me to be optimistic. I'm trying, but it kills me because I love my football and was defending my title. It's quite depressing. I find it difficult to think that I might not be able to play again."

● Blizzard Storm made Alex Speck captain for the day to mark his final appearance after 15 years in Jewish football. Speck who is moving to Australia led the team to a 1-0 win over HMH. After the game, Storm manager Simon Linden confirmed that top-scorer Joel Kutner has signed a new four-year deal. Linden said: "It's been a hard week for the our star player. He's had offers from several top Jewish teams." Linden has promised to deliver the glory days next season.

Last updated: 11:02am, October 14 2010