Toast looks at the press before Milan
Well the build up is now well underway for tonight's Herculean clash with AC Milan. The Toast team decided to have a quick look at the morning`s press to see how they are viewing the game.
The Daily Mail have an item by a long serving Pompey fan who eulogises about the game and the fact that after all these years he cannot believe that Milan are on the fixture list. They also have an Associated Press photo of Milan players training at Fratton Park last night. One error though I`m afraid is that Arthur Conan Doyle played for Portsmouth AFC and NOT Pompey before going on to international fame.
It a separate Mail article AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani describes Pompey as a 'noble team where Mark Hateley played'. And to prove the point they have another photo this time of Hateley scoring the winner in the Milan derby of 1984.
In the Portsmouth News, Executive Chairman Peter Storrie describes the game as 'the icing on the cake' after all that has been achieved. He is surprised that Milan have objected to the visitors dressing room as none of the Premier League giants have ever made any adverse comments. Remember Toast brought you that news first.
The Blackpool Gazette quotes Ancelotti as saying that the pitch is in good condition and that is where we play our football and score goals. He is adamant his stars will not be affected. But Sylvain Distin told the News that Fratton will be buzzing and that he hope it rains and is cold!
The Independent quotes former Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi as saying that Milan play with more technique that desire and only in the top games do they really play total football. Which suggests that if Pompey get at 'em they won`t like it. The same paper under the headline 'Golden Oldies' also suggests that the aging Rossoneri stars are turning things round in Italy but that there will be a cull at the end of the season.
Throughout the press manager Tony Adams is quoted as wanting to play the game down and impress on his squad that the Premier League is more important. Sorry Tony but as fans we live for today and after years of the wilderness we are now out in the international spotlight and this is probably the biggest game ever at Fratton.
The Sun as usual is full of topless women but their on line site has an excellent gallery of photos from last night's training session as indeed does the Mirror.
The Telegraph reports that Milan had problems finding a hotel for their entourage of some 60 players and backroom staff, as well as more than 30 journalists. They also tell the world that 400 fans were lucky enough to see the training session under the Fratton lights. The Telegraph also describes Fratton Park as 'the snug football ground is a vibrant, noisy, intimidating place, that harks back to a time before identikit out of town stadiums made of Lego bricks, and is all the better for it'. Here, here!! Say the Toast team.
But pride of place must go to the Times who contrast the Cities of Portsmouth and Milan. The facilities of La Scala, one of the world`s most famous venues are compared to that of the Guildhall, Milan's cathedral Il Duomo di Milano to the Spinnaker Tower, the Fashion Quadrangle to Gunwharf Quays and the San Siro to Fratton Park.
However my favourite has to Milan Station to Fratton Station where Milan`s central station completed by Mussolini is described as one of the most beautiful in the world and Fratton as being 'handy for Fratton Park'!! Great stuff.
Now let's get ready to raise the roof!!