Sunday Toast Season 2 # 23 - Evening edition
Well you missed us I gather for which we apologise but other pressures caused the delays.
Well this morning Pompey woke up in the saucer after being knocked out of the Cup yesterday by Swansea City. The Swans definitely deserved their victory and look good enough to go on and make the Championship play offs. Pompey therefore have lost their grip on the precious piece of silverware they won on that memorable day last May
But what is the future for Pompey? A lack of activity in the transfer window has left the club with a shortage of creative midfield players and playing with a side that appears to have no shape. The sale of Sulley Muntari, Pedro Mendes and Lassana Diarra has ripped the heart out of the side and a transplant is desperately needed. Will it come before the window slams shut next Monday evening is the big question and I must admit at the moment it looks doubtful.
Executive Chairman Peter Storrie has constantly promised new signing but has so far failed to deliver. Why? Are we trying to do things on the cheap? Do players not want to come to Pompey? All questions I cannot answer I`m afraid but players are still being linked in the Sunday Press. No new names that I can spot but still Javier Saviola, Emerson and Johann Pele.
Tommy Casey 1930-2009
Tommy was a Northern Ireland International who played in the 1958 World Cup finals and he also won the FA Cup with Newcastle United but many forget he also spent one season at Pompey.
ommy was born in Coomber, Northern Ireland on 11th March 1930 and played his youth football for Bangor. It was there that he was spotted by Leeds United and joined them in 1949. That next season Tommy played four games and looked a good young prospect and it was a surprise when in 1950 Leeds manager Major Frank Buckley allowed him to move to Bournemouth.
After two seasons at Dean Court Tommy moved again to Newcastle United and it was there his career hit its high. Described in one obituary as a midfield dynamo Tommy was a wing half who earned the nickname Iron Man because of his fierce tackling. He played in the same half back line as ex Pompey legend Jimmy Scoular - for the record the centre half between them was one Bob Stokoe who managed Sunderland to win the cup in 1973.
It was a surprise when he moved south again to Fratton Park just after having featured for his country in the World Cup Finals. Manager Freddie Cox was really struggling and needed all the experience he could get. The season 1958/59 though was to be the worst in Pompey history and after a dreadful finish to the campaign the top division status was lost after thirty two years.
Tommy played twenty five games and scored once at Leeds in a rare away draw. Pompey did not win a league game after November 22nd and went twenty five league games without a win. Casey was then sold on to Bristol City where he finished his career in 1963. Tommy then tried his hand at coaching and management in various parts of the world including Canada and Iceland.
When he retired he opened a fishmongers shop in Nailsea near Bristol and he died in a Somerset nursing home on 13th January 2009 after a long illness.
50 years on
Writing about the disastrous season of 1958/59 reminded me that it was exactly fifty years ago and surely history will not repeat itself? There are strange coincidences.
In 1958 the last win was on November 22nd , in 2008 it was November 30th . in 1958 we lost heavily at home to West Ham United over Christmas by 6-0, in 2008 it was only 4-1!! In early 1959 we played Swansea Town in the FA Cup and won, this year it was worse.
The omens I`m afraid are not good BUT we did beat Aston Villa at home that season by five goals to two with Peter Harris scoring all five. Now a repeat of that would be nice.
Michael Brown is 32 - currently on the books at Wigan, Jason Roberts 31- left Wigan to join Blackburn in 2006 and Stathis Tavlaridis 29 - who has never been to Wigan. All three of course only joined Pompey on loan.
Brian Lewis was born 1943.
Kenny Swain 57, Derek Showers 56, Arnold Mvuemba 24
Bobby Stokes was born in 1951, Peter Crouch will be 28
Danijel Subotic will be 20.
And to bring up the rear on January we need to add Jermaine Pennant was 26 on January 15th. Born in Nottingham, Pompey are Jermaine`s seventh club in his fifth loan spell. He won an amazing twenty four England Under 21 caps.
Hopefully next weeks Toast will be back to a full slice.