Date:Sunday February 15 2009
We all wake with a broad smile on our faces after a much improved performance and THREE points which is much more important. The team played with great heart, improved shape and looked like the Pompey of old. The substitution of Hayden Mullins for a tiring Angelos Basinas was a masterstroke which would not have happened recently. The key moment though was Jamo's save from the point blank Ched Evans header. We knew then the points were safe and the team visibly grew with confidence too.
Well it has been another quiet week in the lives of Pompey fans and the history of the club. The sack was placed firmly over the head of Tony Adams and he was led screaming through the gates of the Eastleigh Training Ground. Actually it may have happened at his son's birthday party!!
Was the run that bad?
As Arsene Wenger become the last to add his weight to the view that Tony Adams was not given enough time I am reminded by a member on the forums that last year I looked at the results Pompey had had over the last twenty years in December and January and how bad they have been.
Well it took a lot of effort but the figures make interesting reading. The two months have not been a happy hunting ground for Pompey over these two decades and there in no doubt the current season is the worst but a number have been almost as bad and ended up with the same result except one.
This December and January is the only occasion that Pompey have failed to register a victory but in three of the last twenty, only one win was managed. Let's take a look quickly at the three. First was 1990/91 - November and December had been winless and it was a great surprise when Hull were thumped 5-1 at Fratton on New Years Day. Form did pick up in February but a terrible start to March saw boss Frank Burrows shown the door on the unlucky 13th.
Then there was 1999/2000 - December began with a sacking this time as Alan Ball was dismissed on the 8th to be replaced by Bob McNab as caretaker. Three weeks later Tony Pullis took over control but it was not until the last game in January that Pompey managed a win after fifteen games with a Steve Claridge hat-trick seeing off Barnsley.
The last of the three seasons with only one winter win was surprisingly 2002/03 when promotion was to be earned at the end of the season. That term December and January were littered with draws and only the win at Nottingham Forest over Christmas. The only defeat was at home to Sheffield United after the New Year. The manager that season survived unscathed - he was of course the bloke to advertises computer games on telly with his family.
BBC2's new comedy series
Well the latest of Vital Pompey's TV exploits was a great success as expected. This time the Landlord elected for Chix and Paul to represent us and they did a remarkable job. Kevin Day is a good lad to work with as I know and he certainly got the best out of our duo. The quips and jokes were flowing from the off and despite the gut wrenching result, is continued in the post match review.
The highlights for all Pompey viewers would have been the announcement before the item that 'for some strange reason Pompey fans will not refer to their last manager by name'. This Toasters, was as a result of a discussion between the four of us on the 'staff' at Vital Pompey where we decided to refer to him as Jamie's dad etc and never by name. This was going to end after the game at White Hart Lane but has just kept rolling along. It has now spread and even been mentioned on the BBC. Whatever next? Anyway enough of self-gratification back to the subject.
Lines such as 'Distin has gone from Player of the season to an absolute doughnut' and 'Adrian (Chiles) you're going down boy!' will long live in the memories of all Vital members and Pompey fans who saw it.
Well done lads and the BBC as well for playing their part in our 'game'. Was it as good as last season's effort? Not quite storagematt and I would say. Oh, for those that did not see the item which was on youtube, Adrian Chiles' answer to Chix was 'Well we'll see about that!'
Anyway I gather the staff here will soon be given their Equity cards and then what show shall we take over next?
Thought we might help introduce our new players over the next few weeks if space allows and first we turn our attention to Greek star midfielder Angelos Basinas.
Perhaps to start the article let us hear from a Greek fan of AEK, Thanassis Veggos who came on the forum just after the signing but posted this in an obscure corner and only I have picked it up. His English was very good (better than my Greek) but I have made a few minor changes so it reads ok.
'Hey all, AEK fan here. Just want to tell you a couple of things about Basinas.
Style-wise, he is a solid defensive mid, plays a no-frills and unimaginative style of football. He has pretty good technique, can also take free kick and corners. Having played for Panathinaikos, Mallorca and the Greek national team (we won't count his sorry stint with us) we can also say that he is vastly experienced. At 33, it's unclear if he can stay fit (but I'm not sure what his role may be at PFC).
At AEK he showed dirt-poor form, but truth be told, the atmosphere wasn't the greatest for him. No one wanted him, and I'm pretty sure he was looking for a contract outside of Greece.
If anyone has any questions, shoot!'
Well that is an interesting insight heh? So we know now why he wanted to leave and last week seemed to fit into the team well and once he had persuaded Sean Davis to let him take the free kicks and corners the delivery at set plays improved.
Angelos, now has 98 caps for Greece and is best remembered as part of the team that won Euro 2004 and his spell at Panathinaikos.
It was expected that after that European Championships win he would move to England and was expected to sign for Pompey but the move collapsed. The same end came to the deal with Birmingham in the summer of 2005. he was then expected to join West Ham in the January 2006 window but nothing materialised.
A game that always sticks in my mind is the Champions league clash between Arsenal and Panathinaikos back in November 2004. The game was at Highbury and Arsenal took an early lead through a Thierry Henry penalty but the Greeks came storming back and dominated for long periods thanks to Basinas' control of midfield. The equaliser would not come and they missed a great opportunity in 61 minutes when Cole was penalised for a collision with Papadopoulos, who was stretchered off the field. Basinas blasted the penalty over the bar!!
Eventually after 74 minutes Cygan deflected a long-range effort from Vyntra past the stranded Jens Lehmann. A lot of Pompey interest in that game too - Sol Campbell failed a late fitness test but Lauren played for the Gunners. The Panathinaikos goalkeeper was none other than Toast 'favourite' Kostas Chalkias! A certain Rudi Skacel also featured for the Greeks.
15th February - Richie Reynolds is 61, Ernie Howe 56,
16th February - Malcolm Shotton 52, David Crown 51,
17th February - Reginald Cutler 74,
20th February - Albert Juliussen 89, Peter Marinello 59, David Kemp 56,
21st February - Cyril Rutter 76
Well two of Chix's most favourite players on one day (Marinello and Kemp)- next Friday will be a big day in his household!! Reg Cutler and Cyril Rutter are two players I hope Pat Neil will write about in his next article.
Goals for the boys
While our own three lions were pulling on the white shirt of England in Seville on Wednesday night across Europe some other Pompey faces old and new were also wearing their national shirt and some with great acclaim.
In the Greek city of Piraeus a small crowd watched Denmark hold Greece to a 1-1 draw. Both teams top their respective World Cup qualifying groups and this was a meeting of two prospective finalists. Denmark's defence was shaky during the first half and goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen was twice threatened by new boy (Theo)Fanis Gekas. Gekas then set up Portsmouth team-mate Angelos Basinas for a goal bound shot that went right at the Denmark goalkeeper. Fanis (which seems his name in Greek circles) finally found the back of the net in the 61st minute.
Meanwhile over in Bucharest, Rumania, Niko Krancjar was scoring the winning goal for his native Croatia in a 2-1 come from behind win. Striker Eduardo da Silva marked his return to International football by setting up Niko's winner.
Pompey's official site ran this slightly misleading headline last week when they announced the new Season Ticket prices. A closer look suggested that a reduction in some prices is very welcome but hardly warranted the headline when some prices are unchanged!!
The price of North Stand Lower, where I sit, has been reduced from £600 to £575 for early birds. Well PFC, £12.76 of the £25 reduction is due the change in VAT rates from 17.5% to 15% last December!! The remaining £12.24 from Pompey.
So thanks are due more to HM Revenue and Customs than Pompey!
Well that's it for this week. See you soon.
Date:Sunday February 15 2009
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