Vital Football

Toast Season 2 # 27 - Referee!!!

Toast Season 2 # 27 - Referee!!!

Referee Mike Jones added more weight to the Toast campaign for television replays being used at Premier League games yesterday. Not one but two ludicrous decisions cost Pompey two valuable points and it could have been all three.

This article is written before I have had a chance to throw my 'expert` eye over incidents but when Charlie Nicholas, not a great lover of Pompey, says it was not a penalty and the second was offside, I believe him as he does have the benefit of replays. You can put the odd mistake down to human error but not two in two minutes. These decisions can cost clubs millions of pounds and with the technology available MUST be right.


The Vital Pompey Facebook group is certainly gaining momentum. When I last checked we now have 56 members. Come and join us - all you have to do is register on and search for Vital Pompey and join us. Let`s get to 100 members before the end of the month.

I take just 50%!

I was relayed a story told by Kevin Day at the filming of MOTD2 a couple of weeks ago. It concerns our former manager whose son is a Sky football pundit.

Kevin was working for Channel 5 at the time and ran into Sandra`s husband at an event. During a discussion Kevin asked whether Jamie might be interested in some work on Five as a summariser. The reply came back that Jamie would do anything for £1,000. Kevin pointed out that they were having problems paying themselves let alone forking out that kind of money.

A few weeks later by chance Kevin ran into Jamie and in discussion the subject of the Channel 5 offer came up. "I could have done with that £500" said Jamie!!


Well the New Football Pools are holding their annual awards again this year. The awards are for fanzine magazines, web sites, editors and writers and they deserve your support. The great majority of writers on these sites and fanzines do it for the love of their clubs and not for personal profit and to receive some recognition for those efforts is always welcome.

Yes, I have been nominated and would appreciate your votes but the key is to ensure that the Vital Pompey site gets maximum support and possibly get through to the final. The final is down to a panel of judges and I am certain that we would do well if we could get that far.

Vote by using the banner at the bottom of this article and thanks in advance from us all.

Goalkeeping for beginners

Goalkeeping is all about concentration - how many times do you see a player look up and see a ball trundle pass him for a throw in - with you murmuring wake up XXXX. Well if that was the goalkeeper it would have been a goal!!

David James showed last Saturday what a complete keeper he is when he could have spent the entire game 'leaning against the goal post having a fag` and yet when the cross swung over onto Ched Evans` forehead he was perfectly placed and prepared to make an outstanding save.

If we look at the incident in detail. Jamo had decisions to make a position himself for the cross, he had to decide whether to come and collect or leave it to his defenders and he then had to decide where the ball may be played. The effort is so close in he did not have time to react to the header he had to decide after watching the flight of the ball and even the eyes of the striker.

Then get lucky, you have earned it. Goalkeeping at its best.


22nd February - Shaka Hislop is 40 now retired He was eligible to play for both England and Trinidad & Tobago. He initially represented England as both an U21, and on the bench for a full International against Chile, but in the end opted to play for Trinidad & Tobago.

Shaka first made his name at Reading before moving to Newcastle in 1995. There he had to fight Pavel Srnicek for a first team place, this was the season that the Geordies twelve point lead in the Premier League evaporated and the ended as runners up. He eventually lost his place to a young Shay Given and then moved back south to join the Hammers. A successful spell at the Boleyn Ground followed before he joined Pompey on a free transfer from West Ham after losing the starting role to David James at the end of the 2001/02 season.

Strange how keepers run into each other over their careers.

23rd February - Alex Mackie was born in 1903

Alec Mackie was one of Jack Tinn`s early signings as he attempted to build a team capable of staying in the top flight after a spring from non league to Division One in just seven years. Mackie a powerful right back joined from Arsenal and was a regular for eight years, playing 257 games and scoring just two goals.

Mackie was an Irish international and played in both the 1929 and 1934 losing cup final sides. In fact he was the only player from outside of England and Scotland to play in the 1934 final. He left Pompey in 1936 for Northampton Town and passed away in 1984 aged 81.

Steve Griffiths was born in 1914 in Barnsley - he was an inside forward who was attached to Pompey during the war years but records show he made no competitive games for the club. He died in 1998.

24th February - Phil Roberts 59 Phil`s last game of 153 was one he would like to forget and well as me. It is one for the vital members who have been moaning about Johnny comes latelys on the forum recently to ask were you there? It was on 21st March 1978 and the result Pompey 1 Plymouth Argyle 5 - Pompey`s slump towards Division Four becomes a dash after what is without doubt the worst display I have ever seen by a Pompey side.

Phil is replaced by Steve Piper who scores the goal. There are 10,010 present. Why you have to ask yourself?

Lloyd McGrath 44

25th February - Jeff Hemmerman 57,John McLaughlin 54

26th February - Alan Biley 52, Fitzroy Simpson 39, Ceri Hughes 38, Pedro Mendes 30

To read more on these birthdays read last year's Toast here or to look at Chix and PFCGino's special on Alan Biley then click here.

That was the edition of Toast where I told you Pompey had never lost to Manchester United in a March cup tie - and that was before the quarter final!!

Theofanis Gekas

In the second of our series looking at players who joined in the transfer window we turn our attentions to Fanis Gekas. Fanis joined on loan from Bayer Leverkusen at the end of the transfer window and to date has yet to make his debut. However he comes with a pedigree earned in the Greek and German leagues.

After spells in his native Greece with Larissa, Kallithea and Panathinaikos - scoring 84 goals in 201 games - Gekas joined Bundesliga strugglers Vfl Bochum on loan in 2006. Gekas soon became a hero and in thirty games he scored twenty goals to help keep Bochum up.

He eventually joined fellow German club Leverkusen in the summer of 2007 and on his debut in a friendly scored SEVEN goals. To date he has managed thirteen goals in thirty eight games before joined Pompey. His international career is also impressive having notched thirteen strikes while winning thirty nine caps including a hat-trick against Malta in November 2007.

Despite this record Fanis was not on the bench at the Britannia stadium yesterday. No doubt Paul Hart has read Toast of a couple of weeks ago when I told you no Greek player has ever scored for Pompey.

He is the father of twins Nikolaos and Mikaela-Lamprini born in 2008.

Ian Watmore

Who I hear you ask? Well you may missed it last week but Ian has been appointed to replace Brian Barwick as Chief Executive of the Football Association. Watmore (49) is a lifelong Arsenal fan and will leave his job as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in June.

After the failure of the Barwick years all Football fans will wish Ian Watmore good luck with his tenure.

The FA Cup

Some of you may remember that Pompey won the Cup last May! Well it has been bouncing around the City recently although it was not the clubs fault but that of e-on the official sponsors according to Toast contacts.

The other news is that the Cup will not be returned to the FA until March 5th because the programme of taking the Cup to local schools was delayed by the recent snow.

An estimated 250,000 saw the Cup arrive in the City, how many will see it leave?

See you all next week.


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Date:Sunday February 22 2009
Time: 5:00AM


At least we get to become holders for more than a year !! - given of course that we won it on May 17th and this year it will take a bit longer for the eventual winner to acclaim it at Wembley. We ain't gonna beat 7 years though, and for that matter neither will anybody else. Our claim to fame remains intact.
22/02/2009 05:38:00
A good read as auausal Dave.. I'll be interested for your view one Stokes second goal yesterday once you have a chance to see it .. MOTD showed (conclusively) that Hermann did in fact play Beattie ONSIDE however my question (of logic) is this .. Had a Stoke player occupied Hermanns position he would have been deemed to have been not interferring with play.. How then can an defender in the same position be deemed to be playing a player ONside .. either somebody is 'active' in that position or they are not .. irrespective of which side they play for .. anyway...
22/02/2009 06:08:00
The point about Goalkeepers concentrating is a good one.. I'm reading Peter Shilton autobiography at the moment and am amazed how (from a very early age) he saw constant focussed concentration as a key element of every goalkeeper .. Obviously Jameo thinks the same .. except when he came on a a sub for England once of course ..
22/02/2009 06:11:00
I now accept that Stoke's second goal was ONSIDE but Chix makes a very valid point about defender not being active.
22/02/2009 09:13:00
I'm enjoying TOAST this morning while noshing a huge bacon sarny. Talking about goalkeepers, i saw Peter Bonetti several times during his stint at Chelsea. That guy had fast reflexes, but a bit like Jamo got undeserved stick when he did make an error. What's happened to Gekas by the way, i thought he'd get a run out yesterday. Don't want to talk about that wretched penalty, total no brainer. Beat-up should have been booked for his antics afterwards... I hate to admit it but i think that second goal was onside, that active playing on thing confuses just about everybody i think....
22/02/2009 09:18:00
The second goal was onside, Hermann was active, we got back into the game thanks to the new spirit in the side, with Adams in charge they would have got a third. Glen was unlucky as the ball held up in the wind so would not have run out of play. It looks like the new team do not rate the Greek new boy as good as Kanu or Utaka, i find that a bit worrying!! Roll on Chelsea, lets really have a go at them. Lloyd McGrath what a great performer he was!!
22/02/2009 11:43:00
I was fuming about their second goal yesterday but having seen it on Goals on Sunday today I have to admit it was clearly onside. The only thing that frustrates me slightly is that perhaps if Hermann had run off the pitch rather than trying to run the other way he may have played Beattie offside in time. I am right in thinking if you're not on the pitch you cannot be playing someone onside aren't I? Please correct me if I am wrong! :)
22/02/2009 12:33:00
If you run off the pitch, you're still in play. The second goal stands. It's the penalty that changed the game & fcked us up. Great read Dave, some top birthdays this week.
22/02/2009 15:38:00
Yes their second goal was onside, but at the time I was screaming from the stand that he was offside. The penalty was definately NOT a penalty, however Johnson is stupid for having his arm raised. You raise an interesting point Chix about Hermann Hreidarsson being 'active', but to be honest if it was us that had scored that way then he'd be definately onside say no more about it. Just one of those things unfortunately!! Cracking article aswell Dave, an awesome read.
22/02/2009 15:55:00
Haven't seen the game on the telly yet so If you guys say it was onside I will accept that, at the time it looked like Beattie was on the line! As for the penalty I wasn't surprised as the ref had been a 'homer' all day, so much so with all that buffoonery he was more like Homer Simpson. If the penalty hadn't been given there was no way back for them, the second goal was, I feel, as a direct result of that decision, they were still angry and lost focus.
22/02/2009 17:17:00
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