Sunday Toast Season 3 # 4 - deadline day the story
Well we were all biting our fingernails on Tuesday as the transfer deadline unfolded in front us - and a special Toast thanks to Chix for that incredible fifteen hour stint he put in keeping us informed and entertained. The Toast team was out and about keeping updated with texts such as 'David Nugent is at Deepdale` - which he was before he went on to Burnley!!
But what is deadline day like for a player we ask? He is pestered by his agent, hounded by the press and media and has cameras forever under his nose. Of he signed for this club or that his phone would be constantly ringing for quotes. You are given flight times that are wrong, you try driving but have no idea where you are going. You have a medical and cannot pass water.
Well we have a snippet on one player who did sign for Pompey on Monday night. He was collected from a London hotel and driven was a medical then a quick chat, agree terms, sign on the line and a quick dash to Heathrow Airport to fly out and play for his country.
Well it was not quite that straight forward as he left with some of the club's paperwork and had to turn back. But once settled in the car he turned to the driver and asked 'who do we play next?' The club had forgotten to give him a fixture list!! Then his phone rang and he insisted in giving only a short radio interview. He has to insist many times that he is only saying 'The club … well you know the rest.
Home shirt tomorrow
Yes the new home shirt is out tomorrow at last we hear you say. Well what name will be on the back of yours? Who is your new hero? They have all gone haven't they?
We have been through the list now so they will be brief unless something of interest has occurred. Remember to click the name for the link to view the Pompeyrama stats on the player. This week we have some real Pompey heroes from the past too.
Malcolm Waldron is 53
Tony Taylor is 63
David Best is 66
Cliff Parker was born in 1913 Cliff scored two goals in the 1939 Cup Final and also played a part in the Championship winning side in 1949 and 1950. Cliff scored his final Pompey goal at Villa Park in April 1951 over eighteen years after his first. A long career but because of the war only 242 league games. Sadly Cliff died in January 1983.
Garry Brady is 33
Robbie Pethick is 39
Fred Worrall was born in 1910 and passed away 13th April 1979. England International winger was the only player to appear in both the 1934 and 1939 Cup finals.
Ian Stewart is 48
Bobby Nutley DFM was born in 1913. Left winger who contested the number eleven shirt with Cliff Parker immediately football started after the war.
Johnny Gordon born 1931 and died 26th May 2001. Pompey born boy who played nearly 500 games for the club in two spells.
Len Phillips will be 79
David Thompson is 32
Paul Smith is 56
Bob Widdowson is 68
Is the battle being won?
No not the relegation battle but the winning over of the media after all the trials and tribulations of the summer. I think the answer is still No!
This week we have seen headlines such as 'Hart ripped out of Pompey' and 'Broke Portsmouth looking doomed to relegation' as the media vultures circle waiting to pick the bones from the carcase of a dying club. Well we have news for you in Fleet Street the club is far from dead and there will soon be signs of life in the old club.
The players that have been signed ARE Premier League standard the fans saw enough in the Citeh game to know that the fight is there to turn the season round and quickly. The new players that have arrived also believe that it is only a matter of time before things click into place and this two week break will obviously help greatly.
Next Saturday sees the visit of fellow early strugglers Bolton to Fratton Park and it is there that the recovery needs to start, I expect the crowd to turn the old stadium into a bear pit atmosphere in an effort to get behind their team. We have survived in the Premier League for six seasons now and for only two of those did we have a team packed with England stars. The current squad is at least as good as the earlier teams and just needs to be gelled together and the fans can certainly help with that.
The Bolton game is not win or bust as it is only the fifth game of the season but a performance is vital to kick start the campaign.
Talking of the press has anyone other than me noticed that after months of silence Peter Storrie is now talking to the press all the time on any subject they wish to raise. He is offering his assessment on the players signed in the window - probably the manager`s job and talking tactics too. The resurgent Chief Executive has even told them he is CERTAIN that money will be available to invest in the team in the January transfer window. Now I wonder where that is coming from?
Well if you want to sign a player now it is all down to the out of contract classification The PFA like any good Trade Union have a full list of available members on their web site Givemefootball.com; worth a look Toasters you can get details on any player available and you could make a bid for Eugene Bopp!!
The problem is with these 'stars' is that obviously opinions on them differ. Hull City believe they had made a coup by picking up Jan Venegoor of Hesselink but on a fans web site a Celtic fan described his ability in the box as like trying to turn a giant battleship in the Sargasso sea which is full of treacle - classic quote that.
Back to the PFA site it is well worth a look as I said, you can also for those who have nothing else to do and has a few good links to funny football clips on Youtube - such as Jimmy Bullard on Soccer AM.
No football warm ups
Yes that is a decision of the ECB after the injury to Joe Denly in the preparation for the One Day series with Australia. You may not have seen Jonathan Agnew's column in which he puts the view that playing football in training is 'bordering on irresponsibility on behalf of the coaching staff'
Presumably football will follow that example and stop playing cricket in the warm ups and looking at the Pompey squad it must be French Cricket.
Ex Pompey manager and twice player of the season Steve Claridge is back playing for his beloved Weymouth. The Dorset club you were relegated from the Conference last season after almost going out of existence are close to Steve's heart and he did not think twice when asked to help the Terras out.
Steve who is now 43 is now in his third spell at Weymouth and he turned out yesterday against Bromley at the Wessex Stadium and the season just goes from bad to worse for the home after being thumped 5-1, and that after taking a second minute lead.
After leaving Pompey in 2001 Steve was so clean to play for the Terras again he actually climbed into the stadium in an attempt to meet the manager.
The Terras are threatened with administration this week if they are unable to find £50,000 and could possibly pass into extinction as fellow Conference lower side Farsley Celtic did this week.
Apparently the training ground is overrun with players milling around not sure what group they should be in. It was surprising therefore that when the team was announced for the closed doors friendly at Reading 0n Friday that it was taken from Guy Whittingham's development squad. Should we have sent the new players rather than the kids and given them a chance to get 90 minutes under their belts?