Sunday Toast Season 3 # 14 - player of the decade
It has been a very quiet week on the Pompey front with no game, no rumours and no news. Perhaps that is all very welcome after the calamitous few months we have all been through.
One piece of news that did filter through was the imminent return to full fitness of Icelandic defender Herman Hreidarsson. Herman has been missed not only for his experience at left back but also for his inspirational qualities.
Herman has of course been voted Toast`s player of the season for the last two seasons mostly because of his determination and storming runs. He will roll up his sleeve in aid of the cause and has scored more the odd crucial goal. The sooner he is back in the side the better.
It got me thinking that a player with the same initials had the same effect on the Pompey side forty years ago. He was another veteran with the same rugged approach to the game but unlike Herman he was a Welshman. The late Harry Harris signed for Pompey in 1958 from Newport County and made his debut in a 2-1 home defeat to West Ham where namesake Peter scored the Pompey goal.
Harry was to play for Pompey in three decades until he retired in 1971 and played in 428 games scoring forty nine goals. He started as an inside left but ended his career as a centre back. In his later years Harry was used by manager George Smith as an impact substitute when Pompey were chasing a game would roll those sort sleeves right up to his shoulders in a effort to raise his teammates and the fans.
We all loved Harry then and we all love Herman now.
Well as was announced during the week the whole of Vital Football is being transferred to new servers over this weekend. We should all see a great improvement in performance and thanks to all at Vital for organising it. Remember Vital Football is an independent network and has no big money backer - sound familiar? - so thanks to everyone involved. Remember the advertisers that use the site are the only income Vital has, so show an interest in them please.
The latest news is that 'the network now split over three webservers. One more web server remains in its box. Over the next week some fine tuning will occur to completely balance the load across all web servers. Network performance issue seems to have been solved at the moment`
To celebrate the occasion I have spent the week updating parts of the site which had fallen into disuse. Namely the squad area has had a major overhaul but it is not finished yet so any help would be appreciated. The squad details are accessed by selecting the 'Vital Pompey Menu' at the top of the screen.
More manager news
Last week we told you about Richard Money's appointment as manager of conference side Luton Town. Well congratulations to the Hatters who went to Spotland and won their FA Cup First round replay with Rochdale.
This week it was also announced that ex Fratton favourite Kevin Dillon has taken over at Aldershot Town. Dillon who scored nearly 50 goals for Pompey had previously been on the coaching staff and neighbours Reading. He replaces Gary Waddock who had moved to Wycombe Wanderers.
The whole of the football world was rocked by the news this week that Robert Enke, the Germany and Hannover 96 goalkeeper has taken his own life at the age of 32. Enke's widow, Teresa, told a press conference her husband had been battling depression and was first treated for the illness in 2003. Teresa said Enke had feared that their adopted daughter Leila would be taken away if the illness became public knowledge. The couple adopted the eight-month-old in May. They lost their own daughter Lara in 2006 when she died of a rare heart condition at the age of just two.
Our thoughts are with the family and of course Toast had a reporter in the area. Tina tells us that the whole city of Hanover is in a state of shock with flags flying from windows and candle vigils being held outside the AWD Arena. We will report more when Tina returns to the UK next week.
Only a few hours later and the news broke that Spurs keeper Carlo Cudicini had been involved in a serious motorcycle accident. His injuries of a broken wrist and a dislocated pelvis had at first appeared to be career threatening but the latest news appears more optimistic. There is still no news on the rumour that Cudicini`s contract stipulates that he must not ride a motorcycle.
News that Jermain Defoe's lost his appeal against a six month driving ban after being stopped for speeding twice on the M11. Defoe was absent when the case was heard at Chelmsford Crown Court and Judge Goldstaub described his non appearance as 'shameful behaviour'. Defoe's defence had been centred around there being no evidence to prove Defoe was driving and no proof that paperwork was issued by a person authorised by the chief constable of Essex.
Bet that news bought a wry smile to the faces of Pompey fans!
Pompey player of the noughties
Well as we get close to the year 2010 it is time for Pompey fans to ask themselves who was our best player of the 2000s. Toast will look at some contenders over the coming weeks and then we will have a poll in the first weeks of the New Year.
Who is your choice then? Linvoy, Kanu, Yakubu, let us know your choice.
We were more than a little concerned to hear the news from Cairo on Friday evening about the stoning of the Algerian team coach on arrival in Egypt for the crucial World Cup qualifier. We assume that Nadir 'Billy' Belhadj and possibly Hassan Yebda were caught up in the incident which would certainly have shaken up their squad. At least three players were injured in the incident which was watched by a FIFA official - we do know that no Pompey player was hurt.
Egypt needed to beat Algeria by three goals to qualify but the game finished Egypt 2 Algeria 0 and now they are faced with a a play-off in Sudan on Wednesday to decide which of them will go to the World Cup. What will FIFA make of the attack though?
Not too many this week but one absolute legend.
Boris Zivkovic is 34 Darryl Powell is 38
Brian Carter is 71 Jack Froggatt born in 1922 died in 1993.
Jeroen Boere born 1967 died 2007
Paul Harries is 32 Mark Chamberlain is 48
Peter Mellor is 62
Warren Neill is 47