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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.

HH #2

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.

New server

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.

Keeper woe

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.

Appeal lost

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.

Cairo mayhem

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.

15th November
Boris Zivkovic is 34 Darryl Powell is 38
17th November
Brian Carter is 71 Jack Froggatt born in 1922 died in 1993.
10th November
Jeroen Boere born 1967 died 2007
19th November
Paul Harries is 32 Mark Chamberlain is 48
20th November
Peter Mellor is 62
21st November
Warren Neill is 47


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The Journalist

Writer: eastneydave Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday November 15 2009

Time: 5:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Harry Harris was a super bloke, I new him well. Fantastic cricketer, with cutting humour in the dressing room.
Report Abuse
15/11/2009 11:15:00

fantastic stuff as ever dave - PLEASE do share you thoughts on the Pompey player of the noughties, either with your comments here or with an email to me - that i will forward to dave - or with a private message direct to him...
i will look to forward my own this week sometime!

zivkovic, now that is NOT a birthday i will drink to - i still think he is one of the most, if not the most, unworthy of players ever to have warn a pompey shirt!
Report Abuse
15/11/2009 12:56:00

I hadn't heard about the stoning of the Algerian team coach, what a terrible thing to happen. Its also quite shocking to think of Luton Town as a conference side, it seems such a short while ago they were in the top flight, but then I guess the same applies to Oxford Utd as well. It just shows what can happen . . . I wish Dead-Eye Dillon luck at Aldershot, hope he gets lots of good experience, maybe he could be a future Pompey manager one day?
Report Abuse
15/11/2009 15:10:00

Tracyc at least Dead eye-Dillon would be better than dead end Hart!!
Report Abuse
15/11/2009 17:03:00

Great news that Herman is coming back, he will be a useful and much needed addition to our defence. So sad that a young man of 32 would want to take his life, especially one with such a young family. Defoe's woes seem to go on and on. It seems nothing has much gone right for him since he left Pompey in such a despicable manner. He is just an idiot. Re players for the noughties, I don't really feel qualified to vote cos I have only been a fan for about three years. I suppose on three years experience I would shortlist Diarra - who came for just a short time, was honest and made no bones about it, kept his head down and worked his socks off for us. He was the consumate professional. I think I would like to see this season out before I were to nominate anyone else. (Then again, it wouldn't be the noughties - would it?) Well done Dave, good Toast as usual, with lots to think about. Where is everyone anyway?
Report Abuse
15/11/2009 19:07:00

I'm here Gandor
Report Abuse
15/11/2009 20:23:00

Another great read, if not a few days late for me. As for player of the decade, what a shortlist. Some came for a season or two, a few played a great chunk of it. The decade that saw us reach highs we would all dream of & times of utter farce!!! Never boring!
Report Abuse
17/11/2009 11:46:00


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