Date:Sunday November 29 2009
Welcome to Avram Grant who becomes the 25th different manager during my time supporting Pompey. However he is not the only one to manage in European Cup Final, who is the other Toasters?
Anyway it was a pity that Wayne Rooney had not read the script as Grant sent out a 4-5-1 or was it the Christmas tree formation 4-3-2-1? Pompey put in another good performance and at half time the word around the tea bar was that we were playing our best football of the season. United were just too good but 4-1 win flattered them and you had to admire the Blues efforts even hitting the bar in injury time.
We must wait to see what effect Grant`s tactical nous will have on the performances but certainly the spirit Hart installed in the squad has not left them.
Yesterday`s crowd of 20,842 was another record for Pompey in the Premier League.
One final word on Paul Hart we leave to Paul Walsh on Sky Sports yesterday when he said 'Paul Hart was lucky to get the job in the first place but very unlucky to lose it'. Cannot disagree with Walshie except to say he was probably unlucky to get the job.
The Special one
We gather that earlier in the week Jose Mourinho turned down an approach to be the new Pompey manager. In a statement he said that he was happy with the package on offer and was certain he could lead Pompey to a top half finish but he had been replaced by Avram Grant once and did not want it to happen to him again!!
Well as promised the 70s team and I hope that some of you agree with some of my selections. You can always send yours in and I promise I will publish it.
1. Peter Mellor
2. Phil Roberts
3. Billy Wilson
4. Norman Piper
5. Paul Went
6. Malcolm Manley
7. Peter Marinello
8. David Kemp
9. Colin Garwood
10. Bobby Kellard
11. Jeff Hemmerman
The 1970's was the worst decade in Pompey`s history. They started in Division Two spent John Deacon's money in an effort to gain promotion but alas two relegations followed and the decade ended with the club in their second season in Division Four. So are we looking at the best of a bad bunch?
A simple answer to that is no. Fans who can remember back that far will certainly agree with some of my selections particularly in attack where Dave Kemp, Colin Garwood and Jeff Hemmerman were all goal scoring heroes.
Between the three of them in the 70s they played 188 league games netting 87 goals which for a struggling side is an impressive record.
All three were instantly recognisable Kemp with his blond curly hair, Hemmerman with his dark mop and Colin Garwood not so much for his hairstyle but for his love of playing wide right and cutting in to lash home goals. Kemp was the only bright light in the fall down the leagues, Garwood`s goals and experience in the lower leagues helped turn the corner and Hemmerman helped gain promotion and played for two more seasons back in Division 3.
However we must not forget the rest of our former heroes. In goal Peter Mellor stands out from the competition of the likes of Grahame Lloyd and Phil Figgins partly because he was a real character between the sticks. Full backs are Welsh International Phil Roberts and long serving Billy Wilson. Roberts was one of the early Deacon signings and also played in midfield and central defence in his five year stay at the club. Wilson was a two club man after 250 games at Blackburn Bill was one of the longest serving players of the 70s at Fratton Park staying eight seasons. Two good full backs who could also get forward as wing backs.
Central defenders have to be Paul Went and Malcolm Manley. Put together by Deacon money at a cost of £200,000 they were to only play fifteen games together before injury wrecked Manley`s career. They were an ideal partnership though with power of Went and the guile of Manley. Anyone who saw Manley`s display in the FA Cup replay at Swindon in 1974 would have to agree. On a absolute mudheap Malcolm Manley just strode through the game while others could hardly kick the ball a few yards.
Now the scorer of the winner in that County Ground game was a certain Bobby Kellard who makes his was into the engine room of this 70s team. He is partnered by England Under 23 international Norman Piper. Piper was a rock of the side from 1970 to 1978 playing 350 games and scoring over fifty goals. Like Roberts, Norman also played in many positions for the club at times playing at right back behind Roberts as boss Jimmy Dickinson looked to find a winning formation. As a strange footnote Piper wore the number five in his final game at Colchester - Pompey lost 4-0.
Finally we have a player very familiar to Vital Pompey regulars and is the enigmatic Peter Marinello. My fellow co-editor Chix will tell you at great length that Marinello was his hero when he first started to attend Fratton Park on a regular basis and how he had the number seven stitched on his shirt. There was no numbering of replica shirts in the club shop in those days. In fact there were no replica shirts and the club 'shop' was a wooden hut under the Fratton End.
Well there it is my team of the 70s - what do you think Toasters? I must add that I had sleected this side before I was bombarded with names in the Rutland ysterday! Next week surprise, surprise the 80s.
Reported Pompey target Amr Zaki is in no way bitter about missing out on the World Cup. The Egyptian will have upset football fans worldwide with his comments relating to the Algerians or Israelis already at Fratton Park.
Sorry Amr but we will accept none of that racist talk and tell you that you can even play for Pompey if you were born in Southampton!
Up for the cup
Tuesday night sees Pompey play their first ever League Cup quarter final at Fratton Park. Aston Villa are the opponents and we have met them many times in cup competitions in fact five times in the FA Cup and once in the League Cup.
The League Cup meeting came back in 1983 when the second round game was played over two legs and Pompey had plenty of chances to defeat their First Division opponents but eventually lost 5-4 after extra time in the second leg. Pompey led 2-0 at Fratton Park through Mark Hateley and a Gibson own goal but two very late Villa goals tied in up at 2-2.
The second leg at Villa Park again saw Pompey take an early lead through Alan Biley but then the luck begins to turn. Both Steve Aizlewood and Richard Money suffer serious injuries and Pompey are down to ten men. To add to the woes a very disputable penalty is given against Kevin Dillon and Villa are level. But plucky Pompey battle on and Dillon puts them back in front with twenty minutes left only for Peter Withe to send the game into extra time. The inevitable ending comes though with Mark Walters netting the winner in the first half of extra time.
Strangely two seasons later we met again in the FA Cup and the outcome was identical. The first game at Fratton Park saw Noel Blake and Dillon put Pompey 2-1 up only for Birch to claim a replay with the last kick of the game. The replay sees Pompey equalise late on through Gary Stanley but two Simon Stainrod goals in extra time send Villa into round four, Stanley added Pompey`s second from the spot.
Football is a strange game but there can be no second chance on Tuesday.
FA Cup 3rd round draw tomorrow and the World Cup draw next Saturday.
Following last weeks memo form Toast to FIFA we have heard that they have arranged an emergency meeting next Frday in South Africa to discuss the possibility of having extra officials at the finals next summer. We knew Toast was read worldwide but not in FIFA HQ in Zurich.
Quite a list this week including one player we have already mentioned.
Eddie Howe is 32
here was a young defender who had so much bad luck but then he went back to Bournemouth and became manager the rest as they say is history as they top of the league!! Just two games for Pompey he was injured in both but in two spells at Dean Court he played 270 games and after staving off relegation out of the league last season he has now led the Cherries to the top of League Two. Great work Eddie is such a shame that your career at Fratton Park was so cruelly truncated.
Kenny Black is 46 Mike Trebilcock is 65 Frank Haydock is 69
30th November Jamie Ashdown is 29 Andy McFarlane is 43 George Graham is 65
1st December Malcolm Manley is 60
3rd December Gordon Bartlett is 54
4th December Adam Newton is 29
5th December Ian Hendon is 38 Lee Chapman is 50 Guy Wharton born in 1916 died in 1990 My Wife Dawn is ??
Date:Sunday November 29 2009
Humble Steve Coppell (Friday December 13 2013)
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