Sunday Toast Season 3 # 25 - Chins up!
Not sure where to start this week. No game yesterday which was probably a relief really but today we travel by public transport to Manchester City to take on the side with the real Arab money.
Last Tuesday we tackled West Ham and picked up a point when really we needed all three. The fact that we got a point was thanks to the brilliance of Asmir Begovic, a player the Toast team were going to run the rule over but it is probably too late now.
We were going to run a competition for the best song that sums up Pompey`s current predicament but there is only one possible winner in 'What's going on?' by Marvin Gaye. So we had to scrap around that idea too.
In fact this has been the worst week I can remember for articles hitting the office floor minutes after they were completed. It is now Sunday morning and I do not have a clue who will be joining or leaving the squad and that makes in difficult. The Tottenham manager seems to hovering over Fratton Park like a vulture waiting to pounce on the mess he helped create. He then drags players off to North London to join the ex Pompey professional's outfit in return for a paltry sum. There was a player named Kranjcar he would not sell for £15m, he then returns and buys him for £2.5m and calls it 'real money'.
The West Ham fans were chanting 'We hate Redknapp more than you' the other night. I am sorry boys and girls but you got that wrong!!
Yes I know Paul writes the match previews but just who will play for Pompey this afternoon? Players are disappearing at a great rate but others are returning - Jamie O'Hara, Aruna Dindane is back, Quincy has signed, Billy Belhadj and Hassan Yebda are also back from Africa etc.(not actually both Yebda and Kanu were involved in yesterday's 3rd place game-ed).
Then of course there may be more departures after I write this - Saturday 5pm - to further complicate the team news Paul has given in his article. Most of us will watch the game on the television but let's cheer to the rafters whatever the result as the current players are not to blame for the mess the club is in.
Youth Cup exit
With all the furore of the past week it passed almost unnoticed that the Pompey youngsters slipped out of the FA Youth Cup to Chelsea on Thursday by a single goal at Stamford Bridge. This is not a tournament that we have done well in recently having failed to progress beyond Round four in the lat 10 seasons. For your records here are the eventual ends to our exploits -
Season 2008-09 - Pompey 0-1 Manchester City (Fourth Round)
Season 2007-08 - Pompey 1-2 Plymouth Argyle (Fourth Round)
Season 2006-07 - Pompey 1-5 Norwich City (Third Round)
Season 2005-06 - Pompey 0-2 Millwall (Third Round)
Season 2004-05 - Ipswich Town 3-2 Pompey (Third Round)
Season 2003-04 - Pompey 1-2 Newcastle United (Third Round)
Season 2002-03 - Pompey 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Third Round)
Season 2001-02 - Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Pompey (Third Round)
Season 2000-01 - Nottingham Forest 2-1 Pompey (Fourth Round)
Season 1999-00 - Pompey 0-2 Wimbledon (Fourth Round)
The FA website tells me that three of those home defeats drew crowds of less than 300 to Fratton Park.
Pompey have never reached The Final but I can certainly remember when the Youth team reached the semi-final back in 1990. The quarter final had seen us drawn away to the mighty Liverpool and the kids held out for a 2-2 draw at Anfield to bring the Reds back to Fratton Park, memory tells me Darren Anderton was among the scorers.
The club opened only the South Stand and the Fratton End for the game but the remainder of the ground was packed (around 8,000) and an Anderton inspired team progressed to the semis 2-1 after extra time; Shaggy himself scoring with a beautiful free kick. In the end they fell to Middlesbrough one hurdle short of the final but that team spawned a number of youngsters including Andy Awford, Kit Symons, Stuart Doling and Daryl Powell.
Research tells me that the only Youth Cup winner on the Pompey books at present is David James with Watford way back in 1989.
TV Detective signs
Quincy - not played since being substituted in Spartak's 2-1 defeat at Zenit on 29th November 2009. Spartak finished runners up in the Russian league to new kids on the block Rubin Kazan. The Russian season does not start until 13 March.
That got me thinking that maybe it was a plan to form a team of US TV detectives and we imagined that the line up soon might read something like
GK Perry Mason - what better form of defence? Only lost twice in 270 appearances!!
On the bench - Cagney and Lacey
Every now and again press releases land in the Toast inbox and most are dispatched straight into the deleted tray but this one is definitely worth an airing. It is from Juicy the company that provide the Official Web site to Pompey.
"Juicy has worked with Portsmouth Football Club for the past 3 years and has good relationships across the business, as supporters and fans ourselves, as much as suppliers.
Juicy has been in continual communication with the finance team in recent months about managing the costs of the website but were forced, due to payment plan breaches, to take the site down earlier today. A new payment plan with the club has now been agreed and the site will be made live with immediate effect.
Juicy Director Pete Holliday, said: "We understand how passionate fans are about Portsmouth and want to see the site live just as much as they do. We even had a supporter contact us today to offer to pay to get the site live again! We're proud of the work we have done with Portsmouth, and are pleased to be working through these issues with the club so that the site can remain live and continue to serve the needs of the club and its community."
Well who was that fan?
Image rights - yes please
When Sol went up to shaft our football club, we were there, we were there!! All over £1.67mill worth of 'image rights` , now who agreed to that deal? Was it picked up in the Due Diligence exercise carried out by SAF way back in the summer? Was it included in the debtors' column on the company balance sheet?
So the co-editors of the site have decided between us that we to should attract image rights!! Television appearances, Match of the Day regulars, book articles etc. now what value would you put on that? Perhaps we should even start to look for a decent agent.
News is coming through that all time Pompey hero Pedro Mendes has been sold by Rangers to Sporting Lisbon back in his native Portugal. Pedro has set his sights on playing in this summer`s World Cup finals in South Africa and feels he has more chance playing on home soil. He has been involved again with the national squad in recent games.
Good luck Pedro and we all look forward to seeing play in the summer.
The life of a Pompey fan
Spotted this line somewhere in the week 'Portsmouth have endured a miserable season on and off the field. They have three owners, changed their manager, have paid their players salaries late four times, had an application to quash a winding up order dismissed and are bottom of the table'.
Sounds jolly but then that is the life of a Pompey fan. Keep smiling Toasters life could be worse - but not much!!
Farewell Janice - just as I was posting the article news came through that Janice Kaboul has returned to Spurs. Not a surprise but thanks must go to Younes for his efforts an we know this was not what he wanted but what he had to do. Younes, Younes! we will hear that no more.