Sunday Toast Season 3 # 32 - the spirit lives on!
I was woken from by my slumbers yesterday afternoon by the spirit of Pompey. The game with Hull had limped along with ample evidence to a neutral that both will be at home in the Championship next season, simple passes going astray and neither team having any shape.
Avram tried putting Kanu on to change things to no avail and it was only the introduction of Angelos Basinas that finally had the right effect. The Greek midfield veteran just adds something to the team that even the ever running Jamie O`Hara cannot offer. Quite why we needed to start with Marc Wilson and Aaron Mokoena as sitting midfield players mystified me.
And where did that run from Billy Belhadj come from? Another strange thing about the game was that both keepers booked!
Brendan Bone suggested earlier in the week that Relegationfest starts here, saying we should go down the Pompey way, in style! As he added 'Let's get the word out there, no crying on Sky, no whinging about what the owners have done to this great club.'
Maybe yesterday was the start of the party.
Meet the Administrator #2
The latest meeting with UHY Hacker Young was held yesterday morning and the full minutes will be available on this site early next week once they have been agreed by the fans representatives and the UHY.
Some revelations I will disclose are that Hacker Young did pay for their adverts on the pitchside hoardings in the Birmingham games and Andrew Andronikou wants it made clear that he did not totally blame Peter Storrie for the mess the club are in, claiming he was misquoted.
The rest will all be available on Tuesday with luck.
Last week's teaser
Last week in the stop press I asked if anyone could remember a game where a team scored five at home and lost. This came after Burton lost an incredible match with Cheltenham 6-5 at their Pirelli Stadium home.
A number of you reminded me of the Charlton Athletic 7 Huddersfield Town 6 score back in 1957 BUT Charlton were at home I`m afraid! But after a lot of looking I found one although it was in Scotland.
Date 20th October 1999 - Motherwell 5-6 Aberdeen
This was a meeting of the bottom two in the SPL and the Dons were 6 points adrift without a win or an away goal! There were also two international goalkeepers on show in Andy Goram and Jim Leighton.
Goals flowed at regular intervals with a number of players known to us all south of the border in Eoin Jess, John Spencer, Don Goodman and Shaun Teale among the scorers. Only 5,009 showed up for a game to tell your grandchildren about - there were only 2,500 at Burton.
Motherwell recovered superbly to win six of their next seven games - including home and away wins over Celtic - but Aberdeen didn't manage another success on the road until February and would finish the season bottom of the table despite reaching two cup finals. They were spared relegation as the SPL was being expanded to 12 clubs
Curiously the same to Scottish sides met in the third round of the Cup back in 1953 and drew 5-5 at Pittodrie. The Dons won the replay at the Well by six goals to one!!
C'mon you Cottagers!
Congratulations to Fulham for their remarkable turn around win over Juventus in the week. Now repeat it next Wednesday and we would love to see you at Wembley!!
Around the forum
Picked up a couple of ditties from the forum over the last week that certainly are worth an airing here on the front page. First up Dave from Merseyside wrote
Hi lads, I am a Liverpool lad who has watched the reds for over 18 years, watched Liverpool win European and domestic trophies, and follow them up and down the country with my mates and in Europe.
I would just like to say how much respect and admiration I have for Pompey, People talk about great fans, and how Newcastle are the most passionate of football fans, Well on the Kop we have a lot of admiration for Pompey fans, despite administration and debt, and inevitable relegation, Pompey fans have turned up week in week out in there thousands and that says a lot about them, real football fans with real pride and passion for your club its amazing to see and it really reflects well on your city. I have real respect for Portsmouth, who are a proper little football club with tradition and history in such an important port city just like ours. I was over the moon watching Pompey beat Birmingham, it`s great to see the bond between players and fans there is a real fighting spirit down there which nothing can break. You have the kops respect, Go on and win it now lads (FA cup) best wishes,
Our own Pompeytim wrote this on Tuesday which hardly returns the compliment!!
Last night a club in crisis went out onto the field at Anfield. And no, it wasn't the team in blue.
Liverpool Football Club, one of the top 10 names in world football, is in crisis. Is it a financial crisis? Well sort of, but that isn't my main point. My point is how it has lost its heart & soul.
I remember going to the two semi finals in 1992, when I was just a lad, and enjoying a great atmosphere - not only us, but also them.
Since then I have been to Anfield every year since promotion and I have always been underwhelmed. There is simply no atmosphere. Last night was the same. How 40,000 people can make so little noise is amazing. They have become Premiership-ised.
A walk around the ground before the game showed how few of the fans actually come from Liverpool, and I think most of those there last night were more interested in getting photos of Gerrard each time he took a corner than supporting the club.
Liverpool had 40,000 paying spectators (not supporters) last night - there to say they have been to Anfield. Thinking that buying a scarf and a shirt makes them a 'real' supporter. I think it is sad.
I said to Mrs Tim as we left last night - 'Would you rather have won 4-1 and been part of the Liverpool crowd, or have lost 4-1 and been part of the Pompey crowd?' Without hesitation she said 'The latter.'
I think we are lucky to have retained some of our original spirit, even though that has been diluted of late. I hope we never become like that.
Had this little piece last week but cut it out. It came from a report by The Gaffer on epltalk.com of the Birmingham cup tie.
I say that Portsmouth has been my guilty pleasure this season, which is true. I'm supposed to be unbiased and not supporting any club in particular in this league. While I`m not a supporter of Portsmouth Football Club, I have a deep amount of respect for what they`ve done on the pitch this season especially considering the hell that the players have been put through and how wonderful the football has been to watch.
With the end of the Premier League season just weeks away and a FA Cup semi-final on the horizon, I`ll continue watching Portsmouth with a deep amount of interest and a hope that ore soccer fans will join me in this pleasurable experience.
Cut price travel
As a Rug and I crossed the car park prior to the Brum League game we both heard 'Semi-final travel only £20` coming from a Black Country voice. During the game local car were littered with flyers advertising the details.
I was not over surprised then to hear this week that official travel partner Lucketts will be charging only £19 - now I bet that was deliberate!
Park and Ride
A while ago I thought about asking whether any Toast readers used the Park and Ride service. Well there is no point now as it has been axed. Obviously as a cost saving.
From 1 April 2010 Pompey will no longer accept cheques as payment for tickets and merchandise. This however is not to save money but simply moving with the time nor is at anything sinister.
Good luck Tim
Long serving Vital member Ninjatim is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in September for Everyman: Stamp Out Male Cancer. If you would like to donate to Tim`s cause click here
On the way back - just spotted that one of our old adversaries, Newport County, have already clinched promotion back to the Conference. Remember those big games in the late 70s when we were promotion rivals? They are no longer at Somerton Park but maybe we will visit them again one day.
Before yesterday's game the editorial team were having a quick pint when the subject of Chix's hair came up. He is known of course for different coloured thatches and he has said we should run a competition suggesting a new style. He will select the winner and wear in to Wembley on April 11th. So watch this space.