Sunday Toast Season 3 # 34 - Bore draw!
There are bore draws an there are bore draws and yesterday was definitely one of those. Pompey`s performance was perhaps excusable with Wembley next week and only thirteen fit players but as for the visitors there was no such defence
Blackburn were awful and they had only high balls into the box as any threat and then their strikers seems intent on flapping their arms at the ball. The worst performance however was given by referee Steven Bennett who missed just about everything and saw things that were just not there - the handball by a Rovers players in the final minutes was the most blatant you could see and yet neither official saw it and the resulting melee could have led to a totally underserved winner. Specsavers calling!!
The crowd, our lowest ever Premier League crowd of just 16,027, were strangely subdued at times but at least they tried to lift their team from time to time. Most said they were saving their voices to next Sunday. The only good thing to come out of the game was the fact that the stretchers were not required.
The red card for Tony Vanden Borre will mean he misses the trip to the Arch and cuts Avram`s options yet further. Why did he stick his arm out when already on a yellow only he will know?
Pompey in the Red
Nothing new there you all say but you are wrong!! Next Sunday for the first time on their history Pompey will wear their famous red socks at Wembley.
Until 1947 Pompey wore black socks and then changed to red. That brought about the greatest spell in the clubs history. They should have worn them in the 1949 final but Leicester won the semi final 3-1 against all odds. Of course the three games in 2008 saw Pompey don their all blue kit so those famous red socks have never been to Wembley before.
Last summer we organised a get together of Vital members to celebrate Hermann Hreidarsson`s 35th birthday. We all had a good time and pompeygray travelled al the way from Sydney to be there.
As Pompey fans are all concerned as to whether we will ever see the Icelandic stopper on a football pitch again after his serious injury at White Hart Pain, the Toast team have decided that we must celebrate his birthday again this year on the nearest Saturday. This will be the 10th July as usual at the Eastney Tavern.
More details later as we try and arrange the night but we hope to come up with a few surprises.
On the subject of Toast days out I have the privilege of travelling to the semi final next week with tracyc and Gandor. I am really looking forward to that and will produce a special report on the day.
It was very nice the reaction Younes Kaboul got from the Pompey fans last week and the words he offered after the game saying he would like to have stayed and continued the fight. Thanks Janice and to Niko for not celebrating his goal as well.
What will Wembley mean to me?
The first in the series is down to pompeyrug our erstwhile editor who gives us his feelings on going back to the National Stadium.
The 17th May 2008 ranks as one of the greatest days of my life, if it did not I would NOT have had XVII - V - MMVIII tattooed on my arm!
Of course that day, in many ways, played as big a role in our downfall as anything really as it seems that the bonuses we paid out to players, clubs, manager, staff etc. aided the crippling effect on the club.
Although I still find it tough to answer 'would I give up that FA cup final winning moment for stability now' with an answer of 'yes' knowing that I am saying this with 100% certainty...
Clearly with a threat of going under still there - even if I am more optimistic now, if only 'barely` that we will pull through it would be easy to say I would, but would I really?
Would I give up having seen the club I love with all my heart winning the FA cup and most special of all being side by side with my brother, who some 18-months or so prior had almost been killed in a motorcycle accident...
I tell you what though given that this time round though we will be fielding, whatever players are left to field, virtually a squad full of players that do 'care' led by a manager that 'does care' and totally 'gets what being a Pompey fan is all about', with these players playing with pride and for the shirt this could eclipse that previous? Although this would probably have to be when the final comes along after we beat Spurs! So long as I am again side by side my little big bro again, who cannot make the semi final as he is in the Ukraine with his other half.
Then again it is NOT about the winning on Sunday April 11th, this is about Portsmouth Football Club and showing the world how much we care, how proud we are to be Pompey and that we are NOT going anywhere without a fight!
Returning to Wembley is going to mean the world to me - Pompey IS my life, without this I do not know what I would do. So, to be able to go back and see this club, which has been kicked, knocked down, dragged through the mud and so on so much over the past 18-months or so to come back each time fighting, even if something else then knocks us down, is going to feel me with so much pride!
To think, in spite of everything that has gone on, we are a minimum of 90 minutes, a maximum of 120 and/or penalties, away from the final is incredible! So, in a nutshell when asked the question 'what will Wembley mean to me?'
I think it is pretty obvious that it will mean the world..."
Thanks Rug - me I would just love to go to Wembley for a game that would be an even contest. We were expected to beat both West Brom and Cardiff and we duly did. We were expected to lose to Man Utd in the Community Shield and we did (just on penalties) and now we are given no chance against Spurs.
Would be nice to get there and not know the result beforehand!! Whatever though these are occasions not to be missed.
After the season we have had this is very much the icing but sadly we have had no cake.
So Rug has kicked off the series get you efforts to me and I will publish them in midweek specials just like we did two years ago.
To do a 'Portsmouth` is a new phrase in the English dictionary. With the press concentrating on the financial mess the Premier League has become all talk is about avoiding the mess we are in by not wanting to do a Portsmouth.
It is a pity that they are not referring to breaking into the top four by winning the FA Cup and it is a comparison we would love to lose and quickly.
The week ahead
This time next week we will be on our way to Wembley but there is a lot happening before then.
There is the battle to get a few more players fit before the big day out. On Thursday the fans representatives get the chance to meet the Administrator in a meeting in the Fratton Park boardroom. Andy has promised to be there and he will get a warm reception from the fans some of whom think they are not doing enough and that was the feeling behind the cake ceremony yesterday.