Toast Season 3 # 35 - Semi Final Special
No Toast this Sunday I`m afraid but we are here at Saturday lunchtime with a cup semi final special.
Songs for the king
No not the national anthem but the latest batch of songs for Pompey hero Kanu.
Chim chiminey, Chim chiminey, Chim chim cheroo,
Who needs Wayne Rooney, When we've got Kanu? From PFC-Jono.
King Kanu, Kanu
He's older than me and you
He's got to be sixty two
King Kanu, Kanu
Last week at Fratton Park
The weather tomorrow looks set fine and temperatures could rise as high as 20ºC. If you are sitting on the North or East of the stadium you will be facing the sun. Take a hat or sun glasses or you could end up with hand over eyes for 90 minutes.
What Wembley means to me
We asked you all to send us your thoughts on returning to Wembley. Well I have grabbed a couple and include them below.
After the upset of '92 I never thought I'd ever get to see Pompey play in a cup final (boy were we close) but the experiences and memories of 2008 changed all that and will forever go with me to my grave.
2010 is a whole different ball game.. We are not playing a team from a lower division, we are not the favourites, we don't have a team of stars (they all went to Spurs), we can't even aspire to a European tour.. This time 'Potless Pompey' our ramshackled bottom of the table team of misfits, pensioners and other clubs players will take on a bitter rival on one of the worlds most modern and greatest stages.
We do not expect pretty football, we do not expect a victory.. but as long as the Fratton Faithful are in full voice and as long as the Uncle Avrams chosen XI roll up their sleeves, play to the best of there ability and fight for the cause,
I will feel proud .. proud of us fans, proud of Avram and the coaching staff, proud of the players but most of all proud to be Pompey. Let's roar the lads to victory
Wembley has been my saviour of by far the worst season I've had to endure as a Pompey fan. I think that if this was the first time we had made it this far it wouldn't be so special, it would be exciting and a fantastic experience, but not as much as this time.
Don't get me wrong, Sunday will bring excitement and a fantastic experience, but I know that for sure this time. Being there before and having the best time of my life (no exaggeration) I KNOW what I'm in for, the stepping off the train at Waterloo with hundreds of other fans all chanting, with echoes fantastically reverberating around the acoustic station, the Tube ride to the match, with similar chanting, but this time in a very enclosed environment, and the one person on the tube who isn't part of the group awkwardly looking down and wishing the journey would end. The stepping out of Wembley Park station and seeing the stadium, bathed in sunshine, less than a mile in the distance, down the glorious looking Wembley Way at this point with a few scatterings of fans. The pre-match drinks that also come with a side order of chanting, this atmosphere has been around for coming on 4 hours and the match hasn't even started yet.
That walk down Wembley Way just doesn't seem long enough, every step brings you closer and closer to our national stadium, and with sporadic chants ringing round the crowds that have now amassed around the stadium, a quick glance back sees nothing but a sea of people, some waving flags, some with painted faces, and some trying to force down a last beer before going into the ground.
Once in the ground finding your way through the concourse of escalators, never seems to be a problem, and stepping past that one security guard into the seating area simply takes your breath away. It doesn't seem right to wander through, look at your ticket and find your seat, first you must take a deep breath and let your eyes wander 360 degrees around this amazing spectacle of human engineering.
And that's all before the game starts! What happens after that is up to the 11 men who will fight with everything they've got to make the day even more special. But I'm sure either way there'll be more chanting in this time.
Thanks lads and as hammersmithblue said 'Win it for Fred`. Get fit soon russellm.
Light the Torch
That is where we are all meeting tomorrow lunchtime. The Torch is in Bridge Road, Wembley and the post code for satnav users is HA9 9AB.
Tick in the box
He`s done everything in football. He is the only player to have played in the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, all four levels of English League football, the English Conference and a club in Administration. The only one ambition left in life for Steve Finnan is to play at Wembley and hopefully tomorrow he will fulfil that dream.
He is of course the holder of a FA Cup medal but that final was at the Millennium Stadium in 2006.
Travelling by train
South West Trains tell us that there are no planned engineering works between Portsmouth and London Waterloo today, but there will be extra trains between Havant and London Waterloo due to work on other routes.
They will also be running the following extra trains.
Before the match
From Portsmouth Harbour at 1120, calling at Portsmouth & Southsea 1126, Fratton 1133, Havant 1144, Petersfield 1158, arriving London Waterloo at 1306.
From Portsmouth Harbour at 1136, calling at Portsmouth & Southsea 1140, Fratton 1145, Havant 1154, Petersfield 1209, arriving London Waterloo at 1321.
After the match
From London Waterloo at 1948, calling at Petersfield 2046, Havant 2100, Fratton 2111, Portsmouth & Southsea 2116, Portsmouth Harbour 2120.
From London Waterloo at 2020, calling at Petersfield 2128, Havant 2148, Fratton at 2156.
There may be crowd control measures in place at some stations on your journey. Please follow instructions to help make your journey as safe and comfortable as possible.
Toast Tip - The last train is the 23:30 BUT there is another train at 00:50 which is not advertised as a Sunday train. It is what is known on the railways as the 'Matelot special` to bring weekend leave sailors back to Ship. However it will not be a long train I expect.
Southern Trains are running extra services to and from London Bridge as follows -
Portsmouth to London Bridge
Portsmouth Harbour depart 0827 0927 1027
Portsmouth and Southsea depart 0831 0931 1031
Fratton depart 0836 0936 1036
Havant depart 0845 0945 1045
Chichester depart 0857 0957 1057
London Bridge arrive 1019 1119 1219
From London Bridge the Jubilee Line takes you to Wembley Park direct
London Bridge to Portsmouth
In the return direction we have trains at the following times:
London Bridge depart 1947 2018 2047
Chichester arrive 2111 2141 2211
Havant arrive 2123 2153 2223
Fratton arrive 2132 2206 2232
Portsmouth and Southsea arrive 2136 2211 2236
Toast tip - buy your tickets in advance and check the companies' websites for special offers - e.g. book in advance on Southern and the fare is just £13.20 - not available at stations though. Block bookings (Groupsave) will also save you money.
Interviews with Pompey players have been hard to get this week but in an exclusive Toast asked David James what hairstyle he would be wearing this Sunday. His reply was 'I might just shave it all off!`
This all came after Jamo and Michael Brown had spent three hours signing autographs in the Pompey Mega Store. The good natured crowd queued patiently to meet their heroes and the shop did a roaring trade for a Tuesday afternoon. In truth Jamo seemed to enjoy the experience Brown was rather bored by the occasion.
Still those of you at the Torch tomorrow will be able to see my unique shirt for the special day.
The Toast team are euphoric over the appointment of David Lampitt as our new Chief Executive. He is the man given the job by the FA to clean up football, well now he has the unenviable task to clean up Pompey`s image.
'It is a great tribute to him that one of our oldest and most famous clubs should look to his expertise and personal character to bring it through a time of great difficulty,' FA chairman David Triesman said. 'Portsmouth's fans should take comfort in a wise long-sighted appointment and I wish David every success.'
Here, here David
Enjoy your wherever you are watching and remember the semi final is a reward for all the heartache in the last fifteen months. The football gods have offered us an olive branch for our forbearance and remarkable loyalty, grab it with both hands and enjoy the day.
Show the world of football that Portsmouth Football Club is alive and well and WILL BE BACK.