Toast Season 4 # 2 - getting better
Welcome to the second edition of this seasons Toast. Lots to cover this week which ended in disappointment with the club still in Administration because the clubs business plan was not submitted on time. The word on the streets is all is not well at Fratton Park and there have been many heated discussions in the offices. Toast believes that the club need to ensure they have a calendar on the wall and a fresh battery in the clock to help with all these missed deadlines.
Pompey looked a lot better yesterday in their goalless draw with Ipswich Town. The new additions and returnees gave the side more shape and the game flowed from end to end throughout. Liam Lawrence took control of all dead ball situations and showed why I believe he will be a real legend with the Blue Army.
Dave Kitson also showed some nice touches for a big man and will score goals but at this level he needs someone playing along side him. To me though Ricardo Rocha was Pompey's best player looking assured at the back in his first game since the Cup Final. Still waiting for news on the Axe`s injury but it looked serious when he landed awkwardly directly in front of me. The last thing we need as we try and build a side is another long term injury.
Hermann won the accolades of the crowd when he headed the ball back from the South Stand in the second half but earlier in the week he had had a major fallout at the training ground. Some may think he was complaining about the sub standard food now available or the fact that drinks and trainers are not allowed in the physio's room. Wrong I am afraid it was because Liam Lawrence has pinched his number seven shirt!!
One last thought on yesterday the officials were woeful and at one stage I nearly threw my spectacles to the referee. They were bad in the Premier League but now we are back at the second tier you notice it is even worse, far worse.
Admin Andy was quoted this week on the signing of Dave Kitson 'The team have had no forward player other than David Nugent and John Utaka, who have been pretty much ineffective.'
Now Andy has done a good job getting the CVA agreed and again through the High Court BUT criticising the players is surely not his job, it is ours!!
Stevie C has stated he wants more quality from the academy. Well in that case was the decision to scrap the stiffs (reserves) the right one? It was based on purely economic rather than football reasons and because of that it was probably inevitable.
Therefore with no scheduled games Guy Whittingham took a youthful Pompey side to meet Gosport at their Privett Park home on a wet Monday night last week. There is no other way these players can get a game once they have passed through the academy unless they are shipped out on loan. Will that really attract the calibre of youngsters SC is looking for?
This is not the first time Pompey have scrapped their reserves back in the mid sixties then manager George Smith took the same decision and ran the club with eighteen professionals and a couple amateur internationals on standby. In the 1967/68 season Pompey in fact used eighteen players in the entire campaign. Of those Denis Edwards played only once before moving to Aldershot and back up keeper Ray Potter appeared only twice. Despite the lack of numbers Pompey topped the table for long periods before tailing off and finishing fifth. Remember only one substitute was allowed back in those days.
Smith had famously said after the decision to cull the youth system 'there is nothing in the sea around Portsmouth but fish'. But Steve wants those fish turned into stars!! Who is right?
Call me Shifty
Nadir Ciftci was known as Shifty at the Academy and he wants it to stick. Well Shifty has certainly made a promising start to his senior career but does he stay and sit on the bench or should he go out on loan?
Taxman kills Robins
Ilkeston Town were wound up in the High Court this week owing HMRC just £47,000. The Robins were formed in 1894 and last season finished eighth in Conference North. Town have decided to appeal against the decision. This weekends game with Redditch has been postponed but the local football community is rallying round. Notts County and Eastwood Town have offered Ilkeston season ticket holder free admission to games in the near future.
Let's hope they can turn the corner.
Well you all gave Toast a big welcome back last week which was great. The first article of the season was even listed at #5 on the newsnow most popular items.
First time in four years that that has happened and many thanks to you all for reading the column. Don't forget though I need your input.
CX no Clampitt!!
A few weeks ago along with a number of fans representatives I had a chance to meet the newly installed Pompey Chief Executive recently I can assure you our club is now in safe hands.
David Lampitt is a young ambitious accountant who spent six years as the FA`s Head of Football Integrity and joined Pompey in the summer. It was an appointment that came out of the blue and I asked David why Pompey? He replied simply 'there is a big job to be done here and I want to practice what I have preached over the years. This is a big club and I want to play a part putting it back where it belongs. We have a plan not necessarily short term to get back to the Premier League.'
David is definitely not a Beverly Hillbilly and he has his job cut out with all still not happy aboard HMS Pompey.
Were you there the day Steve Foster started his first Pompey game as a Centre Back after being converted from a striker? He marked the occasion by putting through his own net after 46 minutes - he had never scored as a striker either!! Well were you there? Just as an additional memory stirrer, it was also David Kemp's Pompey debut.
Fossie of course went on to become an England centre half and Kemp a legend fans still sing about. Were you there (I was) and who were the opponents?