Toast Season 4 # 3 - pressure mounting
Pompey dominate the ninety minutes but end up with nothing. Familiar story? Certainly is and yesterday at a ground they have not won at since 1948 they failed to turn their overwhelming dominance of the match into points and remain firmly at the foot of the Championship table.
We now have three home games against sides who have also started poorly in the next ten days and these are a must wins if the team are to lift some of the pressure off under fire Manager Steve Cotterill. Not that the Toast team believe that the criticism aimed at the new boss is fair but nonetheless it is building in some quarters.
The Cotterill out campaigners are asking questions such as
Why is Kanu starting rather than being used as an impact substitute against tiring defences?
Why is Nugent playing on the left?
Why only four substitutes named rather than filling the bench with kids?
Why is he so slow reacting to goals by the opposition?
And many more. And of course any manager who only takes two points from his first seven games is bound to have plenty of critics but is it fair Toast asks?
No we believe is the answer and lets look at the facts. Firstly after his appointment he was not allowed to sign players because of the transfer embargo and the need to sell players before the administrator could attempt to balance the books. That process of selling the likes of Belhadj and Boateng took so long that the players Steve would have been targeting presumably found new homes rather than wait for Pompey to get around to them.
He has now been able to add one or two players of his choice but still he does not have anything like the squad he would like either by size or quality. That means he no room to manoeuvre his tactics after a poor performance and leaves him with only one choice get the team playing well and stick with that formula. There is little doubt the side have been improving steadily in recent weeks and the stats yesterday show Pompey having fifteen shots on goal to the Blades six and that must tell a story but goals will not come.
The vast majority of fans were more than happy with Steve's appointment now let's get on with supporting the team not tearing it apart. The next three games are vital to the rest of the season and Pompey need your support.
Strange world as poor old Uncle Avram is also under great pressure at West Ham too.
In the Trust we Trust
The Pompey Trust had its first Annual General Meeting this week at the Railway Rifle club. The news of this received a mixed reception hardly surprisingly from those that quote in the local rag.
The Trust is the ultimate voice of Pompey fans and with 2,000 plus members that is only right. If you want to join visit the bus in the car park before any match. Members will be there to answer your questions etc. and collect your fiver.
Richard Sexton, who is in charge of boosting membership, called on current trust members to recruit other Pompey fans. He said: 'Go out there, get volunteers and sign people up.' Appealing to the thousands of fans yet to join the trust, he urged: 'People say nothing will change but nothing will change if you're not a member of the trust.
You know I really must join soon before it was only an excuse not to get nominated for the board but I fully support what they stand for and wish them all well.
Pompey are listening
I receive regular emails from the club giving stats and info on the previous week's game. The Ipswich edition included the usual details of arrests etc and at the end news the club are now listening to the criticism of fans.
It read 'A few supporters who took their seats in upper north were unhappy about some of the signage that had been fitted to the stairs which obscured their view. This was just before kick off and I could see their point of view. We deployed Stewards to remove/lower these signs and this will be rectified before our next match.'
Good stuff and thanks to the club for keeping the fans reps know the facts too.
Celebrate Christmas at Fratton Park
Christmas party nights are available throughout December at Fratton Park.
Whether it's for a party of four or more than 100, Portsmouth Football Club will be able to accommodate you.
Prices start from £27.50 per person.
Lunchtime private parties and smaller function rooms are available throughout December as well.
Special 'Theme Nights' will also be taking place in December.
On December 4, there will be an 80s night (8pm until 1am, only £10 per person), and on December 18 there will be a Madness tribute night with Los Palma (8pm until 1am, only £10 per person).
To book any of these events, please call our sales team on 023 9277 8555.
My wife went to a Xmas do there last season in the marquee. She enjoyed it but it was cold in the tent. Well the tent was repossessed some time ago so this year they will all be in the warm of the Victory lounge etc.
The Iceman go-eth?
Sky Sports News have been running the story this week that the big Icelander Hermann Hreidarsson who is recovering from a serious achiles injury is looking to move on as the club have not yet come up with an offer.
Is his scaremongering by the agent or is there any truth in it? Well Cotters has been quoted as saying he wants him to stay and I believe that Hermann wants to stay are by all accounts he is still at the training ground every day working on his fitness and raising the spirits of the squad.
Beg to differ
The joke transfer fee of all time has been demanded of Pompey by the Premier League for the failed sale of Asmir Begovic to Spurs.
Now I can understand having to meet Spurs costs but are the Premier League really just trying to kill us off (again)? The counter rumour is that Spurs had already paid the first instalment of the fee BEFORE he signed. This again will hit the clubs finances in a big way - it is equivocal to 40,000 fans paying £25 for a match ticket if you ignore VAT and of course Pompey do lol!
All we need to find out now is if Spurs will benefit from a sell on clause in the contract - so if Stoke sell Beg at a profit and pass a percentage of that to Pompey will Spurs take their cut?
Sky has a limit
The cost to local publicans of having Sky Sports in their bars is I am told in the region of £600 per month. With Pompey's fall from the Premier League and the number of their live games now being shown a mere fraction of recent season it is no wonder that landlord are considering pulling the plug on this expensive overhead.
With the Leicester game live this Friday evening pubs will be hoping for a big turnout of armchair fans to watch this game to help recoup some of their outlay.
We all heard the very sad news this week that Blackpool coach Gary Parkinson, 42, had suffered a severe stroke and it was thought initially he would not survive. The latest news is that he is now out of immediate danger but there is a long way to go.
We at Toast and no doubt all Pompey fans would like to wish Gary all the very best in his fight for recovery.