Toast Season 4 # 7 - Bridge the Watford gap
The Watford Gap - which incidentally is nowhere near Watford.
There is no doubt football in the Championship is far from boring as most team believe they can beat any other. That showed yesterday as Watford showed their intent throughout and can probably count themselves a little unlucky not to take a point back to Hertfordshire. Pompey started well and deserved the lead given by a Hayden Mullins piledriver but by midway through the second half they had lost their way and the Hornets pounced with two quickfire goals of their own to shock the Fratton Park crowd.
This Pompey side are made of sterling stuff and refused to be beaten. Two more super goals from Dave Kitson and Michael Brown won a very entertaining game and inflict on the visitors their first away defeat of the seaon. It will be long remembered for Jamie Ashdown's heroics in a second half goalmouth scramble - someone on the Fratton End tell me how many he stopped please?
Who thought that when Mullins gets the ball the crowd would shout 'Shoot!`? Michael Brown`s delightful curler was his fiftieth in league football.
The Good News
After last weeks ten/ten special you will all be glad to know that this week's column will contain no boring stats. Many apologies to the anoraks out there for that.
Last week cornypomp asked 'what I want to know is...where do you get all this stuff from week after week, it's amazing? Well I started this idea in January 2008 and after nearly 150 editions the ideas keep coming - as long as you members keep enjoying some of it I will try and keep going.
I spend the week picking up bit and pieces of news for lots of different sources and if I get an idea scribble it down and then Friday night, Saturday morning it all has to come together. The stats come out of my head and records, I still have a very good memory EVEN at my age. The key though is your contributions on any thing you want to say and recently those have dried up.
So let me have those stories about any Pompey tale you would like to tell the world.
Former player news
Quincy the Ghanaian who will always be remembered for that goal at St Mary's last season has forced his way back into the big time this weekend.
After five loan spells and two hard Russian winters he is now playing a leading role for Malaga as they charge up La Liga. Malaga are currently top scorers in their League and last night were featured on the live Sky game with Real Madrid. Now this was written too early to tell you the full story but I have no doubt someone saw the game and can fill us in below.
Two former players also managed to force their way into the Bleacher Report's worst twenty players in the Premier League. Bleacher is a site that covers many sports and a lot of articles are 'tongue in cheek' but are well worth a read.
The two players are Benjani and Freddy Piquionne now at Blackburn and West Ham respectively. The article describes Benjy as unfit for the PL and Freddy as being rubbish last season and showing no signs of improvement.
I will always remember reading a Man United board a few years ago just after Benjy had scored the equaliser against them at Fratton Park complaining that bringing in players from all parts of the world was reducing the standard of the PL. So was I pleased when the next season he scored the winner in the Manc derby, classic put that in your pipe and smoke it. Let`s hope the two of them can prove Bleacher wrong this term as they are both Pompey legends.
Yesterday was the first Pompey Supporters conference held at Fratton Park before the match.
It was chaired by the club`s Johnny Moore and Ashley Brown of the Pompey Trust. The group represented included the Trust, Supporters Advisory Panel, Independent Supporters, Isle of Wight, Chichester, South West, London, Northern and the Central branch. Pam Wilkins represented the Football Supporters Federation and all the online groups were there - Cardigans, Anoraks, Pompey Online, Pompey till I die, Pompey Chimes and Pompey Fans.com. I represented Vital Pompey of course.
Now this was a major coup to get these groups together under one roof when there is some 'history' between some of them. They represent probably over 10,000 Pompey fans in total. The meeting was at least held in a fairly light-hearted atmosphere with the news of impending exit from administration rather than the gloom of twenty four earlier.
The purpose of the Conference now has to be decided but the view is that we need to set attainable targets rather than unrealistic goals. We need a broad church to told discussions with the club on an agreed agenda and this seems to be the best opportunity. The Trust have promised not to hog the show which is welcomed as a number of fans still do not agree with their aims.
The next meeting is on 4th December before the Burnley and any ideas on the way forward and the targets would be welcomed by us at Vital. The minutes will be published when available.
Members will be glad to know that Vital Football will be five years old tomorrow. Established 18th of October 2005 Vital started with just ourselves talking to each other via article comments (no, seriously, it started with four of us, then we transferred over a Swansea and Villa site and things started to grow from there!) and now we have up to 1.7million unique users per month on some of the best and largest football team sites on the net.
We'd like to thank all our readers and most especially contributors for making this network what it is, a genuinely independent, by the fans for the fans, football community.
This month all contributors (article comments, forum posts and poll votes) will go into a draw to win a five pack of great cds. We are striving to build up our prize funds so the members league has even more of a point and rewards the users, so bear with us on that! The top poster this month will win one pack and then the other four will be in a random draw.
FOLKS! Please remember as an independent network (two football mad directors working ridiculously long hours + the dedication of our editors and co-eds, mods etc) we rely on the income from advertising so PLEASE give them your attention and help us keep Vital free from the big media companies hands! Looking at what is on offer by clicking each day helps us, helps them and ... well, helps save the world!
Thanks to you all for your loyalty to Vital Football, it is truly appreciated.
(Coming soon... Vital Music. Next year we hope to launch Vital F1 and more sports sites) perhaps for Scousers we may even have Vital Baseball!
And me, well today marks the fifty first anniversary of my first visit to Fratton Park. Plymouth were the visitors in 1959 for the Dockyard derby - Pompey won 1-0 through a Ron Newman goal - it was Pompey`s first home win for eleven months!!
New Song competition
The club and Pompey Supporters` Trust are joining ranks to find some new songs to improve the Fratton Park atmosphere.
With fan opinion currently divided about how match-day atmosphere can be improved Pompey in unison with the Trust are encouraging fresh songs from young blood. A survey was carried out during the Ipswich match and is currently running as an online survey for the next fortnight concerning fans feelings about ways to improve the atmosphere.
Now a competition to run through October will be open to all of Pompey's under 16 fans geared to finding young talent with ideas of new songs for match day. Songs should be no longer than two verses and to a tune that the majority of fans would recognise or could learn quickly. It should not include derogatory references to other teams or players neither contain obscene words.
A pair of training ground visits to watch the team train (lunch has to be paid for!!), along with goodies from the Trust, awaits the two most worthy efforts as judged by a panel that will be chosen once the competition has closed on October 31st.
It is then hoped that the winning songs will hit the Fratton Park vocal section around Christmas time.
These are to be part of a new compilation sung by fans on match-day both at Fratton Park and on Pompey's travels and possibly included in a book of Fratton chants from throughout history.
Entries can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to the club offices at Anson Road, Fratton Park entitled 'New Song Competition.'
This should include the entrant`s name, age, address and phone number and tune the words are composed to. So get writing those songs now kids!!
Finally see you next week when we MAY have seen the last of the dreaded 'In Administration' sign….and of course we have a week in the jungle having to visit the Lions and the Tigers!! And Paul is my picture really in the David James book?