Toast Season 4 # 19 - innuendos and pushchairs?
As I go to press I am getting the message that John Utaka has signed a two and a half year contract for goal-shy Montpellier in France. No time to confirm but no doubt by the time you read this you will know the truth.
Last week I asked you what I saw at half-time that I had never seen at a football ground before. Well none of you even got close which is not surpring really. The answer is -
I saw a child in a push chair being pushed through the crowds under the North Stand - now what was that all about? Are the club going to ask us all to bring our own seats in future? Where did the put the chair during the game? What were they charged?
Why no game yesterday? Should we have played our game in hand like other Championship clubs did yesterday? Or was flying off to the sun the best solution? Well only time will tell but a trip to Spain or Portugal will cost a bit of cash and have the club got it? It fact I have tried to find out exactly where they have gone but I must admit Toasters I have failed.
Portugal in fact was not too warm last week as a friend of mine a Burnley fan to boot returned from a golfing break there with frostbite!!
Think of the victim
The week has been overshadowed by the Keys and Gray saga which seems to have stretched on and on. It has all died now and Sky Sports have lost their star presenting team. Is that a shame though?
They had been together for twenty years and perhaps has began to get stale and bigger than the game they were presenting. Certainly Andy Gray felt he knew the game better than many Premier League managers and with his ever growing box of hi tech gadgets set about proving it. Don`t get me wrong I enjoyed the two of them together but perhaps it was time for a change and some fresh faces in the studios.
As to what they were accused of, I personally think it was blown out of all proportion. The unfortunate victim was assistant referee Sian Massey whose career is now possibly it tatters.
Corby Town boss Graham Drury says that Massey deserves to return to Premier League level football.
The 25-year-old, who is at the centre of a sexism row, was looked to referee the Blue Square Bet North game between Corby and Eastwood on Saturday but was withdrawn at the last minute when Corby reported a huge demand for access by television crews.
Drury told the BBC 'The sex of the person in the middle doesn't affect me,' he added. 'They've got big decisions to make and everyone makes mistakes.
I don't mind whether it's a man, woman, or even an elephant refereeing a game of mine - as long as they do it properly. 'We've had Sian before and she had a fantastic game.'
Not very clever wording there Graham but I think we know what you meant to say! Bet he is not a happy man today at the Steelmen lost their home game 6-1!!
As to the standard of refereeing we have seen at Fratton Park this season all we as Pompey fans want is some official who can run a game and make correct and consistent decisions. We don't care if they are man, woman or Martian.
For weeks the press had run stories that (Martin) O`Neill was to replace ex Pompey boss Uncle Avram at Westam only for the story to run dry. Then out of the blue (Gary) O`Neil ex Pompey starlet signs for the Iron from Middlesboro.
Strange how rumours sometimes are close to the mark, if not 100% correct.
Hall of Fame - late entrant
Albie McCann is to be inducted into the Portsmouth Football Club Hall of Fame. The former Fratton Park favourite has become a late entry to be honoured at the 2011 event on Saturday, March 26.
Jack Froggatt, Johnny Gordon, Alan McLoughlin, Paul Walsh and Linvoy Primus had already been chosen when it was decided that there was no player from the seventies. The panel then decided to add Albie to the list, he made 372 appearances and scored 98 goals during his 12 years at Pompey.
My favourite McCann story concerns newspapers. As a boy I had a paper round which covered an area where a number of Pompey players lived and I delivered to John McClelland, John Milkins and Albie during that time. Thirty years later I had an account at Albie`s newsagent in Winter Road. One day there was a knock at the door and there stood Albie delivering my paper!! Strange but true.
Lee the Cherries' Boss permanent
After only two games including a win of table toppers Brighton, Lee Bradbury has been appointed as permanent AFC Bournemouth manager.
The win at Plymouth yesterday, with the late winner scored by his assistant Steve Fletcher was a very good start and with leaders Brighton on (successful) cup duty Bournemouth closed the gap at the top to just three points.
The lights stayed on - just!
I get a match report every week from the club detailing any incidents etc from the last game. Well after the Burnley game Derek Stone's (Safety Officer) report the following -
'The match was played with both my deputies and my fingers crossed as just before we briefed our senior stewards we received a visit from Southern Electric to be told that the fault that caused the floodlight failure on Saturday had not been rectified. There was some good news of sorts, in that everything affected by this fault on Saturday had now been re-directed away from this fault apart from Fratton Park. They were fairly confident that there would be no repeat of what happened on Saturday and an engineer was on stand-by to assist at the rear of the stadium. His contact details were given to us in the control room just in case. I have to say we did breath a sigh of relief when the final whistle blew and this fault will be repaired in time before our next home game.'
Rocky how do you cross deputies?
Just as a reminder the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday (31 January) and I think we might be in for a busy last day. Expect Michael Brown and Richard Hughes to either settle their new contracts or leave and possibly a few big earners to be off-loaded - Utaka, Ben Haim, Nugent etc.
Who will replace them is anyone's guess but it should be an interesting day.