Vital Football

Fixtures chaos!! - A Toast viewpoint.

Fixtures chaos!! - A Toast viewpoint.

When I heard the Carling Cup draw yesterday had given us Barnet at home I thought that was a tip for the first league game and we would get a side starting with B and of course I was right we got Boro!! Well there is plenty of choice with Barnsley, Blackpool, Bristol City, Birmingham, Burnley and Brighton and the Boros of Peter and Middles!!

So travelling fans will get the longest trip out of the way first up and it might, as someone said today even be warm up on Teesside. Now at the start of last season Boro were the favourites for promotion but struggled from the start and were in the relegation fight for long periods before finishing strongly and making the top half of the table just in 12th.

The next Saturday we welcome Brighton to Fratton Park for what will be a huge occasion. A full house is guaranteed for the visit of the League One champions who will want to get off to a flying start but their recent record at Fratton is not good having not won there since Boxing Day 1985.

Next up Reading are in town for another derby game so after a long trip to start off, things certainly warm up with two very attractive fixtures.

The division looks tough when you see the teams on the list and there appear to be no easy games it is vital that the team building promised by Roman Dubov in his letter to the Supporters Conference gets underway immediately. He said that the 'main priorities must be sitting down with the manager and helping him strengthen the team`. To have a chance just to survive SC needs funds available to make some modest purchases.

So we now know the 46 dates that will determine our destiny next season. However the matches are as always unevenly spaced out. After a home game at the end of August there is a spell of four weeks without a home game and then we have two in three days!! Now that is not good for gates is it Football League?

There are five midweek home games and the same number of away matches and none of those is further than Birmingham so perhaps there is some sense there.

One day where lovers will have their tiffs though is a home game on Valentines Day; dinner and roses or a trip to Fratton Park? No contest of course.

The Saturday home game before Christmas will normally draw the lowest gate of the season so I have always been led to believe however that will not be the case this year with Southampton the visitors in December. That is of course until the Sky or other TV company grab the game for live coverage. The return at the Dell is on Easter Saturday.

The season finishes very early on 28th April at Nottingham Forest with the final home game the week before which will probably be when the 'Fan's Day' celebrations will be repeated. In fact the games are really crammed in with the final thirteen in just fifty six days!

Now of course because of the stupid copyright rules that cover these fixtures we are not allowed to publish them in full and you will have to look elsewhere for the full list. Seems strange that the Football League should want their fixture list widely publicised yet they charge you for the privilege. That is why I have only referred to the games and not given the dates and also explains the headline.

Reading the comments on the forum earlier members were concerned about the tough start. Manager Steve Cotterill commented on that 'you have to play every side at some stage of the season so we`re not too worried about that.'


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Date:Friday June 17 2011
Time: 8:53PM


Cotterille should be concerned about the fixture sequence, his team was saved by a run of teams who were losing form. You could argue that risking getting a tonking by the expected strong teams early on is better as they are not yet into their stride and you might just grab a point or two that may not be on offer later on.
17/06/2011 21:56:00
Our first few games are toughies, so if we can win a few of them we could set ourselves up nicely for the rest of the season. The important thing is to not go on silly winless runs that last a few months at a time.
18/06/2011 04:51:00
it would be nice sometime to finish the season at home. The law of averages would suggest this should happen 50% of the time, but this is at least the 3rd year in a row we've finished away from home. We're not even starting at home either. And I was hoping to go to Blackpool when its not deepest winter, but we didn't get that either. As for tough fixtures to begin with, we have to play them all at sometime, maybe its better to get them out the way and then start picking up points as the season goes on. Early season last year it looked nailed on that Pompey & Palace would go down.
18/06/2011 08:16:00
We all start with the same number of points and have to play each other twice .. What looks tough on paper now maybe be easier when it comes around .. Also it might be a tough start (to some) but the transfer window will still be open so squads might not necessarily be complete by then and therefore not at their seasons strongest (I won't mention our squad!!) .. Thing is we can toss it around anyway we like but until the first ball is kicked we won't have a clue.. Who would have predicted Norwich would go up at the start of last season ... I remember us all thinking Cardiff were nailed on ... ahh football is back .. just smell it .. fantastic...
18/06/2011 15:45:00
.... Did I just mention the words 'Squad' and 'Pompey' in the same sentence ... sorry people .. got a btt ahead of myself there !!
18/06/2011 15:46:00
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