Vital Football

Toast Season 5 #1 - not a good start.

Toast Season 5 #1 - not a good start.

Pompey ended up losing a poor game yesterday after Liam Lawrence hit the post with a last minute penalty. The game was totally forgettable with only the poor refereeing of Neil Swarbrick to talk about in the pub after the game.

Brighton ended up with three points but in all honesty they did not deserve the win creating very little and their scrambled goal on the stroke of half-time had a hint of offside about it. Pompey looked ponderous throughout and too often players appeared to be looking sideways or backwards when in possession of the ball. I suppose that is to be expected with a side full of defenders and defensive midfield players. This should be corrected IF SC can get on board the players he is seeking. Certainly we need some width to stretch defences.

The return of Benjani will make a big difference and a debut against Reading on Tuesday will bring back memories of the his hat-trick in the 7-4 win. Strangely his partner up front good be Dave Kitson who also scored in that game but for Reading!

Benjy may be 33 now but he will lift the Fratton Park crowd with his 100% effort and that has to be worth the admission money. We all look forward to welcoming back just as the roar that went round the stadium before the game when he was introduced yesterday.

I spotted that Benjani had been training with Stockport County and wondered whether he might just return after rejecting a new offer from Blackburn boss Steve Kean.

At least the game lasted longer than the September 1940 game between the two teams that was abandoned just before half time due to enemy activity!!

New season

So the Toast team are back and ready for a new season and want to provide YOU the Vital Pompey member what you want in your Sunday morning read. Toast is about all things Pompey and football in general but mostly it is about a bit of fun. So if you have any funny stories or anecdotes that you would like to share with the world then let me have them and I will do the rest. In the past we have run series of - my first game, strange trips to games, over the wall (watching a game for free) and others. There is no limit to what we have covered.

We also like to give to plenty of stats and weird facts and of course will always do our best to answer your questions. Just remember Sunday Toast is your column!!

Winning goal

Last week in the Italian Super Cup Final - Milan beat Inter 2-1 and the winning goal was scored by the Prince after Alexandre Pato's shot had been tipped on to the post by Julio Cesar, Boateng was alert to convert from close range. The game was played in Beijing.

Got the team thinking about the 2010 Cup Final and the number of players who played their last Pompey match that day. Where are they now they asked?

Well, Aruna Dindane is now playing for Lekhwiya of Qatar whereas Steve Finnan - retired making the final his last game after an illustrious career when he played in more competitions that any other player in the history of the game. He played at every level in England including the Conference (Welling United) for a start!

Anthony Vanden Borre is now at Racing Genk while Nadir Belhadj - is also playing in Qatar for champions Al Sadd.

Richard Hughes - is still unemployed and Hassan Yebda spent last season on loan at Napoli and is now back at parent club Benfica - not sure what colour his hair is!

Misleading headlines

Regulars to the forum will no doubt have caught Pompeygray's headlines but one he missed was in last Sunday's Telegraph were newsnow pointed to West Ham 0 Portsmouth 1!! The page was withdrawn fairly quickly but what a good weekend with two away games and four points.

Exchange deal

We sent our good friend pompey4me to Perth and in return we got Ryan Williams!! His Brother (Rhys) scored for Boro when Ryan made his debut.

Ryan's twin brother Aryn is also on the books at Burnley - quite a family

Deadline details

I have been asked to clearly define the transfer window for Football League clubs which I am happy to do - the window closes at midnight on 31 August 2011. After that loan transfers can be arranged but not during the first seven days of the window (1st - 7th September) and not after the 5pm on the fourth Thursday of November (24th) and in the second half of the season the fourth Thursday in March which next year is the 22nd.

There are separate rules for an emergency loan of a goalkeeper which are too convoluted to go into here.

Jocks away

With the arrival of Christian Dailly last week it got the Toast office talking (they do a lot of that) about the last time we signed a player who was already a Scottish International and do you know we had quite an argument.

Names such as Richard Hughes and Nigel 'Hotshot' Quashie were thrown in but I had to tell them that they became Scots AFTER joining Pompey. I then had to add Kevin Harper to that list (only made the Scotland squad anyway). Incidentally all three are currently looking for clubs!

Other names offered were - Scott McGarvey, Ken Foggo, Gerry Creaney and Peter Marinello but none of them ever played for Scotland. The other surprising fact which was known to me was that Duggie Reid who had a great Pompey career and won two championship medals was never capped by his native country. Oh how a country currently ranked as low at sixty first in the FIFA rankings could do with some of those players!

I think I have found the answer that is unless you know any better and it is Alex Cropley the former Hibs, Arsenal and Villa stalwart who signed for Pompey in 1981. Cropley by the way was born in Hampshire!! Alex won just two caps as a youngster ten years previous to his signing.

Out of interest Dailly has won sixty seven caps and that places him at number seven in the all time list headed by Kenny Dalglish.

Just the ticket

If you have an unwanted rail ticket because of a game that has fallen victim to the riots, the Football Supporter's Federation might be able to help. They have been in touch with Virgin Trains who have kindly agreed to refund those with a valid match ticket for Spurs-Everton (go to point of purchase for refund). They've also been in touch with reps from all the major operating companies to ask if they'll follow Virgin's lead. Lastly, the FSF advise all fans to keep an eye on the latest news before leaving home for their team's game.

That is support!

Wrexham have been saved from potential oblivion by the efforts of their fans in raising £127,000 in just one day.

There were some pretty amazing donations. £10,000 came from a Canadian, two fans offered the deeds to their properties as collateral, a 10-year-old lad with £35 savings, and OAPs offering their life savings. The loyalty of football fans is unsurpassable and the biggest congratulations go out to the Dragons' supporters. Their future in the Conference is now almost secure.


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday August 14 2011
Time: 1:00AM


A lot to digest there but what stick out is the Wrexham fans - well done.
14/08/2011 02:48:00
Fair play to Wrexham fans, thats a top effort - I hope the money raised doesnt disappear into the pockets of any dubious owners or chairmen! Brilliant to have Benji back, this will hopefully help us utilise Cotterills tactics, lets not put too much pressure on his shoulders though.. We were unlucky yesterday and should have had a point at least, maybe a lack of sharpness from pre-season certainly a lack of wingers and a midfielder that can tie everything together... Pedro anyone?! :) Good toast, looking forward to Tues! PuP
14/08/2011 07:53:00
Good to have the toast back, cracking reading as always Dave.
15/08/2011 03:26:00
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