Vital Football

Toast Season 5 #2 - the Viking has landed!

Toast Season 5 #2 - the Viking has landed!

Another week in the history of Portsmouth Football Club ends with a point at Bristol City and an all but too brief appearance of a player who just could become a real legend in the years ahead.

The game sounds rather drab until half time and then it picked up a bit with Pompey appearing to get the better of the stats and perhaps might have just deserved to nick the win. All talk will be of the final six minutes when Erik the Viking replaced the tiring Liam Lawrence. A couple of runs and crosses will have nothing but whet the appetite of the Pompey fans at Ashton Gate and others elsewhere will all be wanting to see more. Manager Steve Cotterill has promised that Erik`s blooding in the Championship will be a gradual process as there is now sufficient depth to allow it.

The week ahead will probably see Pompey dip into the loans market and it will be interesting to see what positions SC would like to beef up. My choice would be left back and a creative midfield player and they don`t grow on trees. As a fan said to me on Friday 'another Paul Merson is what we need`. Agreed but where is he?

Come back

The week has also seen the return of a hero from our recent past in Benjani Mwaruwari. Of course on Tuesday night he looked about as fit as Kanu's old gran!! Given a decent spell of fitness work he will get back some of his old pace but there is little doubt that opposition defenders are if fear of his reputation as the awful rugby tackle he received wide on the right not long after coming on proves.

Three years ago when Peter Crouch resigned for Pompey I researched a list of players who can come back since the war. I thought that with Benjani rejoining or coming home as most see it I would dig out the list and give it another airing. There are some pretty well known names on it too.

I have not included those who originally came on loan and then signed later or those who left before playing a first team game.

Eoin Hand
Lee Bradbury
Deon Burton
Paul Walsh
Guy Whittingham
Johnny Gordon
Chris Kamara
Bobby Kellard
Brian Lewis
Pat Neil
Paul Wood
Peter Crouch

Interestingly the majority were goal-scorers.

My favourite Benjani story concerns a Manchester United fan writing in a fans forum a few years ago. He was complaining about the poor standard of overseas players arriving in the Premier League and actually cited Benjani as an example.

Well a few days later Benji stuffed those words down his throat with the equaliser against the Red Devils at Fratton Park in August 2007. He would then go on to top the Premier League scorers chart for a period. For this fans beloved United however worse was to follow when following his move to City in February 2008 he would score the winner in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on his debut!!

Just goes to show be careful what you say on the forum!!


There has been a lot of attention during the close season to the price of watching football matches in this country. Well last Saturday was the return of QPR to the Premier League and you would have thought, full house. You would be wrong as only 15,195 turned up. I would of course say if you charge visitors £50 then is it surprising only 850 of them turn up? Many of you will have been to Loftus Road recently and would you like to pay £50 for the experience?

Perhaps the takeover at the Bush will see a change in that charging policy.

Welcome the wrinklies

Last Saturday the visit of Brighton was my first game as a Senior Citizen!! Can`t say it felt any different, did get a long look from the steward on the turnstiles to check I was the right age.

Justice at last

In May last year, a Pompey supporter, after attending the FA Cup Final, went to a pub at Marylebone, the scene of which saw some trouble between Pompey and Chelsea supporters to which police were called. Although he was standing outside he was not involved in any of the trouble which saw a police officer glassed in the face and a police dog attacked. At some point, he was singled out by an officer as 'the bloke that had hit Skip'. Summary justice was dealt out to him in the form of a police baton blow to the head which split the skin and caused profuse bleeding and a deep cut. He was arrested and charged with

GBH with intent
Malicious wounding
Criminal damage to a police dog

The Football Supporters Federation appealed on behalf of the fan for witnesses to the incident and regular readers will remember that we ran that as a story on Toast.

The fan shared the dock with another Portsmouth supporter on a similar charge. A key plank of the defence was the attempts of the accused to find witnesses; the logic being would a guilty man go to so much effort to prove his innocence?

Some 15 police officers gave evidence. By all accounts they were all poor in the witness box with plenty of contradictory evidence being given. Forensic evidence 'went missing'. The prosecution claimed that the fan was a drunk who turned aggressive.

Suffice to say that minutes after the jury retired, a note was sent to the judge asking if they could deliver their verdict on this fan before his co defendant as they were so worried about him! He was found not guilty of all three charges.

Thanks to Ken Malley for the report and as he said 'I thank all of you that did and all those people that offered information'.

I am sure I speak for all at Vital Pompey in saying we are all glad to have played just a small part in his defence.

A familiar story

The Toast office had to have a good laugh the other day when they read an article on the club's official site. It has a definite air of familiarity to it, see what you think.

You never forget your first football match.

It`s a seminal moment in every football fan's life. The fervour of the Fratton faithful and the atmosphere of the match can leave an imprint in your soul, sparking into life your own passion for Pompey.

And that`s what we want to know about. We want to hear about your first Fratton Park experience. Whether you`ve supported the Blues for five years or fifty years, we want to know about your earliest Pompey memories.

Perhaps you came to Fratton Park as a young child, brought to your first game by your dad as he was by his father years before, continuing a long family line of Pompey fans. Maybe your first game was an extraordinary match? Did anything out of the ordinary happen? What do you remember feeling? Did Pompey win? What made you fall in love with Fratton Park?

We want to hear all about it. Send your first match stories, in no more than 300 words, to

Please also include your name, age, date of the match and a photograph of yourself. The best stories will be featured throughout the season in our award-winning matchday programme.

Now I wonder where they got that idea from? Any member who would like to submit the story they wrote for Toast should as they were all magical moments. I can of course try and help by digging out the relevant story and returning them to you. Of course I might have edited them but they are YOURS and you should send them in.

Mimicry is the highest form of flattery as they say and I suppose if it is good enough fo the local paper to copy from us why not the club themselves?

and finally how do you spell Huselklepp?

Did I have some problems in the week but it showed the popularity of VP is back as the story I wrote shot to #1 on the newsnow chart!! Makes me sound like a pop star - well Tom Jones is older than me and Rod Stewart et al.

Make no mistake with Chix getting nearly two hundred posts on his 'Chew the fat' this Thursday Vital Pompey is now back and the Pompey site to be involved on. Join now by clicking the link below.


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

Date:Sunday August 21 2011
Time: 1:00AM


Nice one Dave. Keep up the good work. PUP!
21/08/2011 03:57:00
Nice one Dave. Keep up the good work. PUP!
21/08/2011 03:57:00
Great read Dave, many thanks for your Time
21/08/2011 06:12:00
Great read Dave, many thanks for your Time
21/08/2011 06:12:00
Dave; if you want to dig out my contribution to "my first game" I'll gladly send it to pfc, giving a mention that it first appeared in Vital, naturally.
21/08/2011 09:54:00
Dave; if you want to dig out my contribution to "my first game" I'll gladly send it to pfc, giving a mention that it first appeared in Vital, naturally.
21/08/2011 09:54:00
How do you pronounce Huselkepp?
21/08/2011 11:52:00
How do you pronounce Huselkepp?
21/08/2011 11:52:00
I can't remember if I submitted anything to the "My First Game" thing, but I might have a go at this one.
22/08/2011 02:56:00
I can't remember if I submitted anything to the "My First Game" thing, but I might have a go at this one.
22/08/2011 02:56:00
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