Toast Season 5 #4 - no tall story
No game this weekend and I will not touch on the trip to Seville in midweek except it was a good experience for the younger members of the squad taken along to replace those playing for their countries.
Deadline day passed with no arrivals BUT none left either! Unlike last year when all were for sale and we were terrified as to whom we would lose. A year is a long time in football.
No doubt by the end of this week we will see a couple of 'emergency loans' arriving when the premier League clubs have named their squads. As yet we have no idea who they might be. SC proved last season though that he can use the facility well and a left back and creative midfielder seem top of the agenda.
Last week in the forum a number of you were putting together a side from the current squad of six foot plus players and we thought let's have a side of vertically challenged players.
How about this one then?
1. Norman Uprichard
2. John McLaughlin
3. John Beresford
4. Norman Piper
5. Reg Flewin
6. Jimmy Dickinson
7. Andres D'Alessandro
8. Alan Biley
9. David Kemp
10. Bobby Kellard
11. Nicky Jennings
That to me is a very good balanced side solid defence, bite and skill in midfield with width and goals up front; all that and no height! I think the tallest players there are the two centre backs at 5ft 10in. Any other candidates?
On the subject of Pedro - avid followers of his career will now know he is back with Vitoria Guimaraes
Of course even defenders do not have to head the ball as I am reminded of a famous day in Pompey history. The date was 23 April 1949 and the game was at Burnden Park Bolton. Pompey were top of the table and key defender Jimmy Dickinson had picked up a head wound the previous week and was a doubt. But before the game Jim had the stitches removed and declared himself fit but after only ten minutes the cut opened up again and Jim had to get through the game dabbing the wound with a wet cloth thrown from the touchline. It meant he was unable to head the ball.
At half-time the club's staff wanted him to come off but Jim just replied 'It will be alright with a piece of plaster' Pompey eventually won the game 2-1 but Jim missed the post match celebrations has he was whipped away to have more stitches inserted in his head.
What celebrations they were too. News had come through that Manchester United and Newcastle had both drawn their games and Pompey were the Champion of England!!
On the subject of players short in stature Paul Hall has settled for a future life as a musician. Paul is now a member of smooth hip-hop group SKO. You can enjoy their video for the track Senorita if you want to search for it.
Note to paultsmouth - what is smooth hip-hop and has the boy got a future?
The Club want your old replica shirts to borrow etc and they will The club are looking to adorn the Fratton Park lounges with as many old Blues shirts as possible.
And those who donate or loan their shirt for the cause will gain their own personally-named plaque, placed underneath their contribution - as well as two free tickets for Pompey's evening clash with Peterborough on Tuesday, September 27. Go to the official site for full details.
Christian Dailly departs after just one month. Thanks CD for the help in our hour of need but is that it now? After over 550 appearances in a twenty year career is that it or will he find another club?
Sad week at Dean Court this week firstly with the news of the death of former goalkeeper Mark Ovendale at the age of just thirty seven after losing a battle with cancer.
Next we hear that Steve Lovell has had to retire due to injury at the age of just thirty. Steve of course spent three years at Fratton Park before leaving and spending most of his career in Scotland.
Finally at the Radio Solent Cherries` forum on Thursday chairman Eddie Mitchell tells fans complaining about the sale of most of the club`s best players 'if you don`t like the way I am running the club go and support Southampton`.
The Toast team has heard a similar story of events at Grimsby where after losing their conference game at home to Darlington last week manager told a group of unhappy fans 'we are doing our best, if you don`t like it don`t xxxxing come!`
Those last two stories show clubs everywhere how NOT to treat your fans who ARE the club!
The Showgrounds in Sligo is not a ground many if any Pompey fans will have heard of but it where Marko Futacs scored the equaliser for Hungary U21 in their Euro 2013 qualifier with the Republic. Sadly for Marko though Arsenal`s striker Rhys Murphy scored the winner in the second half. Murphy of course turned his back on England after playing at Youth international level.
Oh what an atmosphere
Last week we raised the subject of the lack of atmosphere at Fratton Park in recent games. Most of you agreed with the comments offering the reason that ticket prices are largely to blame. In their statement to fans in the week CSI steered clear of the topic of prices but hopefully made plenty of the right for the more sceptical of fans.
The subject of crowd participation was high on the agenda at last weeks Fans Conference and the emails have been flying into inbox from all the various members of that group. There have been so many suggestions and let`s look at a few of them.
• Safe standing areas on the Fratton End - not allowed by law at present but there is a growth in the movement for them to be introduced. The Safe Standing Roadshow is penciled in to visit Fratton Park on Thursday 29 September.
• To consider moving the John Westwood band around the ground as when is was in the 'Punch and Judy' stall ac couple of seasons ago.
• To get fans involved in writing songs and then perhaps ensuring the words are circulated and even recorded and placed on the official site. This includes the song 'I'd rather be in Fratton than Manhattan' which has been recorded and runs to three verses.
• A football team playing attractive winning football!!
On the community side the PSEF feels that whilst the under 12s could join the Junior Blues there is nothing for teenagers 13-16. So PSEF proposes to start two clubs, Nelson's Army for under 12s and The Bluz for 13-16. There would be a charge of £20 to join. Members would get birthday cards, contact with players etc. Wait for more news on that development in the coming weeks.
I will not complain about refereeing standards in the Championship after watching the performance of Ditch whistle blower Kevin Blom at Hampden Park yesterday. Without doubt the Czechs deserved at least a point but those two ludicrous penalty decisions in the final minutes made it a bitter pill to swallow for the Scots. Gordon McQueen on Sky Sports News could not decide whether the official was useless or hopeless
And what is Paulo Di Canio doing at Swindon? Having watched snippets of the game with Rotherham yesterday and read about his outburst in the week against striker Leon Clarke, he is certainly having an effect on League Two but is it the right effect?
Any of you take advantage of Non league day yesterday? - if so let us know.
See you next week with a look back at the trip to West Ham and a exclusive look at 'my first game' from a very unusual source.