Date:Friday September 9 2011
Vital Football caries the slogan 'for the fans by the fans', and as such we cannot forget the importance of fan participation - both on Vital Pompey and Vital in general.
As such we here at Vital Pompey Towers think it is 'vital' that we do all we can to try and actively seek fan participation, from all fans, and what better way to do this than to invite the editor of our next opponents to answer some questions for us.
This is what Rossy had to say in response to these questions...
1) Fat Sam, sorry Sam Allardyce has not been your manager for long but at this point do you think he is he the right man for the job and does he have the full support of the fans and/or the board?
Sam's doing a grand job in difficult circumstances. Taking on a club that needs Premier League football to ensure the Olympic Stadium move is the success it has to be but being acutely aware of the financial situation we are in, allied with the fact that Avram Grant didn't exactly bless us with his spending prowess, isn't as easy as many would like to think.
As for having the full support of the board, I'm not sure any manager really has that luxury, even more so when climbing out of the Championship is a priority!
2) How do West Ham, as a club, treat the fans. Are you well treated, or are they fleecing you at any given opportunity?
I'm old school and of the belief that the modern day football fan is treated appallingly no matter who you support. Rising prices have long seen the hard-core working class element desert the sport and if they can make a fast buck by moving the date / kick-off to encompass live television then you know what the outcome will be!
3) Who do you think was your best summer signing and why?
I'll go for Kevin Nolan! It somewhat surprised me that he was willing to drop into the Championship after such a successful season with Newcastle. I guess we'll never know the real reasons why he left Newcastle but I'd like to think he was sold by our ambitions as portrayed by Big Sam!
4) Could you have done with more arrivals - if so in which areas and maybe even who? Do you think they might still come in during this transfer window?
Dropping down a division was always going to be hard. Players had it in their contracts that such an event would trigger a release, others were simply left for their contracts to run down whilst others were promised a move away to save international careers. Off those that left we'll miss Upson, Hitzlsperger, Parker and Ba.
Sam has brought some player sin, mainly players he's had experience with before - Nolan, Taylor, O'Brien etc. etc but I get the impression we could well exploit the loan window that opens today and bring some others in. As to who, we'll just have to sit tight and wait and see.
5) Who is the player, sold or released, that you think you will miss most this season?
Without a doubt it has to be Scott Parker.
Scott was an inspirational figure for us, almost dragging us to survival on his own. He led by example and this was, rightly, recognized when the Football Writers made him their Player of the Year.
6) What are your expectations, or hopes, for the season?
We simply have to get promoted. Our aspirations of making the move to the Olympic Stadium just have to be realized, we are a top-flight club, we have the support base and a failure to get promotion could have severe ramifications!
7) So, what about Pompey. What do you make of our club and what do you think we should hope, or expect, for between now and May?
It's been tragic how you, as the supporters, have had to sit by and watch the club descend into the depths it did. It wasn't too long ago I recall you had grand ideas of moving to that futuristic stadium beside the sea and then the next minute it's a fight for survival.
I'm not sure you're ready for a promotion charge just yet but, to be honest, I envy you that FA Cup triumph of not so long ago. Times may be difficult now but what a memory to dine out on!
8) Who are the real danger men that West Ham have that Pompey will need to watch?
If he can get his backside in gear like he did against Nottingham Forest then Carlton Cole could be the danger man. With no move materializing for the striker, in the recent transfer window, the realization that he's here to stay might be sufficient for him get back into the groove.
Also, with former players having a habit of scoring against former clubs, the name of Matthew Taylor springs to mind. He wouldn't would he?
And for a unique double, should I mention a certain Diop?
9) Is there anyone in the current Pompey squad that you would like to see at West Ham?
Danny Webber - Not sure why but I recall him from his Watford days and I've always thought he had something about him!
10) What about sending a player our way, is there anyone that you would like to send to Fratton Park?
In one word no! We're all standing solid this season, all for one and one for all!
11) So, go on then what result are you expecting on Saturday?
Our home form isn't what you'd hope. In the opening fixture Cardiff nicked an injury time winner and in the second home fixture Leeds United nicked a last minute equalizer. Away from home we've been majestic. But I expect our class to shine through and we'll be blowing the bubbles celebrating our first home win of the season come 17:00 hours Saturday afternoon!
Thanks to Rossy for this, good luck to him and West Ham - after tomorrow...
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Date:Friday September 9 2011
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