Vital Football

Toast Season 5 #10 - who needs a manager?

Toast Season 5 #10 - who needs a manager?

Pompey came out on top of their fiftieth meeting with Barnsley in all competitions. Two goals in a minute just after the hour from Chuck and Reg sealed what in the end was a comfortable victory over the Tykes. The same Barnsley side that before the game were unbeaten on the road.

The first thirty minutes was totally forgettable but then on a break Jacob Butterfield hit the inside of the post from long range. After football that the fans have been screaming for, with Liam Lawrence having switched to the left flank leading by example.

Perhaps it was fitting that the two players departed boss Steve Cotterill was so desperate to sign in the summer should score the goals. David Norris with a right foot shot from the edge of the box and Luke Varney sweeping home a cross after some good work by substitute Dave Kitson. Interestingly Barnsley only touched the ball twice between the two goals.

There were to be more chances after that but the crowd left happy that maybe the corner has been turned and as an added bonus no home players managed to find their way into the referee`s notebook.

It was good to see keeper Stephen Henderson give an assured performance on his home debut and get a deserved clean sheet. Ricardo Rocha also looked at his best restored to the middle of the back four and I thought Tal Ben-Haim had another good game at left back always willing to go forward and was as ever strong in the challenge.

All in all it was a good display and perhaps the only worrying sight was to see Benjani limp off early in the second half.

On the downside was the attendance of just 11,261 which was the lowest since the visit of Tranmere Rovers in March 2000! Yes the game was on TV and the kick off time awkward and Yes, the team have only stuttered through the first two months of the season but a crowd of that size does nothing to persuade the owners to splash out big money on a new stadium.

When we heard that Sky Sports had picked this game for live coverage we thought - strange choice. What to the bosses at Sky know that we don`t? they end up with a game where Pompey started with no manager - big news and they picked it months in advance - now is that luck or some special insight?

Another ordinary week!

Recently I seem to write the same thing as an opening to the Sunday Blog along the lines of 'it has been another strange week in Pompey life`. This week has been no different but the question on everybody`s lips is 'did he go before he was pushed?`

The advantage for Pompey is they get compensation rather than having to pay it out in a couple of weeks time. It seems to be the view held by some that Steve Cotterill was perhaps another two or three defeats away from the boot. That of course is only rumour and we will never know the real truth

Another rumour that was being put around was that SC was the lowest paid manager in the Championship. Rather a strange one that because how can anyone know that? Certainly Pompey have a very limited budget as they struggle to pay off the CVA and satisfy the Football League that they are living within their business plan. There are certainly clubs in this league such as Doncaster and Peterborough that have much smaller budget so how can people circulate such stories?

Southern Soccer

We left the story last week at the end of the sixties and in that season 1969/70 Pompey had seven home games covered by the local cameras. Ray Hiron was to especially enjoy that term as he scored seven goals in those games including a hat-trick in a Valentines Day massacre of Charlton Athletic.

The next season saw just four games but with another three goal hero, this time Mike Trebilcock on Halloween with Blackburn the victims. That was Trebs second threesome in the month. One off those games was definitely covered for the benefits of East Midland viewers as Leicester came to Fratton Park with a win needed to clinch promotion. City won it 2-1 and celebrated in front of the cameras.

1971/72 was a fairly barred season for coverage with just three home games shown on Sunday afternoon. Richie Reynolds scored in all three and the pick was the fantastic 6-3 win over Fulham in October - the game also was to see Fred Smith score for the only time in a Pompey shirt.

The next season saw the number of games covered reduced to just two and included a 2-0 win over neighbours Brighton with Reynolds again scoring in front of the cameras, Norman Piper netted the second. In 1973/74 the Southern TV cameras did not visit Fratton and all, in fact there may have been some financial reason involved as there were only four editions of the programme all season.

Day off?

Did you know that Pompey don't train on Wednesdays but have their 'usual day off'. How many of you are given a day off every week?


The latest odds on the new manager are Sean O`Driscoll 5/4, Dave Jones 5/2, Stuart Gray 6-1, Guy Whittingham 6/1 with Alan Curbishley at 8/1. Fancy a long shot Barry Harris the former mascot who was 100/1 on Friday is now available at 1,000/1. Guy has of course now counted himself out of the running.

I did ask everyone to keep their eyes open for faces in the crowd and the only name I have been given is that someone thought they spotted Dave Jones in the stands. Of course Aidy Boothroyd was in the Sky box and did not count himself out of contention - he is available at 8/1.

Next week we have a trip to Ipswich on Tuesday in a fixture where the away team have a better record whether it be at Portman Road or Fratton Park - strange fact that but let`s hope it can continue. On Saturday it is back to the Park for a visit from Doncaster Rovers where we owe them something after they pinched the points last term

The next home game after that is a November the fifth clash with Nottingham Forest!! That should go off with a bang.

And finally if you get a chance go the official site and watch the Ashley Harris goal that has been nominated for September`s Youth Alliance and Academy Goal of the Month award. Chix believes this is the winner. He should know because as we walked to game yesterday I asked him to pick his side for the game if he was the caretaker manager and he got in 100% correct!!

Must go and help my fellow co-ed complete his application for the vacant job. Now what percentage fee should I be looking for do you think?


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

Date:Sunday October 16 2011
Time: 1:00AM


Good toast again, good to wake up after a win! Good to see RR back in the team and good to see Kitson used to effect for a change - hope it isnt a one off! I know a lot of fans aren't keen but he has a good record in this league and is better with a partner, particularly a busy one like Varney. I still think we need a left sided midfielder, maybe Tonge on loan for a couple of months, to give us better balance. Pretty even game but our slightly better more classy players edged it in the end. RR, form is temporary class is permanent - he has featured in 3 league games and we have gained 7 points from them - why Cotts refused to play him I dont know. Very pleased this morning, hope the manager is sorted next week. PuP
16/10/2011 08:46:00
Pompey 6 Fulham 3..I was there, I remember sitting in the south stand with my Dad, and Nicky Jennings getting cautioned for jumping up someone’s bag..The programme in those day had a strange silhouette/heavy outline type black and white picture of ( I guess,.. ) Milkins saving a shot and Eoin Hand facing him, against what looks like QPR. Sadly in thise day “Goal” – later to be united with “shoot” seldom had Pompey Pictures to feed my bedroom wall..however inside the programme there was a feature on a player, usually with a Black and white picture of him in a pre-season pose, of kneeling on ( one knee) the turf with a ball..these tended to be cut out and enetered on my wall…deary me, what a waste
plymouth graham
16/10/2011 08:55:00
Thanks for the promotion of my managerial appt Dave I'm sitting here waiting to be contacted .. Pick the right team the right formation and the right result... I'll be checking Skybet all day to see what odds they offer for me (lol) seriously though check out that Academy goal it's a cracker..
16/10/2011 10:04:00
Good morning toast. Yes, you are right. Its good to wake up with a win under our belts - for a change. I was so contented last night, I even waited for the other half to pick me up after the game (fifteen minutes late) and never complained! (Fat lot of good it would have done me anyway). I always assumed the players WOULD have two days off a week. I assume they have Sundays off as well? Hope Benji's OK. He was really taking some knocks, always does.
16/10/2011 10:18:00
I thought lastnight was a great improvement on whats been going on before, first half i felt we were a nervous, trying to knock balls over their defence for players to run on to not one of our greatest strenghts but felt we just edge it if only on attemps at goal, what a difference the second half was we kept the ball on the deck and passed it, scored 2 well worked goals and never looked like being in any danger. (more of the same please) don't know if it was just me but the players looked more relaxed thought Varney was excellent and Norris looked more of the player from last year, and Kitson when did we last see him take on the defence like that!great piece of work for the second goal, And Rocha 3 blinding tackles how did Cotterill ever leave him out? henderson showed what a great prospect he is Ashdown is going to have his work cut out trying to dislodge him, credit where it due Cotterill has brought some good players to the club i just don't think he knew how to get the best out of them, I know its early days but I think lastnight showed we are only a couple of players short of being a very good side, benji and halford did't have the greatest of game's but they both gave 100% you cant ask for more so i'm not going to knock them, keep it up lads, am I alone in thinking it was a very strange atmosphere at the park lastnight?
16/10/2011 10:48:00
No Nobby you're not .. Pompey fans are so not united at the moment .. too many fractions of views.. even on a couple of occasions the drums deliberately drowned out new songs.. Which well *****ed me off.. even though there were anti Cotterill songs I didn't agree with ... Seems despite what Westwood says he and his merry band are dictating the atmosphere .. in a very poor way. Also lots of people supporting Dave Jones as a poss appt and others gobbing off about his previous court case .. and the fact that he was a scummer... Fratton Park is a very dis-jointed place at the mo..
16/10/2011 11:32:00
Betting has either Billy Davies or Dave Jones, neither would he a poor appointment. I'm suspecting Jones will get it but Billy is probably the best candidate.
16/10/2011 11:33:00
I think I know what you mean Chix, I called in to my local on the way home lastnight with a couple of mates everybody had a different opinion, not only on the barnsley game, but even if cotterill should have gone, which I could't believe, no one had a good word to say about him a week ago! and jones court case did get a mention, why is beyond me it was years ago and i think i'm correct in saying there was never a case to answer, felt it had more to do with him managing that lot down the road, as a lot of people did't know to much about it anyway. just checked out young Ashleys goal what a cracker if that doesn't win there's no justice.
16/10/2011 11:54:00
Yeah Nobby .. I actually looked up the Jones court case and it is quite an interesting read .. hence I guess the title of his autobiography 'no smoke, no fire' .. says a lot eh !! .. and on the Saints thing they ditched him as soon as the allegations came out .. So you can be damned sure he won't have a soft spot for them .. quite the reverse probably .. but whether he is the right man to take us forward I don't really know .. but his record in the 2nd tier is good .. Glad you took the time to see Ashleys goal .. told you it wouldn't disappoint !!
16/10/2011 12:01:00
Still Chix i'm sure he's heard it all before, so if he's offered the job it won't bother him to much! but like you i'm unsure whether he is the right man or not i'm swaying towards Sean O'Drisscoll for some reason, strange as I don't really no why, I think he's been unfairly treated by Doncaster, he did a good job there, and took them about as far as he could, as Dean Sauders is proberbly just about to find out, still i'm just glad it isn't down to me to make the right choice, I'm sure CSI have their own ideas the good thing is when they get their own man they will have to back him as i'm not really sure they were totally convinced about Cotterill, hence he's now at Forest.
16/10/2011 12:55:00
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