Dave's Sunday Toast - #10 Eoin Hand
We noticed last Saturday in the Villa match that some Pompey players were having trouble identifying their team mates. On a number of occasions players running with the ball played a simple pass to a player in a Villa shirt. These players included Sulley Muntari and Nico Krancjar, not the world's worst passers of a football.
So why we ask did it happen with such simple passes? We believe the answer is simple - shirts. The plain dark colours of Pompey and Villa were not different enough for a player to identify on their peripheral vision. The Canterbury hi tech gizmos obviously not working there then.
Then on Monday night watching Birmingham City and Newcastle battle out a 1-1 draw at St Andrews, again it was spotted that the strips were causing a problem. This time Birmingham's blue and white penguin strip was certainly too similar to Newcastle's bar codes especially under floodlights. Once again a number of simple passes went astray and watching on television was difficult too.
So why all of a sudden after a spell of clubs wearing their changes strips when there appeared to be no need (money obviously to blame) do we now have clubs playing in uniforms that are too similar? What colour strip will Pompey wear at Wembley if the Baggies wear their home colours? The blue and white strips are too similar and the black is not too different.
This Week's birthdays
24th Martyn Busby will be 55, Aliou Cisse 32,
28th Steve Middleton 55, Andy Thomson 34,
30th Eoin Hand 62, Chris Price 48, Gary Stevens 46.
Aliou Cisse of course whose transfer is now subject to further City of London Police enquiries was recently playing for Sedan in France.
Eoin Hand was a junior with Stella Maris in Drumcondra and signed for Pompey from Drumcondra in October 1968. (Sorry Chix for the mention of Stella again, unintentional I assure you.)
Eastneydave remembered his debut at Fulham quite clearly. 'We knew nothing about Eoin except he had been on trial at Swindon a few years earlier. A friend had seen him arriving at training saying he was a big lad but he wears glasses. Well it was a bright and breezy day on the banks of the Thames and Fulham kicked off and knocked a long ball down field. Hand, without spectacles and wearing contact lenses, rose majestically and powered his header sixty yards up field. I turned to the Pompey fan next to me and said simply "He'll do".'
Hand then played the 67 games consecutively to prove the point. In May 1969, Eoin was called into the Eire squad for a World Cup qualifier against Czechoslovakia in Dublin and came on as a late substitute. Over the next six years Hand featured twenty times for his country scoring two goals. The strength of Eire football those days was not good and they only won four of those games.
Eoin played over 300 games for Pompey in two spells - he left for South Africa in 1976 but returned via Shamrock Rovers a year later. He went on to manage his country for five years and then Huddersfield Town for four years and now work in Irish Television as a summariser.
This week's eleven
Norman Uprichard - guest at the Villa game.
Yes as it was St Patrick's Day last week, we have a team of Irish Internationals both north and south of the border. McAlinden is unique among them as he played for both in 1946.
Toast is still waiting for your alternative teams of Pompey players. How about the worst XI?
Three's a crowd
Another question fired off after the England squad was named was have three Pompey players ever featured in the same England team? The answer is No. Two has been done a few times the last being in England's 7-1 debacle in Budapest. The Mighty Magyars (Hungary) wiped the floor with an England team containing both Jimmy Dickinson and Peter Harris. That was back in May 1954, was England's heaviest defeat and the only time five different players have scored against England in the same game!
All previous occasions of two Pompey players being picked also involved Dickinson with Jack Froggatt (10 times), Len Phillips (once) or Harris (once more) as company.
Semi Final favourites
It has been asked when was the last time Pompey went into the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup as favourites. Well the answer is 1949 when Pompey, soon to be Champions, were drawn against Second Division Two strugglers Leicester City. 25,000 fans made their way to Highbury for what most thought would be a formality but City with Don Revie having a stormer, won 3-1 and the dream of another meeting with Wolves, at Wembley, was dashed.
Folklore tells us that Sep Smith, a Leicester Scout, had spotted that Pompey keeper Ernie Butler liked to tip the ball over oncoming forwards heads before catching it. When Foxes forward challenged Butler for the ball, Revie remembering this tip was waiting and scored the decisive third goal.
Sadly Revie missed the final through a serious nose injury but played two finals later for Manchester City.
More Semi-Final memories next week; see ya!
Written by eastneydave.
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