Looking back/thinking forward with Dan Brett
We like to think that we rarely claim to speak, or even say that we do speak, for all Pompey fans and instead look to gage a wider opinion from our own thoughts shared in that attempt to get the wider views shared by our fellow fans!
As such we welcomed answers to some (ideally all) of the following questions, which Dan Brett was happy to do.
Here is what they said...
1) Overall thoughts of the 2010/11 season?
Definitely a season surrounding the phrase 'rebuilding'. Starting off in pre-season with a miss-mash tour of America which left our threadbare squad severely stretched, it didn't get off to the best start. We managed to bring in some quality faces like Lawrence, Kitson and Halford, and keeping Ashdown, Rocha, Hreidarsson and Nugent seemed like we would have enough to comfortably survive, and even challenge for the play offs.
We stayed up - largely thanks to the efforts of the manager and the team morale he installed into the squad - however, this season also highlighted the manager's stance on tactics when his back is against the wall. We were very defensive, and often didn't take the game to our opponents. Of course, there are a number of reasons for this: Lack of options, needing 'a point' rather than risking it for three, and threat of suspensions - I still think we could have had a better season if we had a more 'ballsy' manager - but ce la vie.
Not a season to remember for many reasons, in my opinion, but if there is one thing I believe all Pompey fans' can take from it is that we are finally in that 'new era' we've been expecting for the past few years. We've finally turned the corner, and coupled with the anticipated signings to push forward to next season, we can finally go to Fratton Park and enjoy the football, and not worry whether we'll have a club to support the following week.
2) Who was the player sold or released (in the summer of 2010 or during the season) that we most missed in 2010/11?
For me, this has to be Marc Wilson. A player that posed so much potential at the club during the Premier League year before-hand, he could have been a startlet in this division. However, money-related reasons had to take over and we saw one of the brightest talents to emerge from our 'academy' leave.
I was always a great fan of Marc's, from seeing a dozen reserve games which he impressed, to when he finally made his full debut for the club. He was a leader of men, and could have done great things here - potentially along side young Joel Ward. I firmly believe those two in the middle of the park, with Mullins around them, could have proved formidable in our search for promotion.
3) And the player sold or released (in the summer of 2010 or during the season) that we least missed?
John Utaka. Complete waste of space. Was destined for great things when he first joined from Rennes, but being played out of position by Harry Redknapp did the Nigerian striker no good. From then on, his laissez-faire attitude saw him dropped down the pecking order.
Shame, he could have been a great player for us last season, and even this one.
4) What did you find good about the 2010/11 season?
The football. Much more enjoyable than the Premier League, as anyone can beat anyone and you have a better chance of seeing quality matches rather than predictable 1-0 wins that you often see from the top flight. For what it's worth, I prefer seeing Pompey at this level than the glory stadiums such as Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge - much better value for money. Give me a cold Tuesday night at Selhurst Park any day...
5) And the thing(s) you found most bad?
Probably still having our club in financial difficulty with no real figurehead to take the club forward. Balu Chainrai forever calling himself a 'reluctant owner' grated on me, as this is just the mentality we didn't need at the time, but at least now we can look forward to hopefully a fruitful relationship with CSI, one which can see the revitalisation of our club back to former pride.
Other than that, John Westwood and co's constant bashing of the drums stifling any form of potential atmosphere, but I've thought that for a number of years now...
6) How many games did you attend in the 2010/11 season?
Every home game, as standard for the past 10 years. Occasional away games, including Coventry City, Crystal Palace and Reading.
7) Do you have any idea what you plans for attendance in 2011/12 will be?
Probably the same. Renewed my season tickets weeks before CSI came in, and plan to attend as many away as possible.
8) So, onto Steve Cotterill - what are your thoughts on the boss?
I do rate him. He's a typical Pompey manager. Likes to talk himself and his team up, but is able to give them a b*llocking when it's needed. Only things I would like to see is a more attacking approach and willingness to 'go for it' in the last ten minutes if we're in with a chance to get three points; and for him to stop blaming everyone else in his press conferences.
He's the manager, and we play on the same pitches as our opponents. If we fail to win, it's not their fault.
9) Who did you think was the most impressive loanee we had in 2010/11?
Greg Halford. I liked Dickinson, but he has many things to his game which I felt made him League One at best. Halford however is the complete package (albeit sometimes I wish he wouldn't p*ss about with it in his own box). He has good heading ability, looks strong in the tackle and most importantly, offers threats at the other end of the pitch.
Would like to see him come back and join Pearce in defence this year, can see us having a very resilient side this term with the likes of Pearce, Halford, Herman, Rocha, Ward and Mullins. Just what we need in this league.
10) What about the least effective and impressive loanee Cotterill brought in last term?
Probably Dickinson. I liked him when he first joined, as he was a leader, and performed a similar role towards the North Stand as Steve Stone used to do way back when. A nice individual who was often on the end of negative opinions - rightly so at times, but felt that given the right encouragement we could have had a gem on our hands.
11) Favourite memory/game of 2010/11 was?
Ironically away at Palace when we were stuffed 4-1. A good game of football, made better by singing in a local pub before we headed to the ground. A good away game, only spoilt by the result, but you can't have it all now can you?
Another that also springs to mind is the 6-1 thrashing of Leicester City. Particularly enjoyed this one, especially as I could watch it back on Sky after the game from an angle that doesn't seem like it's filmed from Cotterill's crotch. Thanks BBC.
12) What about your worst moment/game in 2010/11?
I wouldn't say there was one to be fair. Only one that I could even put into that category would be the Reading game at the Madejski. Went up there and offered little more than a Sunday league match. Were outclassed on the pitch, and possibly the worst atmosphere we could have hoped for from our Berkshire friends.
Any fanbase that can find pride in singing 'You shouldn't be here, you shouldn't be here... F*ck off back to Pompey, you shouldn't be here' really need to take a look at themselves, and possibly jump off of a very, very tall bridge.
13) Your player of the season for 2010/11 and why?
Joel Ward. Local lad come good - always nice to see. Has a bright future here as long as we can stave off interest from other clubs - not that I think he would leave unless an incredible opportunity came about.
14) What about the least impressive player of 2010/11? Or should that be worst!
Dave Kitson. Started brightly when he joined from Stoke but that soon went downhill. Looked disinterested in many games except from when he was made captain, and as soon as that was taken away the same attitude reappeared.
15) What would be your Pompey hopes, aspirations or expectations for 2011/12?
A more entertaining campaign would be a start, with more attacking football hopefully offered by new strikers and attacking midfielders joining the club. By the looks of some of those we've been linked with, i.e. Varney, Whittingham and Martin Patterson, we could be in for a season of goals. Just depends how many games Mokoena plays will determine what end they'll go in at.
16) And finally add anything else you would like here...
Can we lock Westwood & co in a cupboard before the game? Anything for an atmosphere, anything...
Answered by Dan Brett.
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