Vital Football

Dave's Sunday Toast - #3 John Aloisi

Dave's Sunday Toast - #3 John Aloisi
This week's edition is aimed at the younger/newer fans among you.

But first I must start with the result of last week's competition. The question was what was Derek Showers' nickname? The answer was Nookie Bear because of his resemblance to Roger De Courcey Nookie's host. Congratulations to StuartM and UKTony who both got it right.

Derek Showers

This weeks birthdays are:

2nd - Tim Sherwood (39)
5th - John Aloisi (32), Micky Hazard(48), Manuel Fernandes (22)

Thanks to Chix for providing the birthdays, he actually sends them all a card I gather and he is writing an article on Micky Hazard soon. Tim Sherwood, now of Setanta Sports, is the only captain outside of the big four clubs to lift the Premier League trophy.

Let us concentrate on John Aloisi then. Born in Adelaide, John moved to Belgium in 1992 to pursue his soccer career at first Standard Liege and then Royal Antwerp; before joining Cremonese in Italy. The managerial partnership of Fenwick and Venables were buying all things Australian and despite Aloisi's poor goal scoring record in Italy (4 goals in 48 games) signed him in the summer of 1997.

He was an instant hit scoring within five minutes of his debut at Manchester City in a 2-2 draw. John went on to play 68 times for Pompey scoring 29 goals the best ratio he attained in his career. Rug gave me his favourite memories.

1 - His goal at Palace (in November) even though we got stuffed 4-1. We were 1-0 down and a man down after Fitzroy Simpson was sent off, but Aloisi equalised and we went crazy. It was memorable as it was the first time we had come up against 'the two Terry's' Venables and Fenwick since they went, and this game still ranks as one of my all time favourites - even though we lost - simply as we would not leave Selhurst Park, Alan Ball had to eventually beg us to go!

2 - Ironically Aloisi got injured against West Brom, so I was 'gutted' that he was going to have to come off as I thought our 'goal threat had gone', but in the reserves Robbie Simpson and Luke Nightingale were banging in the goals, Nightingale got the nod - I often wonder what would have happened to Simpson if he had been selected for that squad instead? - and was in that squad, he came on and scored 2 goals on his debut to take us from 1-0 to see us win 2-1, I think he scored with his 1st touch - if only injuries had not ruined his career... (Luke is of course an Eastney boy like me.)

Pompey were spiralling into major financial problems and the Administrators put all players up for sale. We all remember the game when the players wore T-shirts with their values on under their Blue shirts in the kick in. Aloisi was the only major sale for a knock down £600,000 to Coventry in December 1998.

After an in and out spell at Highfield Road John moved to Osasuna in Spain and then Alaves before returning to Australia with the Central Coast Mariners his current club. John is the only Australian to play in all of Europe's major leagues - England, Italy and Spain. He also scored the decisive penalty to take the Aussies to the 2006 World Cup. This was a time when there were strong rumours of a return to Fratton.

A hat-trick for nothing
Today's anniversary game takes is back just six years to 2nd February 2002 and the visit of Barnsley to Fratton Park. It was to be for one Pompey player one of his greatest yet personally frustrating Pompey moments.

That player was of course former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Robert Prosinecki. He would score a hat trick but Pompey would fail to win the game and afterwards would storm out of the ground fuelling rumours he would leave the club.

Prosinecki's first was a penalty after Courtney Pitt had been fouled then in the second half with the score 2-2 he stamped his mark on the game. On the hour, he beat three defenders before drilling a low shot inside the right-hand post from the edge of the area. He then gave Pompey a two-goal lead eight minutes later, curling in a glorious free kick from the edge of the area after he had been fouled by Chettle.

With Pompey cruising and only six minutes left Linvoy Primus was sent off for allegedly punching an opponent in the box and Barnsley scored from the penalty. Linvoy would plead his innocence today and manager Graham Rix said afterwards 'no Barnsley player even appealed'. Two minutes into injury time Mike Sheron equalised and only a great save from Dave Beasant saved a point.

Two out of your four Pompey best XI's have featured Prosinecki and this game typified the fact that he was a great player in a far from great team.

Today's teaser is who scored Pompey's other goal that day?

Munich 1958
I cannot finish this week without a mention of the events of 6th February 1958 when the Manchester United team was decimated in the snow at Munich Airport on their way home from a European Cup game.

23 of the 44 passengers on board lost their lives as the plane crashed on its third attempt to take off in a blizzard. Munich had been a refuelling stop over on the way home from Belgrade.

The dead included eight players, members of backroom staff, journalists and supporters. The players were Geoff Bent (25), Roger Byrne (28), Eddie Colman (21), Duncan Edwards (21), Mark Jones (24), David Pegg (22), Tommy Taylor (26) and Billy Whelan (22). They were all members of the famous Busby babes, a team raised by Matt Busby that looked to take on the world but were cut down in the their prime. Frank Swift the Manchester City and England goalkeeper working for the media also perished.

The loss effected the whole of football not only United. Duncan Edwards would without doubt gone on to be a real superstar for United and England and Taylor had already scored 16 goals in 19 England games. It is wrong of course to single out individuals on an occasion such as this.

Perhaps Cristiano Ronaldo's goal against Pompey on Wednesday was a fitting tribute to those who perished. Next week's Manchester derby will be marked by various ceremonies and special shirts for both sides bearing no sponsorships.

See you all next week with a treat for Yosser Tait fans and keep sending me your memories.

Written by eastneydave.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

Date:Sunday February 3 2008
Time: 11:19AM


crackin' stuff dave - as always, see i managed to get the picture incorporated too :-) brilliant little tribute to munich also, very nice.
03/02/2008 11:23:00
Nice one again Dave .... and I know the answer !!! .... Alosi was a diamond wasn't he far better than some of the other Aussies we've had at the club...And it's funny you mention Fitzroy as I've just written his birthday card too.... oh and whilst on the subject, one I missed in all the confusion last week Danijel Subotic was 19 on Thursday... Keep up the good work Dave I really enjoy reading these articles..
03/02/2008 11:43:00
Rug thanks for getting photo in it helps people understand. Chix still need February birthdays and thanks for comments. I am away next weekend but Toast almost written just need a birthday boy.
03/02/2008 11:54:00
Dave .. check your email ... sent through this morning ... text me if you haven't got 'em and I'll do it again..
03/02/2008 13:45:00
its a quality photo isnt it dave... but who is who :-)
03/02/2008 16:48:00
The one in the middle was the Scummers transfer window signing!!
03/02/2008 16:58:00
No doubt a bit thread BEAR by now Dave. Classic writing ol chap...
03/02/2008 20:57:00
Gray the master of puns!!
03/02/2008 21:29:00
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