Date: 28th June 2011 at 8:53am
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We all support Pompey; we all have an opinion on the club so why not share this? Vital Pompey is looking for answers to a few simple questions, which pompeyrug has.

Vital Pompey prides itself on the interaction we have with our members.

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 I, pompeyrug was happy to do.

Here is what they said…

1) Overall thoughts of the 2010/11 season?
It seemed to take forever at times but at the same time flew by, if that makes sense?

Part of me could not wait for it to end whereas the other part wanted it to carry on. I was drained come the end of it, although I always am but this is mainly due to all the travelling.

Football wise, where we finished, it was pretty much what I expected and even hoped for to be honest. We still had a club, avoided relegation and avoided promotion – although clearly the financial benefits of doing this would have been worth it to the club.

2) Who was the player sold or released (in the summer of 2010 or during the season) that we most missed in 2010/11?
There was some real quality that moved on but that was always going to happen and to be honest I am not sure if some of this would have fitted in, well the actual personalities of these anyway, with what we had?

I cannot say we ‘missed him’ as such, as we had no real basis for comparison, but I still rue the fact that we allowed Matty Ritchie to leave too easily – the impact Joel Ward had could easily have been emulated by Matty…

All in all though I would say that I think Marc Wilson was a big miss.

I had always been a fan of his and his development in one summer, the one prior to our last season in the premier league, was incredible – a more physically fit Wilson added something to his game. The improvement last summer added more to his game and was seen in the early months of the season before he left showed what an asset he was and would have been, especially in a midfield role. Unlike most others that were happy to leave Wilson was happy to stay and would have stayed had we not needed to let him go.

3) And the player sold or released (in the summer of 2010 or during the season) that we least missed?
John Utaka had his moments during the season but I was not in the least bit sad to see him leave. It made sense from a financial point of view then and saved us a fortune in wages in the second half of the season, its just a shame this could not have happened sooner!

4) What did you find good about the 2010/11 season?
The fact that we survived as a club, we saw a good level of camaraderie – on the whole – as a club and we saw some ‘real football’ again, even if the quality was somewhat dodgy at times, away from the plastic glare of the premier league pleased me.

5) And the thing(s) you found most bad?
I appreciate that not all would have made it, so he was right with some, but the fact that Steve Cotterill was able to part with so many youngsters as easily as he did still annoys me now. The likes of Liam O’Brien, Matty Ritchie, Marlon Pack and Tom Kilbey in particular would have offered as much, if not more, than some of the ‘senior pros’ that we kept last season and in future seasons.

The fact that non-footballing matters ‘seemed’ to influence his decision making at times made it all the more frustrating and I am sure that a number of these kids, who were treated appallingly by all accounts, will be ones we regret letting go in time…

6) How many games did you attend in the 2010/11 season?
Boxing Day is always a virtually impossibility for me from Devon, non-driver and all that, so that aside I made all the home games. Away games were far fewer this season but still made a third – half of these I would think. All in all around 35 league and cup at least I reckon…

7) Do you have any idea what you plans for attendance in 2011/12 will be?
Season ticket was renewed pretty much right away, even though I moaned – so I will aim for all home games, even more so with no Boxing Day game at Fratton. Away from home I will aim for half but a quarter – third is more likely as the finances are tighter, bills mount up and a wedding needs to be saved for!

8) So, onto Steve Cotterill – what are your thoughts on the boss?
As with question 5 I do not like his handling of the kids, and fear for our future on this scale and he MUST change his stance of this as becoming self-sufficient is a must for our long-term plans.

I think he is arrogant, contradicts himself from time to time and believes in the hype surrounding him at times, most of which is of his own billing. All this said he kept us up last season and that was all we could ask for and he stuck by us when most others would not have.

In many ways he gets a clean slate from me now, he is building his own squad now so we ‘should’ really get to see what he is all about – this season he can blame no one else bar himself and what he does in the transfer market will see him sink or swim…

I of course hope that he swims as it means we do well!

9) Who did you think was the most impressive loanee we had in 2010/11?
We need to thank them all, even if their actual contribution was a little lesser than we would have liked, because they dug us out of a hole but quite clearly some were more impressive than others. Greg Halford grew into a central defensive role and ‘might’ have a long-term future in such a position, yet still has a lot to learn. I thought Ritchie De Laet was fantastic, on the whole. I would have brought both back if possible but De Laet has moved on, if the price is right I would have Halford back and it was Halford that just shaded it for me from the loanees.

10) What about the least effective and impressive loanee Cotterill brought in last term?
As above we thank them all but again some offered less than others. It would be easy to say Ibrahima Sonko or Carl Dickinson but I will resist this and say David Cotterill. His first couple of games were impressive but he offered little after this and was very much a ‘one trick pony’ that soon got found out. Would Matty Ritchie had offered any less I ask…

11) Favourite memory/game of 2010/11 was?
The emergence of Joel Ward was good, a local lad making good is always nice – thankfully the keenness that Cotts has to move on the youngsters did not see Ward go the same way, even though it is ‘said’ that he was one of the first he actually did want out!

Football wise it has to be the 6-1 win over Leicester, what a fantastic win and made all the more better being under floodlights – but it was the solo goal from Mikey Brown that really stood out in the game, what a goal! Among the best individual goals I have seen first hand, maybe the best…Such a shame he proved himself another of footballs mercenaries after this as he will be remembered for that now and not such a stunning goal.

Some of the days out, well most of to be honest, were cracking – the brewery at Doncaster stands out above most though and Scunny on the final day was good, getting led through into the home end and drinking in their bar at half time made me feel like I was ‘important!’

12) What about your worst moment/game in 2010/11?
Some would say the ‘fear’ of us being liquidated when it was announced we could, but I never really feared that was going to happen at that time as I always thought it another ‘brinkmanship’ move, which worked but this is a game you can only play so many times and I think that card has been played enough times by PFC now…

We had plenty of poor games at Fratton, which disappointed me, but the highlight of the low lights had to be the Burnley game – what a poor display, I think it was Burnley. The one that Boss Hogg made his debut in anyway.

Brighton away was disgraceful, quite clearly winning was not on the agenda and it showed that we were happy to be beaten. This discipline, or lack of it, shown was criminal and for Cotts to claim this was ‘passion’ really angered me!

13) Your player of the season for 2010/11 and why?
I would have to say that, despite never thinking I would think let alone say this, Hayden Mullins – when you take all into account – would just about have got my vote. Was it because, despite a number offering us something throughout the season, that others were lacking or was it a genuine ability level, all in all, showing through?

That question remains unanswered – Joel Ward would have come a close second for me and ‘if’ used as much as he should be in the new season he has every chance of landing this at the end of the 2011/12 season.

14) What about the least impressive player of 2010/11? Or should that be worst!
I could not fault Carl Dickinson’s effort levels, and as a person he seemed a genuinely nice bloke but as a footballer he was poor. Same pretty much covers Ibrahima Sonko, so for the pluses given neither would get this unwanted accolade from me.

The man that truly deserves this is Dave Kitson.

If ever a man has dined off a couple of good seasons, on at this level and one at the highest level, then Kitson is your man. He shows a distinct lack of effort, enthusiasm of ability pretty much every time he takes to the field. If he spent as much time putting in some effort as he does whinging and moaning, not to mention doing that stupid thing when he ‘chases’ the ball down and dives in with one foot and his back to the keeper as the keeper goes to clear a back-pass he would be worth something!

The lack of goals are not my issue with him, I can accept this and put up with it, it is the attitude and lack of commitment that gets me the most.

15) What would be your Pompey hopes, aspirations or expectations for 2011/12?
For us to achieve the stability that the club needs to have a long-term, sustainable, future. A need for excessive spending is not wanted, and to be honest I do not think we will see this from CSI anyway – at least I hope not. We can build a decent squad without spending a fortune and this is what I hope that we do.

CSI need to look at the infrastructure and finally we need to hope that we have owners that will, once and for all, get this right. The correct usage of the academy set-up is essential for our long-term growth and future and making sure the manager uses this correctly instead of wasting it also something he needs to be made aware of – this makes getting this set-up right all the more important.

Forget the ‘talk’ of a new stadium, or even redevelopment of it as is, for some time – we cannot even fill a 20,000 stadium so what makes anyone think we could fill anything bigger?!

Footballing wise staying in the no power is essential, dropping down any lower would be disastrous. Whilst I do not want to return to the premier league anytime soon you could not really say you would not take it. Lets be honest ‘if’ the club is run properly then the benefits to Portsmouth as a city and PFC as a club are there to see for all even if the premier league stands for just about everything that is bad about football! Yo-yoing between the leagues would not be the worst thing to happen for a while if we followed the example set by the likes of Bolton and West Brom who had a history of this.

Midtable would suit me fine when all is said and done but a flirtation with the play-offs would not be a bad thing – of course ‘if’ we made them I would want us to win them.

16) And finally add anything else you would like here…
As the site editor of Vital Pompey I know first hand what a tough couple of years it has been for the online Pompey community, but even during these ‘dark days’ few would argue that we have been the best out there.

I can totally understand, and appreciate, why people were so disillusioned and Vital Pompey, and all other Pompey sites, suffered – it was all doom and gloom all the time and there was little to be enthusiastic or optimist about. There was only so many times you could read about, look at and talk about the same old b******s really, right…

With things ‘looking’ like they are turning around it has been increasingly pleasing to see an increase in the numbers of people coming back to the site, signing in, signing up and getting involved again – there seems a genuine optimism that we are turning a corner at last!

I have always taken great pleasure in the growth this site has seen over the years, it pained me to see the struggles but as said I could see why this was the case but I now remain hopeful that we really can get back to an onwards and upwards motion with the involvement and interest retained from old and new members!

If answering these questions interests you click here then please email your answers through, with your username, to me on

Previous interviews:
pompeymorris – here.
Pompey Malta – here.
pompeymart1965 – here
Chix – here
PompeyNorway – here
Pompeytim – here
moley2 – here
Hammersmithblue – here
PompeyFrippy – here
NZ Portsmuff – here


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4 Replies to “Looking back/thinking forward with pompeyrug”

  • Thoughtful.. interesting.. balanced and realistic.. and top read from a top bloke – Nice one Ruggers

  • Nice one Rug, interesting with two of your answers, it seems that we have got rid of one Utaka and picked up another (Kitson) there must be a rule about having one in every team!

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