Date: 19th February 2008 at 9:00am
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This is what Pompeyscum considers Pompey’s best 11.

Goalkeeper: David James
Probably the hardest position to pick as James is up against Alan Knight, Aaron Flahavan, and Dean Kiely. Plus the underdog Japanese keeper we had, the Sherlock Holmes writer that originally kept goal for us and the totally ineffectual Chalkias. However, there are so many facets to James’ character and story that he is, undeniably, the greatest keeper we have ever had or are likely to have.

His haircuts (the superman anyone?), his environmental credentials, his modelling career, his shouting, his intentionally comic dives and his unintentionally comic dives make him a truly watchable presence between the sticks. I watch most of the games on the telly (I work for a sports broadcaster) but there is usually something James is up to that makes me chortle. All this doesn’t even take into account his incredible reactions, brilliant distribution, and the fact that we have had the pleasure of watching England’s true no1, week in, week out without the dappy national attention that comes with being an England player. Not so great for David James but I love having little secrets and it’s felt like James was Pompey’s little secret. The national press and all my work colleagues could go around dissecting the performances of Carson, Green, Robinson all they wanted but I knew who the best keeper in England was and I didn’t want to share him.

Central Defence: Linvoy Primus, Arjan De Zeeuw
The Nobel Prize Winners of the defensive world. Linvoy, with his big heart and hotline to heaven. De Zeeuw with his doctor’s qualifications. The booming ‘ooooooohh’ that greeted Arjan’s every header out of defence was a mark of respect to a guy that knew the job he was doing and didn’t get carried away with himself. And he had the face of a true defender, all character.

Linvoy managed to exceed expectations of himself for about 3 seasons in a row. It’s comic book stuff. Roy of the Rovers in front of our very eyes. If I start praying, the first prayer will be that Linvoy will come back from injury and have another shot at the Premier League because there’s no player, to my knowledge, in the league that deserves it more.

Left/Right Back: Jamie Vincent, Scott Hiley
This is stretching my knowledge too far, I need to buy a Pompey annual to remind myself of the players. I seem to remember Scott Hiley being very small so he gets in for that. I find the size of the currant squad slightly unnerving. Jamie Vincent gets in because I remember Redknapp moving him into a sweeper or defensive midfield position, where he looked great, and describing him as the next Franz Beckenbauer. Up surged my expectations, and then we sold him.

Midfield: Thomas Thogersen, Steve Stone, Robert Prosinecki, Gary O’Neil
Not sure if this would be the most effective midfield. Thogersen was always a favourite of mine, though I can’t say why. Steve Stone was such a tidy player I would have like to have seen him get his wish and moved into the centre as he was getting knackered running about so much. I used to worry that we would start seeing him stop after 70mins to catch his breath, the years finally having caught up on him. Somehow he would get past his man or get a cross in even though he seemed to have a style of play that had changed little from the 1980’s. Gets my title as most underrated Pompey performer of recent years.

Prosinecki – the rollbacks, staring daggers at linesmen, cigarettes. Always a controversial buy, he was worth every penny as Pompey suddenly had a player that could “turn it on”.

Gary, because he had flashes of brilliance, was our great white hope for so long, and he ran in a strange, rather camp, fashion.

Strikers: Steve Claridge, Peter Crouch
Steve Claridge. The man played with no shin pads and his socks rolled down. I don’t know about his abilities as a manager but as pundit and player I rate him above all else. I think he drove a battered Vauxhall and I had a friend at Portsmouth University that used to see him around Titchfield. To me, this was like he lived next door and would eagerly lap up any sightings of Claridge by this fellow, who supported West Ham but had lived in Fareham all his life! How could you see the Messiah and not convert.

Peter Crouch. So funny to look at (Pele on stilts, my mate calls him). With him, Todorov (honourable mention as he just missed out on my favourite strikers), and Gary O, we had the ugliest team in England. But he WAS as good with his feet as he insisted he was. Then his sale went on to bankroll our push for promotion the next season. It was painful to see how ridiculed he was at Aston Villa and then he went to Saints. My goodness what a sucker for punishment that lad is. Come back Peter!

Selected by – Pompeyscum in January 2008.

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12 Replies to “Pompey’s best 11 – Pompeyscum”

  • nice selection, re: jamie vincent tho wasnt it stefani miglioranzi that ‘arry moved into a sweeper role and then likened him to franz beckenbauer? im almost 100% certain it was, as i remember at the time of his contract coming to an end i wrote to him mentioning as much and he wrote a crackin’ letter back – were talking a couple of pages front and back – to me, he knew pompey were going to release him but hoped that they would keep him…

  • Nice selection 🙂 I’m glad Steve Claridge got in. I would not of selected Jamie Vincent though. I remember being away at Gillingham in the cold and he was the most shocking player on the field.

  • Sorry mate, no offence but if you think Jamie Vincent is the best left back we have ever had, you & he need shooting. I’d have him in my worst 11 ever.

  • Jamie Vincent like Franz Beckenbaur never heard such a daft comparisson. Like a cockroach to a unicorn. LOL.

  • i like alot of the names in the side but i have to agree jamie vincent was awful… thogersen is an interesting one, when he first arrived i thought hello champions league footballer, danish international cant be bad – cant be good more like… he looked like he had never kicked a foot in his life, then suddenly someone flicked a switch and he looked half decent, i was actually quite sad to see him go in the end when he did.

  • jamie vincent is not our best left back! i was thinking stefanovic / taylor.vincent has done good for us though this season.

  • definitely Miglioranzi who was tye next Beckenbauer, don’t remember Franz signing for Swindon though! I believe Stefani now plays for LA Galaxy

  • Wow; an interesting team; have to say I disagree with a lot of it, except the “it’s cold at Gillingham” comment; must be the worst ground for an away game in Winter. On second thoughts….Grimsby.

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