Date: 21st November 2009 at 6:22pm
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No game yet this weekend which gives me little to talk about but I have no doubt I will think of something in your Sunday Toast.

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Team of the Decade

Last week we announced the plan to name the team of the noughties decade at the end of the year. Nominations are trickling in and we will launch a thread to bring in more shortly.

Meanwhile as a taster we start a new series looking back at the team of the previous for decades starting with the 1960s.

1960’s team

1. John Milkins
2. Roy Pack
3. George Ley
4. Brian Lewis
5. Jimmy Dickinson
6. Harry Harris
7. Tony Barton
8. Johnny Gordon
9. Ron Saunders
10. Albert McCann
11. Nicky Jennings

The team of my youth but still difficult to select. There were some 100% definite selections – John Milkins, Ron Saunders and Nicky Jennings and then there was the inspiration of the likes of Harry Harris and Johnny Gordon plus the skill of Brian Lewis and Albie McCann.

All in all a good side, I think, led of course by the great man himself Gentleman Jimmy Dickinson who make the team from any decade and if I went back to the 40’s and 50’s he would be in both those teams too. Remember Jim played 764 league games for Pompey and won forty eight England caps and was never booked!

Two of the team went on to make their name in management (Barton and Saunders) combining to take Aston Villa to win the European Cup – Barton replacing Saunders four months before Bayern Munich were beaten by a Peter Withe goal in Rotterdam in 1982.

Roy Pack and George Ley were a good pair of full backs and fought off the competition from long serving Alex Wilson, Phil Gunter and Roy Lunniss. Others unlucky not to make the final XI were pacy winger John McClelland, local boy Ray Hiron who scored over 100 goals for Pompey and the elegant Ray Pointer. Others were to make it into the 70’s team which we will unveil next week.

Irish

Some talk about the luck of the Irish but it certainly ran out last week. Many of the boys in green have been signing up to the Toast campaign for video officials and goal judges and because of this we have decided to take some definitive action and write on behalf of football to FIFA!!

Memo to FIFA

Well what a fine mess you have got yourself into now.

We wrote to you last year suggesting that you implement our recommendation of five officials and television replays immediately but alas you took no action and now the hand of god has intervened.

The incident at the Stade de France last Wednesday was the latest of many such incidents which have now thrown the game into disrepute. We now have accusations of cheating, threats to boycott shaving products and the risk of international confrontations all because FIFA will not spend a tiny percentage of their huge resources on putting into action what the plan the whole world knows is required.

Quite how FIFA dig themselves out of this hole is of course your problem but one thing is for certain the match cannot be replayed as those ignorant of the game implore. The laws of the game do not allow it and if one were to be re-arranged then every club and country in the world would be queuing at your door with a list of games for your consideration.

It is of course more than a matter of financially reimbursing the FOI for the lost of revenue a trip to South Africa for the World Cup Finals would have earned but is has also robbed the Irish players a one off chance to play in such a great tournament.

The blame lies firmly at you door and you must act NOW to save the credibility of our great game.

P.S. If however you do decide to replay games I would make a request for the game between Arsenal and Portsmouth at Highbury on Saturday 13th September 2003. The reason was the dive made by Robert Pires that earned the home side a penalty which was converted by Thierry Henry (yes the very same!!) but only at the second attempt. The consequence of decision was that Arsenal would go the entire season undefeated and they should have lost that game.

Algeria make World Cup

It was good to see that Algeria have qualified for the World Cup Finals in South Africa next year. They squeezed past World Cup under achievers Egypt in a Khartoum play-off. Egypt have won the African Cup of Nations six times but only qualified for one World Cup Finals since the war. Algeria’s qualification will give us some more interest in the competition from the point of watching our players.

Sounds as though Billy Belhadj had his usual ‘mixed’ game. Booked in the first minute but making a couple of good sorties forward and making one decisive defensive tackle. Yebda dabba doo also played and created opportunities which sadly were missed.

For anyone who missed it the final place in the Finals was taken by Uruguay who edged out Costa Rica 2-1 on aggregate. The draw for the finals will be made on 4th December in Cape Town. Pompey’s current players who could be involved are David James, Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda, Aruna Dindane, Kevin Prince Boateng (for Ghana), Kanu, John Utaka, Angelos Basinas, Aaron Mokoena and maybe even Younes Kaboul for France. Of course the number of ex Pompey players will run into dozens!!

There are many fans who believe that Marc Wilson should now be in the Ireland squad. Well I think that the Irish World Cup exit could be a blessing in disguise as they will now play a series of meaningless friendlies against countries that have qualified. That will mean that manager Giovanni Trapattoni will have an opportunity to blood new players and surely Marc will fall into that group.

Good luck to him he has put in the effort and now deserves his chance.

Jock job

George Burley fell on his sword last week after Scotland’s woeful performance in Cardiff. Well I was reading the Daily Record on the train the other night (the things I do for research!) and it contained and eight page special on who does not want the job.

It is a poisoned chalice no doubt but one after one possible candidate has come out and said ‘no thanks’.

The problem with Scottish football is not the quality of their managers but the fact that although they can produce a good crop of youngsters they are unable to convert them into a strong national side. Is it down to the fact that there are in essence only two teams north of the border or does the problem lie elsewhere?

Certainly I can remember back in the sixties they produced the like of Denis Law, Billy Bremner, Jim Baxter etc. etc. As a team they were often more than a match for their English counterparts and remember Celtic were the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967. Yet as a country they have got past the first phase of the world cup final despite qualifying eight times.

Pompey are a club that have had a lot of Scottish players over the years particularly in the early doing deal with a large number of clubs. The only player to hail from north of the border now is Glasgow born Richard Hughes.

So where does Scottish football go from here?

Germany calling

Last week we told you that Toast had a reporter in Hanover at the time of the Robert Enke suicide. Tina has now returned to Pompey and tells me that they were reading Toast in Germany!! She has bought me back the local papers covering the event and I will give you some extracts in the weeks ahead – Tina will have to translate them for me first! One thing that did hit Tina was the fact that in all the papers and media coverage there was not one bad word mentioned about Enke.

The most upsetting part of the trip for Tina was travelling from Hamburg to Hanover on the same day the two Bundesliga sides were playing each other. Trains, stations, streets were all full of riot police in their full gear including helmets, shields, tasers and guns. Not a day she would like to repeat and some think we have crowd problems in Britain!

Finally good luck to Sam Allardyce who is to undergo minor heart surgery in the next few days.

Birthdays

A couple of new names on the list this week with two players celebrating their first birthdays at the club.

22nd November
Yakubu Aiyegbeni is 27 – has been nominated for the team of the noughties. Russell Hoult is 37 and still playing at Darlington on loan. I calculate that that is his eighth loan club.
23rd November
Anthony Fenton is 30 and is working as a recruitment consultant.
24th November
Gavin Maguire is 42 Clive Whitehead is 54.
25th November
Aaron Mokoena the Axe is 29.
26th November
Aruna Dindane is 29. David Lee is 40. Peter Denyer is 52. John Ruggiero is 55.
27th November
Matthew Taylor is 28 and has also been nominated for the team of the noughties. Mark Kelly is 43. Rodney Henwood is 78.
28th November
Trevor Senior is 48. Mick Channon is 61. Reg Flewin born in 1920 and passed away in 2008. Would in my opinion be nominated in the team for any decade. Pompey born and captained his team to win the championship twice!

PUP

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