Date: 19th December 2009 at 7:52pm
Written by:

Unbelievable Jeff!! Is what Christmas birthday boy, Chris Kamara would have yelled had he been at Fratton Park yesterday. He was however at Villa Park but it did not detract from a great Pompey performance. Avram Grant again showed his tactical expertise with his team selection particularly putting Billy Belhadj on the left flank to stop Glen Johnson’s famous forward forays.

Liverpool of course are only a mid table side these days but they looked lack lustre and devoid of any real shape after the opening exchange where they played the ball around neatly but created nothing. Fernando Torres is a great player but he has no confidence in his team mates, attempting to walk the ball into the net rather than set up a colleague and usually running out of space.

This was billed as a game between two crisis clubs, at the end it was clear which has the greatest problems on the field. Now we hope that Chelsea can do us a favour and lift us off the bottom for Christmas.

The new tinkerman

Your team comes from behind to earn a point with a very late equaliser at a ground where visitors have found it difficult all season.. You have a tough away game four days later what action do you take? Surely unchanged or as near as possible. No, of course not, play a completely different formation and make seven changes and oh so nearly get a fantastic result.

Then yesterday after that display it is all change again and this time it bears full fruit. AG is man who knows what he wants and picks the players to do that job irrespective of the last game.

For Claudio Ranieri now read Avram Grant.

100 up

I started this mad idea back in January 2008 with the words ‘Today would have been Derek Dougan`s seventieth birthday’. Well two years and one hundred editions later it is still going. The comments that first day came from people who have, probably and sadly, read every edition. If you want to go back to the start you read it here

Toast will change a bit in the New Year with the birthdays moving to ‘On this day` every morning. I still want your contributions on such topics as ‘My first match’, ‘Strange trips to games’, ‘Over the wall’ etc.

Managerial merry-go-round

So the sacking season is now in full swing with a few ex Pompey managers in the frame. Firstly Alain Perrin was sacked by St Etienne as they struggle in the lower reaches of the French league. Tony Adams was tipped to take over but Christophe Galtier who worked with Perrin at Pompey was given the job.

Then the next day after the departure of Jim Magilton, Queens Park Rangers appoint Paul Hart to take over at Shepherds Bush. A tough job for Paul with large expectations but at least he will have some money to spend! I know everyone here at Vital Pompey would wish Paul every success.

Finally last night Mark Hughes is sacked by Manchester City after a run of draws and only two wins in eleven. Most fans would say that is shocking treatment for man who was given the impossible task of building a team to finish in the top four in a very short time. The strange thing is if Paul Hart had only lost one in eleven he would still be manager at Pompey!


Pompey 8 Barcelona 0!! I though I was dreaming when I read this but it really did happen. Where? On the recent the recent Pompey U11’s tour to Poland. The tour was successful and the boys finished runners up in a tournament held in the polish City of Poznan. Now that is one to tell the grand-children about just a pity it will be a long wait!!

Team of the noughties (Part 1)

Or you could label this impossible task (part 1) to be honest. We have had so many quality players over the last ten years that you pick probably three excellent teams. Anyone want to volunteer a worst team of those who played in the noughties or any other decade?

Well as this is part one you only get part of the team. The rest will all be revealed on Christmas Eve in the morning when we have an extra slice of Toast.

GK David James
RB Glen Johnson
CB Sol Campbell
CB Linvoy Primus
LB Matthew Taylor

David James – came aged 36 and with the calamity tag but without any doubt has proved himself to be a great goalkeeper. Has made the odd ricket as all keepers do but how many points has he earned Pompey over the time he has been here? His saves at Ipswich, Preston and Old Trafford played a major part in getting Pompey to the FA Cup final in 2008. His consistency soon earned him his England recall and fitness allowing will be the first choice next summer in South Africa.

A good ambassador for club too and a real character between the sticks.

Glen Johnson – another who came to the club with a point to prove. Initially on loan from Chelsea his first season was far from exceptional highlighted by the infamous ‘Toilet seat’ affair. However Pompey snapped him up for a snip the next season (well we haven’t paid them yet!) and he became a revelation.

Glen won all the Pompey player of the year awards last season, was in the PFA team of the season and won Goal of the season on MOTD. Sadly was sold to Liverpool in the summer but another World Cup certainty and Liverpool fans, he is a good defender although he didn’t look in yesterday!!

Sol Campbell – former England captain Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell exercised his right to leave Arsenal in 2006. He told manager Arsene Wenger he wanted to take a new challenge abroad and signed for Pompey. In his first year he forged a great partnership with Linvoy Primus and the club moved to a higher level immediately finishing fifth. The next two seasons he was partnered by Sylvan Distin and of course Sol lifted the cup in May 2008.

Solid, dependable and inspirational Sol began to lose his pace a little in his final season but it would be very sad if his final game in English football would be at Christie Park, Morecambe in front of just 3,335. That game coming just 490 days after he had lifted the world`s premier knock out trophy.

Linvoy Primus – what can I say? Linvoy is Chix`s choice and who am I to argue? Linvoy`s application took him from a lower leagues player into a much respected Premier League defender. He gave the club everything he had, including religion. Not too sure about the suit yesterday though!

Matthew Taylor – Not perhaps everyone`s choice for left back but I had to have Matty in the side for his goals and his left foot. I believe he could have made a fine defender in the Premier League but Pompey needed him more going forward and his defensive duties were jettisoned. However back in his debut season of 2002/03 he was an absolute key to the Championship winning side.

Part two of the team will be announced in a special Toast on Christmas Eve.

Link problems in the future

Most of Vital Pompey members will admit that they found the site through either Newsnow of another search engine. Well that is all now being threatened by the newspaper industry who claim they have the exclusive right to control the links and headlines to their articles.

In launching a campaign against this move Struan Bartlett the Chief Executive of Newsnow – the UK’s largest news portal, stressed that it was accepted that the media had full copyright to their intellectual property but that they should not attempt to charge those who signpost to them.

The Right2Link campaign say that all should be free to create, use and circulate links as they are only the signposts to content on the web. If someone owns the signpost to information, the next step may well be to use the law, including criminal sanctions, to police their online land grab ? if necessary by lobbying Government.

This, they see are an unprecedented extension of ownership, by stealth, over a part of the information superhighway. To join the campaign, go to this link. Now that is the type of link they are trying to charge for!

If you want to send Christmas greetings through the media of Toast send me them by PM and I will publish them on Wednesday. What could be better, forgot to buy a present but a personal message in Toast.


Just three days to cover as Toast is back on Christmas Eve.

21st December
Rob Wolleaston is 30 Jimmy Dawson is 82
22nd December
Emmauel Olisadebe is 31 Jason Rees is 40
23rd December
Matthew Robinson is 35

Now to start work on Toast 101!!


Bookmark and Share

Join the Vital Pompey Debate