Date: 27th March 2010 at 7:34pm
Written by:

Blimey this is a packed column this morning – better butter another slice before you start.

So we left White Hart Lane with no points and more injuries. Hermann’s sounds bad and he will miss his Wembley swansong which is so very sad for a man who has strained every sinew in his efforts to keep Pompey afloat both on and off the pitch.

Curious how both FA Cup semi finals were played yesterday instead of two weeks time!! And I bet Villa feel far worse than we do this morning after their 7-1 thrashing at the Bridge, makes Wednesday`s result for us almost bearable!

Contributions please

I am still awaiting for your bits on ‘What Wembley means to me` although I have been made offers but no copy yet. Also we have to sort out Chix`s barnet for the Semi Final trip

Non league woes

Chester Football Club are on the way back – after poll of fans settled the new name of the phoenix club. They hope to play at the Deva Stadium in lower league that the conference they left.

Also Weymouth FC have annouced that the Creditors meeting that took place today voted to the acceptance of the CVA. It is believed to be only 9p in the £ payable over 2 to 5 years. I will get more on this story as soon as possible.

FA shocker

The Football Association was thrown into chaos early last week with the shock news of the resignation of Chief Executive Ian Watmore. Watmore had only been in the job for nine months and sources close to him cited he had left “because of the frustrations he felt and because he has been unable to do anything he wanted to do”.

There appears to have been a lot of infighting within the FA with the focus on Watmore`s relationship with Lord Triesman the Chairman. It is thought however that although there were “serious tensions” between them it is believed that they genuinely got on and respected each other. So the FA now needs to find Chief number six of this century.

Those that listened to by interview I did for the Observer a few weeks ago may remember that I said there are too many different bodies running football in this country and this may support that claim. However one of Watmore`s successes according to the media was dealing with the crisis at Portsmouth. Toast asks “was it now, and how can you all it a success?

Staying with the FA we were glad to see that one of our players has won an award!! Under the headline “Frederic is Piq of the polls” we discovered that fans had voted Freddi P as the FA player of the 6th Round in a recent poll for his brace of goals against Birmingham.

Well done Freddi – it means we can stop voting now.

Foul play

I enjoyed the line in the Guardian the other day saying “Florent Malouda and Daniel Sturridge have escaped further punishment for breaking the faces of two Portsmouth players last night, probably because they play for Chelsea.” Add to that the name of Steven Gerrard and you are approaching the truth.

It was particularly galling for Ricardo Rocha who has already been sent off twice in just six games – one for a foul he did not commit and other for two yellow cards. Then he is assaulted in the manner he was and the culprit receives only a caution. It that fair?

I am afraid that it has always been the same story when the ‘big name club` meet the interloper. Referees talk to the superstars by first name and the outsiders by number! The first experience I had of this was back in 1987/88 when Pompey dared to sit at the top table of English football. Time and again the so called big clubs would come to Fratton Park and get away with murder – two names that jump to mind are Graeme Sharp and Bryn Robson, neither should have been on the pitch at the end.

Going to the dogs

Well you can go no longer. Fans out of the City will probably not have heard that the Dog track in Target Road, Tipner is due to close next week. It is being demolished to make way for a major new development – sadly not a new stadium for Pompey – of around 1,500 houses and flats. The works also involve a new junction on the M275 which possibly could or would have serviced the Pompey Horsea Island ground.

The Dog Stadium will be sadly missed but with lack of investment it was never going to survive. Opened in 1931 it had become dilapidated many years ago but was still a popular night out for young and old and plenty of Pompey players over the years too.

Head it and kick it

Sadly the Vital night out to Linvoy`s football night was somewhat depleted as neither Rug or UKTony could make it but those there did enjoy a good evening. Compered by Jake Payne the event was late starting and also missing the film which had been made including Linvoy`s best bits!!

Part one was a detailed interview by Sam Matterface of Sky Sports News of the man himself. Sam obviously has a wide range of knowledge of both Pompey and Linvoy from his years spent at the Quay and this led to a very interesting conversation lasting for almost and hour.

The subjects included his different clubs, the injuries, managers, fans, winning and losing, Ryan Giggs, Milan Mandaric, playing at full back and most especially his own goal at Sheffield United on his Pompey debut. Linvoy was not too happy discussing that goal but described it as ‘when the ball was crossed I said to myself repeatedly, don`t kick it in your own goal clear it, but my leg just lifted and planted the ball beyond Russell Hoult. The United fans behind the goal gave me some real stick.`

Linvoy told a similar story about the trip to Old Trafford in the cup back in 2003 and the incident where he brought down Giggsy to concede an early penalty. As he told the story he was repeating `don`t touch him, don`t touch him` but Giggs was so quick and over he went. The blame for the defeat he said laid squarely at the door of Nigel Quashie for not scoring when clean through.

“Head it and kick it”, that is the way Linvoy talks about his soccer skills. That`s all there is to it.

The second half saw Matterface and Linvoy joined by ex players Mick Mellows, Guy Whittingham, John Milkins, Andy Awford, Ray Crawford, Pat Neil and current first team squad member Joel Ward who is currently well on the way to recovering from injury.

The debate was all things football and some very interesting topics were raised. Awford talked about how he nearly went to Chelsea, Linvoy told of how some players were more than happy when Harry left for the first time, Guy talks about scoring goals for fun and refusing to sign for Southampton!!

Crawford and Neil talked about the older times and styles of management. Ray played for Alf Ramsey at Ipswich for Stan Cullis at Wolves. Both gentleman they said but Ray recalled a Wolves manager he played under in Bill McGarry who had a far different way to motivate his side involving the use of tea cups. John Milkins then raised George Smith, the Sergeant Major figure of the sixties who had the respect of all his charges.

A really enjoyable evening for any avid Pompey fan and I will admit I did have to help Sam with a couple of facts – Scott Wilson was one I remember. The event was all in aid of the Football and Faith charity.

Five down

Chelsea became the first visiting side to score five goals Premier League game last Wednesday. It was our biggest home defeat since we lost by the same score in October 1955 to Birmingham City – by coincidence that was Pat Neil’s last game in his first spell at the club. I can find no bigger home league defeat since the war.


Why is there a Ninian Park Road in Copnor? Ninian Park was of course the home of Cardiff City from 1928 to 2009 and was named after Lord Ninian who was MP for Cardiff from 1910 to 1915 and helped acquire the land by acting as guarantor. He was killed in action in France at the of 32 in 1915.

Fine that is history but why Ninian Park Road?

Incidentally only two other grounds were named after individuals – Fellows Park Walsall after Mr H.L.Fellows club Chairman in the 20s and Dean Court Bournemouth after the Cooper-Dean family who gave the club the land also in 1910. I have been to all three but some will say why is the Madejski Stadium missing from the list?


Bookmark and Share

Join the Vital Pompey Debate