Date: 22nd September 2012 at 7:25pm
Written by:

A more than disappointing week came to a disastrous end at Meadow Lane yesterday as Pompey slipped to a 3-0 defeat. Appy said our season should start now but sadly the battery was flat and despite the efforts of the 800 fans who made the trip we will have to wait for the visit of Scunthorpe next Saturday for that start.

The stats show the game as fairly even but the reports and commentary suggest otherwise. Pompey conceded goals in the early minutes of each half and failed to trouble the home side too much. Appy`s search for a new striker will no doubt continue but to be honest the side need much more than that. The defeat puts Pompey in the bottom four with a ten point deduction still to come.

In addition Ashley Westwood lost his father in the early hours of Friday morning, our thoughts are obviously with him and his family.

Shirts and Pies

Spoke to a fan after the Walsall game and he assured me he enjoyed the match and thought Pompey were unlucky. He was also waxing lyrically about the Pukka Balti pies and asked me to tell the world they are the best!! So who ate all the pies Mitch?

Last week we told you that you would have to wait for the new kit. Well Kappa have just announced that it is now being manufactured in blue, white and tango and that all three kits will be available soon. Usual prices Pompey £40 for adults etc.

Sit Vac

All regular readers and contributors to Vital Pompey will be aware that there is a facility to look at the squad and all their details. This is (normally) kept bang up to date by the editorial staff when the occasional player joins or leaves the club.

However if you were to look at it now you will find it to be (a little) out of date. Now I cannot think why that might be can you Toasters? So we need a volunteer to keep it bang up to date.

The job: Keeping fully abreast of developments in both the transfer and loan markets. Ensuring that players sold(unlikely), released or just ‘disappeared` need to be removed speedily – possibly even before they are aware they are leaving.

Those bought (very unlikely), begged, stolen, borrowed or just ‘appeared, need to be added along with the details such as place of birth, dob, height, previous club, length of contract and most importantly squad number.

Then a photograph must be found from the Vital library or a picture taken by yourself when they signed (copyright rules exist remember). This will enable fans to recognise the players should they ever pull on the famous blue shirt.

The idea is to enable Appy to keep tabs on the players he currently has available. It will be an invaluable tool to all the various media outlets that are getting rather confused about who we have and haven`t got at the club.

The person: Anyone will do – we are not too fussy.

The salary: I said volunteer!!

Shoot the pigeon – well robin anyway

The Robin went bobbing and we were never going to catch it! The performance of Swindon last Tuesday reminded me of the visits of the top sides back in the Premier League days. Not that they were that good just for long spells they showed total domination; but were they that good or were Pompey just poor in a few basic areas of the games.

Let`s look at a couple of facets of the game, ball control and throw-ins. Is it just me or do our midfield players really have so much trouble controlling a football. Darel Russell especially seemed to need five or six touches to kill the round thing that they were playing with. This meant the home side were gifting hard won possession back to the rampant visitors too quickly and unable to relieve the pressure.

This lack of control added to the pressure on keeper Mikkel Andersen who had to result to kicking the ball long or wide where the aerial presence of Izale McLeod and Jordan Obita was soon snuffed out hence more pressure. Pompey had kept possession reasonably well in home games until then by moving the ball across the back four but Swindon were having none of that and played a very high line.

Throw-ins too seem to be a problem with the ball being given straight back to the opposition or even worse. On Tuesday night Muzzy Dumbaya threw the ball straight at Lee Williamson who was heavily marked and the ball flew straight back into touch. While the two Pompey players ‘discussed` the incident Swindon took a quick throw and Andy Williams scored!!

Appy suggested it was a 4-2-3-1 but to me it looked more like a diamond formation with one man missing!!

FFP Rules

It seems to have slipped through the headlines in the last few day but UEFA have withheld prize money from 23 European clubs as it demonstrates it means business with regards to policing its Financial Fair Play (FFP) Rules. In fact I have to thank for bringing my attention to this story.

Despite a wave of extravagant transfer spending, Premier League champions Manchester City and Champions League holders Chelsea maintain they intend to abide by FFP rules – but the duo remain the most serious doubts in British football over their ability to meet their financial obligations, as UEFA revealed its first wave of club punishments for clubs with overdue payables.

Europa League and Super Cup holders Atletico Madrid are among 23 clubs to have had prize money temporarily withheld as UEFA carried out its first major sanctions on clubs with “important overdue payables towards other clubs and/or towards employees or social/tax authorities as at 30 June 2012”.

Malaga, Sporting Lisbon and Fenerbahce are among other high-profile clubs currently competing in European competition who have had monies frozen. Although no British club was among the 23 clubs affected, the UEFA sanctions are a clear warning from UEFA to all clubs to ensure they tidy up their financial affairs.

As far as Pompey are concerned this is too little, too late but if it helps prevent other clubs facing the same troubles we have then all well and good. Quite a number of Championship clubs have spent big gambling on success; if it does not come then troubles will be ahead.


Ashley Harris is certainly beginning to earn that tag but remember he is still only eighteen – just old enough to drink the champagne given to him by Sky after the Crawley game. But please Appy don`t talk about him as being a million pound player soon!

Brian Woolnough

The football world lost a real star this week with the passing of Brian Woolnough at the age of 63. Brian who was the face of the Sun football coverage and hosted the Sky Sports Sunday Supplement was a very popular man in the game and was famous for saying it like it was.

He would regularly have some tough words with the legend that is Sir Alex Ferguson. Fergie paid his respects simply saying “He asked good questions. Sometimes too good!”

The week ahead

Will we eventually hear from Trevor Birch as to who he has selected as he preferred bidder for the club. At least he now has plenty Pompey choice! As soon as we have any news you will hear it first on Vital Pompey!

In Appy we trust – PUP