Date: 7th March 2009 at 5:15pm
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After drying out from the soaking we got last Tuesday the TOAST team have headed for Dubai to join the squad on their holiday in the desert.

Well no expenses spared, the Vital Football management agreed to foot the bill, so here we are shacked up in the magnificent Jumeirah Beach hotel. Even the office cat has come along for the ride, we have all the reference books, lap tops and large quantities of alcohol needed to produce this column. Not dry Dubai you know but never be seen under the influence on the streets or you will get locked up!

Just seen the weather forecast, phew!!! 30 degrees and sun everyday? Pompey call it a warm-weather training camp – it is bloody hot!! The team arrived late Thursday and will be here until Tuesday training and team bonding. Aston Villa are also here on the same mission but with a different goal as their target.

Interesting that the press had photos of players in a Dubai nightclub allegedly taken three days before they arrived in the Middle East!! The gutter press really does have nothing to be proud of; you must check your facts.

100 up

* David James achieved his 100th Pompey league game against Chelsea on Tuesday. Surprisingly of all the clubs he has played for he has only played more games for Liverpool. Wouldn’t it have been nice if he could have scored the equaliser when he came forward for the last minute corner.

Congratulations to David. Six other goalkeepers have made 100 league appearance since the war – Ernie Butler, Norman Uprichard, Dick Beattie, John Milkins, Peter Mellor and Alan Knight.

* Middlesbrough first visited Fratton Park on 10th April 1925 and Pompey beat them 3-1. What is special about that you ask? Well when Pompey visit Ayresome Park oops sorry the Riverside next Saturday it will the hundredth meeting between the two teams.

So what you ask again, well it is the first time Pompey will have played the same club 100 times in league games. So far Pompey have won 36 drawn 24 and lost 39 scoring 143 goals and conceding 157. The two clubs seem to have followed each others progress through the years; they were promoted together in 1927 and the only sizeable gap in the fixtures being between 1974 and 1983 when Pompey were touring the lower divisions. But even during that period they met in the FA Cup.

There have been some high scoring encounters Pompey conceded eight in the northeast in 1939 and seven in 1926 but they got their revenge during the late forties winning 5-1 at Ayresome Park and 6-1 at Fratton.

The clubs have met three times in the FA Cup all three going to replays and once in the late lamented Simod Cup.

* One hundred is also the number of seats broken in the Milton End by Liverpool fans during their recent visit. Unfortunately the club had no more spares until this week so fans who had paid for seats HAD to stand! the club believe that most seats are broken by fans clambering over them on their way out of the ground.

So now you know why visiting fans always stand up!!

Last week’s teaser

We asked what Phil Jagielka, Aaron Hughes, Michael Turner, Jamie Carragher, Sylvain Distin, and Fabricio Coloccini had in common.

Well we only received one answer from PFCGino who said I believe they have all played every minute of every Premiership game this season thus far. Impressive Gino but you should have added excluding goalkeepers, if you had you would have won this weeks star prize a very rare copy of Southampton FC – 100 great throw-ins on Betamax! Shame.

This weeks competition is a caption competition. In the albums area of the forum we have added the pictures of Paul and Chix on MOTD2. All you have to do is double click on the photos and add your captions – the funnier the better. You will find the pictures here

Apologies to Matt

Must say sorry to Toast’s old friend Storagematt who rightly pointed out that we were wrong last week when we told you Braga had been eliminated from the UEFA Cup by Standard Liege. They did of course prevail 4-1 over the two legs and now will play Paris Saint Germain in the last sixteen starting on Thursday.

Braga will be presented with the Intertoto cup at the home leg as they have gone further than any of the other ten qualifiers. They will then become the last ever winners of the trophy as next season sees a revamp of the UEFA competitions.

Birthdays

8th March – Jimmy Bartram born in 1911, Barry Mansell 77, Kit Symons 38;

9th March – Tom Cleborn born in 1871

10th March – Matthew Gemmell 78, Pavel Srnicek 41, Lassana Diarra 24;

11th March – Joe Quinn born in 1902, Tommy Casey born 1930 died on 13th January 2009 – for a full story go to Toast season 2 number 23 here, Paul Hardyman 45;

12th March – Amdy Faye 32;

13th March – John Kirk 79, Martin Phillips 33;

14th March – Walter Cookson was born in 1881.

Be prepared

So Tottenham have made official complaints to anyone who will listen over the Ben Foster affair. Foster had admitted to watching Spurs penalty takers on his iPod in case the Carling Cup final was decided on spot kicks.

There is nothing wrong with that surely, for years keepers have done their research on penalty takers including watching TV clips. Often players who have been team mates of the taker will offer the goalkeeper advice. The move to the iPod is only an advance in technology and is certainly not cheating!

Now what the Toast has heard is that Foster in addition to watching the penalties on iPod he actually practiced saving them on his Wii fitness machine!!

Royal Engineers link?

So Fratton Park waved farewell to the FA Cup on Tuesday as it was paraded around the ground by four members of the Royal Engineers. The announcer clearly said that the Sappers had been chosen as they were involved in the setting up of the current Portsmouth Football Club.

Well the Royal Engineers were formed as a football club in 1863 and entered the inaugural FA Cup in 1871/2 and lost 1-0 to the Wanderers in the Final. They were to win the Cup in 1875 and be runner up on a further two occasions.

However records show that they were based in the Naval town of Chatham not Portsmouth and after 146 years they are still playing making them the oldest military football team,

But history show that Portsmouth Football Club was formed by six businessmen on 5th April 1898 at 12 High Street Portsmouth to rival the recently turned professional club in Southampton. The first Chairman was Sir John Brickwood, head of Brickwood’s brewery.

Toast has had to pick up the FA already this season on getting its history wrong and now Pompey follow suit.

NewsNow

A lot of fans find Vital Pompey through using NewsNow as their news site and I must admit so do I. However it does pick up some rubbish and often just blank blogs but it is a very useful tool.

It also has a top twenty of sites/articles hit from their feed. As I type VP has two out of the top three and last week, probably due to the fact there was no game on Saturday, Sunday Toast made it into the top ten!! This is great news for all of us although we do not chase the ratings with the column it is nice to know that it is well read.

Right we are all off for a round of golf at the Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Strange name trust that the boats are not on the course!!

That’s it for this week see you all next week if we get home.

PUP

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