So Equinox makes way for Chix. Another anonymous Pompey fan – though the pictures will give him away to his mates at Fratton Park – but another great set of answers as Sunderland prepare to visit Portsmouth for the relaxing distraction of an FA Cup fourth round tie. Chix*, desrcibed at the Vital Pompey site as “undercover agent and Prof of History”, recalls a hair-raising 600-mile round trip, driven by a man with no arms, to see his team play at Roker Park, wonders where Pompey’s survival points are coming from and has none of that don’t-kick-a-man-when-he’s-down gush to offer Southampton …
Salut! Sunderland: Just how bad are things at Fratton Park, how bad will they get and why are the team not just rolling over in despair whoever they play?
Oh it’s bad! Too much to go into really but basically.. We have an owner nobody has ever seen or met (not even his advisors) with no money. We owe uncle Tom Cobley about £60m and can not afford to live day to day – Oh and we have a transfer embargo and the threat of (not administration) but liquidation looming and as I type a former captain suing us.. Oh did I mention we normally pay our players and backroom staff . late as well! On a scale of 1 to 10 we are currently around the minus 72 mark. So it’s pretty bad.
Why do the players not roll over? Because most of them are Championship players playing above their level trying to prove a point.. but to be honest we ain’t that good. Some will scrap and fight others try but just aren’t up to it, but there is a good team spirit and that might just be the thing that saves us .. well that and the odd 60 million quid of course!
Be honest. Will Pompey stay up? If so, what will it take (apart from the obvious points) and if not, why not?
I haven’t got a clue – we are not too far adrift and there’s a lot a poor teams in the Premiership this season but if you look at the fixtures it’s hard to see where 38 points are gonna come from but I’ll never say never and will not admit defeat until it is mathematically impossible for us to stay up.
Amid all the gloom, a Pompey supporting pal of mine says he feels it in his bones that this will be another cup-winning season. Too soon, too greedy?
I’d rather the club sorted itself out, but of course if it’s on offer I’d take .. ahh May 2008 happy days .. Seems a lifetime ago. Too soon? Well if it’s good enough for Man Utd it is good enough for us! Too greedy? If we were to win it, I hardly think two FA Cups in 71 years would be considered greedy!
Were you at the 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light? Any thoughts on that game or others between us that stick out in the memory?
I wasn’t at that game but jumped for joy when I watched Janice Kaboul equalise on a dodgy TV link from Iraq – An away point means a lot to us .. mind you I think you guys know that feeling too
Other games? Well my first ever Pompey game that I was allowed to go to on my own was against Sunderland back in ..erm.. well let’s just say it was a while ago – Pompey won 4-2 and Piper, Went, (George) Graham & Hiron scored for Pompey .
I also remember going to Roker Park after a works Christmas do back in 1985 – I was driven from Pompey to Sunderland by a bloke with no arms (a long story, but true). Still we won 3-1 so it was well worth it .. even if I was “bricking it” all the way up there and all the way back.
I can also remember a game (might have been the same one) at Roker when Pompey had to borrow the socks from Sunderland’s away kit as our red socks clashed with yours and we hadn’t taken a change of strip.
Past Sunderland games cannot go by without mentioning last season’s game at Fratton We were just safe but you desperately needed the win (but we did it 3-1) but the best bit was both sets of fans singing anti-Shearer songs to each other .. Cheer up Alan Shearer, oh what can it mean to a sad scummer .. a-hem … anyway where was I?
And what about Sunderland itself: do the club, city or fans mean anything to you and what did you make of Newcastle’s relegation?
Sunderland as a place don’t mean much to be honest but from what I understand it used to be a hard working class kind of place a bit like Pompey still is and most of the Mackems I’ve met have been real salt of the earth type people – I do remember the 1973 Cup Final very well though as I got on a bus and took a trip to my Nan’s house because he had a colour telly and we didn’t .. Jim Montgomery eh. What a legend!
As for Newcastle’s relegation that was funny and it goes to show that big clubs can tumble as well and for you guys (with Boro going down also) it put you in the spotlight for once.
How much do you hate Southampton or has their even heavier fall from grace made them irrelevant?
Some would say that that their recent fall has rendered them irrelevant.. me .. I hate them with a passion, always have and always will, it was bred into me. Next question..
Name this season’s likely top four in order and, hand on heart, the bottom three.
Top 4 – Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City.
Bottom 3 Burnley, Hull, and erm…..any one of Bolton, Wigan, Wolves, .. I’m gonna go for Wolves.. Mick Mc has a habit he needs to feed
If Sunderland were not in either list, where will we finish?
Behind the top 4 and Villa, Spurs, Everton, Liverpool, Fulham and probably Birmingham .. so what’s that – 11th ?.. Ohh look out Brucie, Niall might start swinging that axe
Kevin Ball:100 performances for you, 300 for us and still working at the SoL. Did you rate him and what are the other player/management links between the clubs that spring to mind?
Bally was great for Pompey and I remember him really well – It’s funny because when I think about him I always think he is more Pompey than Sunderland but when you look at his appearance record is shows otherwise.. Still that says a lot for the bloke.. Gave his all and wasn’t afaid to get stuck in .. Come to think of it can we borrow him for a few months.
Other players between the clubs ..ohh not that many I can think off .. There’s Hardyman of course, he’s just been sacked from our Academy. Carl Robinson, Rob Hindmarch came on loan from you back in the 80s around about the time Steve Berry was at Fratton. Then there’s Andrew “the mercenary” Cole and oh must not forget Derek Weddle.. are there any more ?
The Eduardo question: you’ve got to win the last game to stay up. In the last second, Younes Kaboul – assuming he hasn’t drifted away by then – goes down in the box and everyone in the stadium except the ref knows he dived. You score the penalty and win. Take it gladly, take it guiltily or feel so ashamed you almost wish you’d only drawn and gone down?
It wouldn’t happen. We’d miss the penalty .. but if I have to give an answer I’d go with “take it gladly”… without the slightest bit of guilt.
Which players would you have named in that question and was it an outrage to choose Mr Kaboul at random?
Not an outrage to pick Kaboul, why would it be? Which player would I pick to go down in the box .. erm would have to be The King .(Kanu)
Club vs country: who wins for you and why?
I don’t see the need to compare, you sign a player knowing he is an international and you can’t expect them not to want to play for their country so you just have to get on with it.
Will you be at the match? Give us the score.
Yes I will season ticket holder for many years and hopefully many years to come. The result? well I would have said we will win before your thumping on Sunday now I’m not too sure. That manager of yours (did they ever catch that bus driver by the way?) will no doubt motivate your players to an extent which basically says if you can’t win at Fratton what are doing playing the premiership. It’s hard to call but I’ll go with your mate from Q3 and say we will win 2-0
* Chix on Chix: Pompey born and bred, and have been going to Fratton Park since I was knee high to nothing. Seen it all, lived through the bad times, the not so bad times, the bad times V2, the bad times V3. the Championship winning side, the FA Cup win and now this God awful mess ..but I’ll still be first in the queue to renew my season ticket whatever the banks, courts, Premier League, taxman, PFA, ex-players, media or even some of our own misguided supporters throw at us.
Connection with Vital Pompey .. I’m a Pompey history anorak and was looking for a “virtual” home a few years back and stumbled across Vital Pompey .. It was (and still is) the only Pompey fansite that doesn’t get bogged down with users slating each other for being a “better fan” that the next bloke. It’s well run by Rug and all members contribute equally and fairly .. we don’t always agree but we discuss rather than slate.