It`s the, eye of the tiger it`s the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenge of our rival!
Who`d have thought less than one week after I penned those words (well, entered them into generic Word Processing Software) that we`d have our very own ‘Training Ground-Gate` to worry about. In the blue corner, manager Martin “My Rules” O`Neil aaaannnnddddd in the red corner it`s Nigel “Don`t Like Right Back” Reo Coker!
Yes, having a bit of a scuffle two days before a Premier League game against a side desperate to get their first point of the season sounds like perfect preparation for a team desperately trying to re-ignite the ‘crazy gang` pet name that Wimbledon FC left behind following their departure to Milton Keynes.
Nevertheless, it`s a potential banana skin (league wise) and a much-ish improved Pompey side will prove a stern test for Monny`s merry men.
Funny how MON didn`t pick on big JC!
Well I suppose I have to give it just a little bit more coverage. I do get the feeling that it may well rumble on backwards and forwards as speculation and counter speculation could on a serious level; disrupt team preparations over the next few weeks. Manager Martin O`Neill had this to say to avfc.co.uk:
“There was a mishap on the training ground. It’s a common occurrence between players but on this occasion, unfortunately, it was between the manager and a player.
“There was a bit of a contretemps and that is unfortunate. Nigel didn’t train this morning and obviously won’t play tomorrow.
“I have dealt with the issue how I see fit and that’s the end of it. Come Monday, we’re back to normal again.
“I am the custodian of this place – my rules apply.”
Strange that Martin would be softer than a melted 99 to start with ‘there was a mishap` yet attempts to play the hard man with his closing ‘my rules apply.` Want`s to make his mind up that Monny, didn`t see Stalin saying “listen guys you`ve done a good job but yeah, sorry, off to Siberia .my orders.”
Aston Villa backstop Brad Friedel believes his opposite number, and former Villa keeper David James is a ‘terrifically talented goalkeeper.` Good old calamity, who will hopefully have one of his trademark off-days, has had a troubled start to the season regarding on-off moves elsewhere, namely ‘Arry Redknapp`s Tottenham Hotspur. Big Brad again spoke to the clubs official website.:
“David has been tremendous for a number of years. I was fortunate to be with him for a time at Liverpool. He is just a terrifically talented goalkeeper. He is a physical specimen.
“Hopefully he won’t be too difficult to beat at the weekend but he’s usually in top form so we’ll have to be at our best.
“I can’t say enough good things about him. But hopefully he’ll have an off-day on Saturday.”
We all hope Brad, we as Villa fans certainly know he`s quite easily capable of them!
On the other side of the fence, Paul Hart, the poor sod (now) with money in the bank but no window to chuck it out of, believes he does just about have the squad in place to carry on regardless and hopefully pick up the points but still realises the difficulty of things. He told the Pompey official site:
“We now have players in the squad who give us options and allow us to play in different ways. We want a win at Villa but a point would be a good start.”
I`ll let it go as you are new to this lark, but you`ll find if you earn a point, you can`t then upgrade it to a win!
Also this week, chief executive Peter Storrie, who failed to lead a consortium buy out has revealed that the clubs new owner, the portly Sulaiman Al-Fahim will meet with fans before their match with Everton later this month. Storrie told portsmouthfc.co.uk:
“Sulaiman has been in America for the last couple of weeks and has in principle secured new finance which will come into the club over the next couple of months,’
“Following discussions with me, he is very happy to meet representatives from fan websites and supporters’ clubs before the Everton game.
“Sulaiman will outline his plans for the club and the way forward, something he was not in a position to do before the refinancing of the club was done.”
Seems a bit odd that the club would be sold, without the potential new owner saying what he was going to do with it? He could have then announced he was moving the team and the stadium and the man with that effin` bell, lock stock and two smoking naval gun barrels to the Isle of Wight!
Aston Villa Team News:
Sorry to mention it once more, but following their bust up late in the week, there is only one casualty (for now, I`m tempted at a cheeky bet at MON being the Prem manager next to get the boot) from Nige Gate and that`s Nigel Reo-Coker.
Reo-Coker I`d imagine will be joining Moustapha Salifou, Marlon Harewood and Isiah Osbourne in ‘naughty boy corner.`
The only change will be as to who steps in, with Craig Gardner and Fabian Delph likely to be fighting for a place, with the bright star that is the former Leeds man, potentially outshining Craig`s ‘I`m going to kick you until you give me the ball back` style.
Player to watch: Gabby
Apparently he now struts around the dressing room, arrogant little bugger. That said, may the goal scoring continue Gbaby. Who knows I may even like you someday!
Portsmouth Team News:
The Beeb are suggesting that the game will come too soon for new signing Aruna Dindane (sounds like a pri-biotic yoghurt drink ingredient!) Long term absentees that continue to sit on the treatment table are Diop, Finnan, Heridarsson and Linvoy Primus.
Player to watch: David James
Welcome back David, if you wouldn`t mind making a cock up, it`d be fully appreciated.
Match Facts & Stats
I struggled for a track given Portsmouth`s music wilderness. But given the fisticuffs I feel this is appropriate and yet ironic, as this particular video includes some wicked cool war scenes:
There once was a suggestion that a monorail would be installed in Portsmouth. Lets face it folks, it didn`t work out too well for the Simpsons, be grateful it didn`t go through?
Portsmouth will be the home of, and will part-build the two new aircraft carriers that have been ordered, HMS Queen Elizibeth and HMS Prince of Wales, both of which are rumoured ot be cut by the MoD.
Bollywood actress Geeta Basra was born in Portsmouth and quite frankly in my opinion she looks stunning!
The less stunning Isambard Kingdom Brunel was also born in Pompey, one of the greatest engineers of all time.
Porstmouth`s most famous fan is John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood. He is the man with the bell. I will attempt (if seen) to intercept him at work on Saturday.
Stuart Atwell takes charge of this one. Mr Atwell has managed just two matches this year and issued 2 yellow cards in each of them. How very tame!
Wednesday night see`s the return of the League Cup as Villa face Cardiff City.
Thanks for reading folks!