Pompey Fan Eleven #2724.03.18
Pompey Elevens’ founding father Gary Tipp got fed up waiting for others to submit their favourite player teams and so selected one of his own
At Pompey Jamo’s calamities were more likely to be in the haircut department than between the sticks, and he put in any number of great performances. I’ll even let him have an assist for bunging the ball out to Baros in the FA Cup quarter final at United. When we sang ‘England, England’s No.1’ at him – he actually was.
Johnson’s lasting legacy at Fratton Park is for being daft enough to get caught nicking a bog seat from B&Q, which is a shame as it detracts from his contribution on the pitch. A supremely athletic, well-balanced footballer, he should be remembered as the club’s greatest attacking full-back (sorry Drew T), and also for his long-range screamer against Hull.
Holmes & Watson. Morecambe & Wise. Spongebob & Patrick. Strummer & Jones. Some partnerships are just meant to be, and to that list you can add Blake & Gilbert. The hard as nails duo must have been an absolutely nightmare to play against, if one of them didn’t get you then the other one would. No mention of Noel Blake is complete without reference to his own goal against Wimbledon in 1984.
Over the years I’ve been watching the Blues have had some great centre halves (De Zeeuw, Distin, Symons, Stefanovic, Tiler… actually scrub that last one), but it must be the old romantic in me as I just can’t bring myself to split up the Blake/Gilbert axis. A member of El Tel’s ‘Team of the 80s', Gilbert was a hard nut, yes, but among all the flying elbows and studs up tackles there lurked a cultured footballer.
When we signed Matt Taylor from Luton their manager at the time an unimpressed Joe Kinnear commented: “At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask.” And it was not long after that Pompey fans got to witness just what a steal we got. SMT owned the left side of the Fratton Park pitch during our 2002/03 promotion season.
Vince was an old school tricky right winger with plenty of running, bags of skill and the ability to win a penalty like no other. He scored a header on his debut at Fratton Park at home against Blackburn in 1984, I'm not entirely convinced he headed the ball again in a Pompey shirt.
Macca was a tidy, influential midfielder whose intelligent prompting and passing kept the team ticking over. He also had an eye for a goal and always turned up in the big games, especially the FA Cup. His goal against Forest in the quarter-final was hardly a Goal of the Season contender, but he was there to put it in.
Pompey haven’t sold many player’s over the course of the club’s history to Real Madrid, for obvious reasons, but Lassana was an absolute class above during his all too brief Pompey career. Lass gets in just ahead of dead-eyed assassin Mick Kennedy.
One of the few players we’ve taken off Liverpool’s hands that proved to be any good, the flouncy-haired Czech oozed class during his stay at Fratton Park. His wonder goal against Charlton at the Valley (2004) is right up there with the best of them.
It still seems surreal to this day, Robert Prosinecki, yep, the Robert Prosinecki turned out in Div One for an average Pompey side that also contained Neil Barrett, Courtney Pitt and Jason Crowe. What kind of alternative reality were we living in? Apparently the great man was smoking 20-a-day when he was with us, imagine how good he could have been if we’d got him down to 10.
You’ve got to love Toddy. He was lethal in front of goal during the 2002/03 season and his swan dive into the Fratton End after scoring the securing promotion-securing against Burnley is the stuff of legend. My favourite Bulgarian by some distance.