Saturday, 26 February 2011

Review: NME Big Gig 2011

Yesterday I went up to London for the NME Big Gig 2011. Now, despite the fact this is the name of the gig – for me it was all about the fact that Foo Fighters were playing. The other bands were Cee Lo Green, Band of Horses and No Age. I decided before the gig that I definitely wanted to see Cee Lo, as I liked the song Forget/Fuck You (both versions are good). I knew nothing about the other two bands but after a quick Spotify, I realised they were not for me. But truth be told, it could be a homeless man playing a washboard while running around a cat (actually that might have been more entertaining than Band of Horses); this gig for me was all about Foo Fighters. This gig came with a slight bit of confusion regarding the ticket orders I made but at this point I would just like to say, I got awesome customer service from Seetickets and would recommend them to anyone (though contact them via Twitter – it gets shit done!) Got a lift up to London with someone from work which I am very grateful for. I am now also aware of a little car park in Wembley which is pretty good!



So got to the venue and already there was a difference between this visit to Wembley Arena and the last visit – the amount of people smoking. Last time I was at Wembley was for Dream Theater in 2009 and when I went out for a smoke, there were maybe 20 people outside. This time there were a couple hundred at least. Wembley had their floor fountain on as well which was pretty cool to watch but what was more entertaining was watching kids run through the fountain, come out the other side wet and be surprised by this fact. Would they be surprised getting wet in the shower? This is going down a tangent. Anyway! I didn’t want to head onto the floor too early but there is a lack of things to do at Wembley Arena without spending a large amount of money unless you smoke. I feel like I’ve cleaned my lungs with a cheese grater this morning.

Ok so I heard the last Band of Horses song before they went off stage and I really made the right call by not going in. Studio wise they aren’t for me – live they aren’t for me and louder! I actually think if it was a group of horses playing instruments I would have preferred it. I heard pretty loud music still playing though and wondered if they actually went off stage. I went down on to the floor to find out and it was Zane Lowe DJing! (Note – I didn’t know right away it was Zane Lowe and a follower on Twitter helped me out with that one). He was great at keeping the crowd warmed up between bands and created a real party atmosphere. Cee Lo Green came out and was slightly rockier than I imagined he would be. Granted, I have only ever heard Forget/Fuck You so that might be why I thought that. Still, he was really good. I feel somewhat embarrassed to admit I thought he did a great cover of Gnarls Barkley – Crazy. Now, it’s not embarrassing to think that. What is embarrassing is that he was part of the duo that made up Gnarls Barkley. So, he did Crazy well and hey, I’ve now seen one half of Gnarls Barkley! (That a thing?) After some more DJing from Zane Lowe, it was time for the Foo Fighters.



Wow! They are an immense live band. Everything about this gig was almost perfect. The setlist was:

1. Bridge Burning
2. All My Life
3. Times Like These
4. White Limo
5. Learn to Fly
6. My Hero
7. Rope
8. Generator
9. The Pretender
10. Up in Arms
11. Long Road to Ruin
12. Cold Day in the Sun
13. Stacked Actors
14. These Days
15. Breakout
16. Monkey Wrench
17. Hey, Johnny Park!
18. Everlong
-------------------------------
19. Young Man Blues (The Who cover)
20. Skin and Bones
21. This is a Call
22. Best of You

That is essentially a perfect Foo Fighters setlist for me and we got some new material thrown in which is very good. Dave Grohl is definitely one of the best front men I’ve ever seen live and Foo Fighters are now one of the best bands I’ve seen live. I would love to sit down and work out what is the best gig I’ve been to but it would take ages and I know I’d second guess myself over the final choice.



Band Ratings:

No Age – N/A
Band of Horses – N/A (be thankful it’s that high)
Cee Lo Green – 8/10
Foo Fighters – 10/10

I will be blogging again soon talking about inflated prices at gig venues. Things I saw yesterday were incredible in a bad way when it came to prices.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Voting Alternatively

There has been a bit of political manoeuvring recently in this country about the method in which the people vote for the government. Pretty much since the establishment of free and fair democratic elections – the UK has used the “first-past-the-post” (FPTP) system. In a nutshell, this means that in an election, the country is split into constituencies and the people of that constituency vote for their preferred candidate (and only vote once). The candidate with the most votes wins the constituency and becomes MP. The party with the most MPs can then form a government (although as we learned in 2010, if you don’t have an overall majority, you might have to side with another political party). This seems fairly straight forward and on the face of it, democratic. However there are a number of reasons why this is not the case. Firstly, there is such a thing as tactical voting. If a person lives in a constituency where the seat could swing any way, but not in the way of your favoured party, then you can vote against the party you dislike the most by tactically voting for someone else. This means your preferred candidate does not get your vote but neither does the candidate you do not want. It is also not the most democratic system as the constituencies vary in size, and it is possible (and quite regular) that a government will not win over 50% of the vote, yet have the right to govern.

On the other hand, there is the alternative vote (AV) system. In this system of voting, you rank the list of candidates in order of preference (as I understand it, you aren’t obliged to rank all the candidates, in fact I don’t think you have to rank at all as long as you choice one candidate). Anyway, the votes are counted and if no candidate gets 50% of the vote, the candidate that finished last in that round of voting is eliminated, and their votes are added to the totals of the other candidate’s votes. This continues until one candidate has over 50% of the vote and wins the election. Again, the party which has the most MPs forms a government. This system is arguably more democratic because of the requirement to reach 50% of the vote in a constituency to win. However there are also critiques of this system. One of which can be seen by looking at the Ireland presidential election of 1990. Brian Lenihan won 44.1% of the vote, Mary Robinson won 38.9% of the vote and Austin Currie won 17% of the vote. Had this election been done using FPTP, Lenihan would have won as he was the most popular of the 3 candidates. However, under AV, because no candidate achieved 50%, Austin Currie was eliminated and the votes for him were redistributed. Once this occurred, Mary Robinson had 51.6% of the vote, while Brian Lenihan had 46.2%. This meant Mary Robinson won. Arguably, this is more democratic as Robinson won 50% of the vote but did she? I mean if it wasn’t for Austin Currie being eliminated, she wouldn’t have had those votes. It is a tough one.

What is the real tough one here for me is deciding how to vote. Unless something major happens, I will always vote for the same political party and chances are if we do change voting systems, I won’t rank any other candidates (unless it is compulsory). So for me, it really won’t make that much of a difference. What concerns me is that unless something is done to alter the constituencies in this country, no matter what the voting system is, there will be problems. I don’t think that a candidate winning a vote thanks to 2nd or even 3rd choice votes is fair, but arguably the system is more democratic as the views of the people are reflected more. Under FPTP, there is a winner and there are losers. Under AV, the views of the people are reflected more. I support the fact that the coalition government are aiming to reduce the number of seats in Parliament by 50 or so, and will change the size of some constituencies. It seems strange to have only the 1 MP on the Isle of Wight for example when it contains so many voters while other constituencies can be half the size. If voting regions are made more equal then the election results will be more reflective of the opinion of the country.

So I really don’t know which way I’ll vote when it comes to the referendum. I like FPTP as you vote for a candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins. It appears simple, easy and fair. The main critique with it is that the people who vote for the losing candidates don’t get their views reflected. Well, to me anyway, that can be answered with a simple statement. Sometimes – you lose a vote. It seems as simple as that to me and in the Ireland example I used earlier, not enough people voted for Mary Robinson as a first choice so to me she lost. Maybe I am leaning towards FPTP, but I can see the benefits of AV. People say there will be more chance of coalition governments with AV, and if that is true then I can’t support AV – but I think it is being peddled as an argument without much proof. All I really know is that I really dislike (and am confused by) proportional representation (PR). I am aware AV is closer to PR but isn’t fully fledged PR so maybe that is why it is somewhat appealing. I remain confused.

Anyway, what else?

People name their children all sorts of things. We covered a story on the RRP about someone who legally got their name changed as it was something like “Talua Does The Hula From Hawaii” or something (Dave can correct me if that isn’t exactly right). I also think certain names are stupid. I hear a number of stereotypical black names and think that people are just being racist by making those suggestions, but then I find out these names are real and some seem absurd. I also don’t approve of names that are characteristics rather than names (Desire? Passion? Oh do fuck off!) However a story has emerged from Egypt that a name has been chosen for a newborn baby in tribute of its role in helping the mobilisation of the people of Egypt in toppling Mubarak. The name is...Facebook. Now, I have a number of issues with this.

1. I prefer Twitter.
2. Facebook seems a somewhat stupid choice for a name.
3. Facebook is a social network – will there be children called MySpace next? (well probably not as MySpace is dying and you don’t want to name your child....anyway)

It is a sign of the 21st century though that children are being named after social networks. I mean, it isn’t the first name done in tribute to something and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It just seems a bit ridiculous.

Before I conclude this post, I feel a Pompey update is in order. Since my post, we beat Doncaster away. We have gone on to beat Barnsley and Crystal Palace at home. This means out of 12 available points, we have got 10 and kept 3 clean sheets in a row. That’s quite shocking considering how bad we were against Derby but I’m all for this improvement in the team. The Sky Sports News special report on Pompey was interesting as Chanrai said there were 3 or 4 very interested parties in buying the club. I imagine that if the club keep grinding out results then that will only make us more appealing in the long run. I hope one of these parties provides stability and the chance to get more players! We shall see, but I remain cynical.

Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I shall return no doubt with a review of Foo Fighters at Wembley Arena. I hear they are only going to get a 75min set. For £48, that’s pretty lame! (I know part of that is the booking fee...but that’s not the point! I shall also have news of the next thing to do with Pompey, and I might just talk about Sonisphere and Wacken again. I might even throw some talk in about the debate over download day ticket/BOA. Until then....

Soundtrack – Summer 2011 playlist on Spotify + a bit of Genesis thrown in

Friday, 18 February 2011

Brainwashing the Masses

I am writing this blog feeling somewhat disappointed and angry. This feeling is circumstantial based on the events of the last two days. To be brief, I had two job interviews yesterday which I felt went very well and I thought that I’d done well enough to be offered one of the jobs. However this is not the case. Both of the panels felt I interviewed very well but they have opted to go for a higher calibre and more experienced candidate. Truth be told, that is probably fair enough as I don’t have specific admin or finance experience. I have experience of working within these fields, but I have never expressly had a job where I am dealing with finance or working as an administrator. I feel it is important to state that I feel no ill will towards any of the people that interviewed me – they had a decision to make and they made it based on the evidence in front of them. Anyway, I feel disappointed and angry as I am wondering what exactly I have to do to convince someone I am worth taking a chance on. This recession is killing people like me, who might not have the exact experience required but can offer transferable skills in the place of experience. The problem I find is that I am in a job which likely has no chance of helping me build a career (I don’t see a career in decontamination). I find myself in a position where I can’t gain access to relevant experience yet I need more experience to transform me into one of these higher calibre applicants for a job I want. I have no doubts in my own ability when it comes to doing a job but I just wish that there was some magic formula to convince others that they shouldn’t doubt my ability. I know my next step must be to not get downhearted and keep trying but that is much easier said than done, especially when right now all I can see is the negative aspects of job hunting. We shall see what happens but I really hope I am able to move onwards and upwards before this year comes to a conclusion. If not, I fear I will be waiting until the economy picks up, and who knows when that will be?

So, I am already angry and I decide to have a look to see if there are any funny news stories that I can blog about, essentially to try and improve my mood a little bit. I used to visit a number of places when looking for stories when looking for subject matter for the Random Rantings Podcast and I went to one of these old sources, Digital Spy. This website covers celebrity news, TV and Movie news, Music news and various other bits and pieces including odd news. Now, I visit this website and I am greeted within a few clicks with two headlines relating to Justin Bieber. As I understand it, this is a 16 year old Canadian singer who is popular with the kids. I can say two things relating to this topic which are true. The first is that until late last year, I didn’t even know who Justin Bieber was. I heard his name, saw people calling themselves “Beliebers” (who doesn’t love word play?) and truthfully didn’t think much of it. The second is that I have never gone out of my way to listen to anything he has released. I have heard the occasional bit of music (and trust me, I use that term as lightly as possible) and it is not for me. However, if he wants to release music which I don’t like then he is free to. I don’t buy into the world of celebrity gossip anyway so I imagine I would find it very easy to avoid him. However, this Bieber feels that because he is a celebrity, he has some sort of right to give his opinion on political matters as if his opinion means more than someone else’s opinion. You know what, fuck you Justin Bieber! (That’s one) I will link to each story and then give my judgment on them.

Justin Bieber on Abortion

Justin Bieber feels the need to tell people he is anti-abortion, thus cementing his Christian fan-base forever more. Why the hell is this news?! I would wager that like most 16 year olds, he has no real view on this issue. The only people in the teenage age group that need to worry about abortion are those who have sex and fall pregnant. If you don’t fall into that category, chances are you don’t have a real opinion on the issue. “I don’t believe in abortion. It’s like killing a baby?” I hate to get scientific but in the eyes of the law, it is not a baby – it is a foetus. Don’t they teach Roe v. Wade in North America anymore? The law on abortion in the UK and the US (and I’m sure elsewhere) sets a limit on how late a woman can have an abortion for a reason. This reason is that before this time, the foetus is still in the very early growing stages and cannot be considered a fully fledged person. So the main plank of his argument is incorrect. As if this story isn’t tragic enough, learning that another celebrity is pro-life, he even says that everything happens for a reason, even a woman getting raped. Sometimes, things don’t happen for a real reason, they just happen – and if a woman is raped then it is more than just sad Bieber, you twat. If a woman falls pregnant as a result of rape then there should surely be no judgment on her, regardless of upbringing, for wanting to terminate that pregnancy. Also, he says he hasn’t been in the position where someone has been raped – I’m prepared to wager his music has raped the ears of millions. Perhaps I am being too harsh in this instance on the 16 year old but here’s why I am – people pay far too much attention to what celebrities say and think. He undoubtedly has a young fan base and should one of them get in trouble in this manner (as a result of consensual sex or rape) they might think an abortion is the wrong course of action because one of their role models told them so – and that to me is just sad. This story is little more than indoctrination from the pro-life morons through a popular spokesperson and that to me is just wrong. Fuck you Justin Bieber! (That’s two)

Justin Bieber on the US Healthcare System

It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they utter these very words: “Canada’s the best country in the world”. However what he is saying is that the healthcare system in the US is evil and the healthcare system in Canada is better. Well, I don’t think this is a revolutionary statement to make – in fact I would even go so far as to say that I agree with the fact that the US healthcare system could do with some reform to assist the worse off in society (and I do not mean people that make a life living off benefits, I mean people who work to support their families who can’t afford to live and pay for healthcare. I also would include people who physically cannot work, such as disabled people). Anyway, Bieber has taken his stance by saying the US Healthcare system is “evil” – but did not offer an alternative. He says that the Canadian system is better, which it might be – but can it work out in a country of over 300 million people? No, probably not (it’s very easy for him to speak about how the 34million people in his country are looked after well, but when that represents just over 10% of the population of the USA, it is very unwise to compare them as if they were equals. It also undermines the argument somewhat to have a whole argument based on a farcical comparison). One part of this story is that Bieber is unwilling to endorse a political party. Well I can’t say I’ve surprised. Pro-life policies are, for the most part, Republican Party policies while the extension of universal health care is, for the most part, Democrat party policy. He sounds like a very confused young man. He also goes on to say that “whatever they have in Korea, that’s bad”. A state of ceasefire isn’t wonderful, I accept – but what part of Korea is bad? Quite frankly, it wouldn’t shock me to hear him show support for North Korea if one of his people told him to. Fuck you Justin Bieber! (That’s three)

TL; DR – Stop being a fucking mouthpiece! Justin Bieber needs to understand that being in the limelight such as he is comes with certain responsibilities and it appears he either is very confused when it comes to his world vision – or he is little more than a mouthpiece for someone else’s world views – someone perhaps who can’t get heard by themselves and requires a 16 year old to make the views sound sensible. Fucking hell!

Like I said, this all occurred out of anger. Still, I stand by this view which is fuck you Justin Bieber! (That's four)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Gates Are Open, Again

On the Wacken post I made not that long ago, I said I would likely post updates as new bands get announced assuming that I wanted to see them. Well there have been a few announcements which have pleased me. In alphabetical order they are:

Bullet – This band seem very much like Airbourne but there is some definite hair metal influences here. Anyway, they’re pretty good.

Hämatom – German thrash metal. Ok so there are other thrash metal bands at this festival but one more won’t hurt. I really like what I hear with this band.

Kataklysm – I don’t know why I haven’t seen this band live before. I know there have been many chances for me to (can’t remember if shows were cancelled or what) but I’ve wanted to see them live for quite some time so seeing them announced for Wacken is good times|

Shining – Ok, not the French rapper. I must admit I was somewhat confused when I clicked play on Spotify and RnB started. Anyway, they are billed as a Norwegian Black Metal Jazz band. I don’t think I really need to say much else than that to be honest!

Torture Squad – These guys are a bit thrashy and a bit of death metal. So in many respects, they are a good band. They have a number of good songs on Spotify so that is always good times.

I’ve just signed up to the Wacken newsletter, and apparently according to the last one (I didn’t get that) there is still a “big highlight” to be announced in the middle of this month. I’ve read suggestions that it could be Helloween which would be alright, albeit a touch cheesy. However I have a small hope that it will be someone else. I’m hoping as they are doing a reunion tour again this summer that it will be At The Gates. Now, last time they came to Wacken, I was there to witness the set and it was mindblowingly awesome. What also happened was this.



If you click here, you might just be able to listen. Ain't technology great?

Anyway, this is a fantastic live album and while their slot might be almost exactly the same as last time, if it is that good then it won’t be a problem as far as I am concerned. I originally thought that seeing as they played Wacken before, there is no chance they’ll do it again but then they were announced for Bloodstock (a festival they also played on their 2008 reunion tour) which gave me hope. These hopes have all but been dashed as I notice they are playing another festival in Germany the weekend after Wacken. Stranger things have occurred but I don’t think I’ll be seeing ATG this summer unless I scrape together the funds to go to Bloodstock, and truthfully, that’s unlikely! If that occurs though, I’m sure it’ll make it somewhere on this page, probably.

One decision which needed to be made when deciding whether to do Wacken or not was whether or not to see Iron Maiden. They are doing a UK Arena tour over the summer and the London dates (at least) clash with Wacken. As you might have guessed, I decided to do Wacken which meant I wouldn’t be seeing Iron Maiden live this year. That might not seem like a big deal but since 2006 this will only be the 2nd year I haven’t seen them live (including 2 times on their most recent hits tour). I read a lot of disappointment from certain groups of Iron Maiden fans that this setlist had few classics. Some people I saw even asked people to imagine what an entire setlist of classics would be like. I don’t need to imagine it, they toured it in 2008. Anyway, Maiden tend to not change their setlist so they play the same songs every night for the whole tour. They aren’t alone in doing that but I find that a little disappointing that they can’t mix it up at all. The setlist that I saw at Sonisphere 2010 was (courtesy of setlist.fm for the list):

1. The Wicker Man
2. Ghost of the Navigator
3. Wrathchild
4. El Dorado
5. Dance of Death
6. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
7. These Colours Don't Run
8. Blood Brothers
(Dedicated to Ronnie James Dio)
9. Wildest Dreams
10. No More Lies
11. Brave New World
12. Fear of the Dark
13. Iron Maiden
Encore:
14. The Number of the Beast
15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
16. Running Free

For all intents and purposes, a nice mixed playlist of newer material and classics. Granted it is only the last 5 that are classics (and track 3) in the sense they came from the earlier Iron Maiden era. The setlist for the upcoming tour has been released and it looks something like this:

1. Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
2. El Dorado
3. Two Minutes to Midnight
4. Coming Home
5. Dance of Death
6. The Trooper
7. The Wicker Man
8. Blood Brothers
9. When The Wild Wind Blows
10. The Evil That Men Do
11. The Talisman
12. Fear of the Dark
13. Iron Maiden
Encore
14. The Number of the Beast
15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
16. Running Free

Now, based on classics, I’d say the 2nd setlist there is better, but truthfully having seen the list, I’m glad I’m not going to see Iron Maiden this summer now. There is nothing on that setlist aside from a couple of the songs from The Final Frontier which make me think “I have to see this band again”. They are awesome live, and I know if I had a ticket then I would be excited and would love the gig, but as I’m not I feel I can talk about this setlist unbiased. It is a good setlist but I feel it is a touch lazy having the same ending to two tours. I’m also a touch disappointed with the first 2 songs in this new setlist. The “Final Frontier” part of the first song is awesome, but it comes with 4mins of pointlessness before it, which hopefully won’t come across as boring live but it does on the record. El Dorado I’m going to presume is the lead single from Final Frontier, but considering it was played at the last set of dates, why not consider dropping it for say Mother of Mercy? Oh well, not my problem I guess, I just found it quite interesting.

50 Word Review: Taking Dawn were awesome not that long ago. As a live force they have influences from Airbourne-style rock music but also from Kill’Em All Metallica era – some of their stuff was very fast and very thrashy – I liked what I heard. Shout out to the support Dendera, who were brilliant.

That is all I’ve got for this time. I would just like to say that I am very happy and shocked that Portsmouth beat Doncaster. Considering we got turned over at home I was fairly concerned about the away game, but according to people I know who were at the game, we played well and deserved all 3 points. Apparently it’s the first clean sheet we’ve kept in a long time, and it was without Carl Dickinson, Ibrahima Sonko and Aaron Mokoena – I wonder if anyone will make a connection out of this......

Quote of the week – On hearing the news Ireland have chosen Jedward to represent them at the Eurovision song contest, a user from the Download Festival Forums makes a valid point:

“Ireland would have more of a chance of winning if they had the IRA representing them....”

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Pompey got 101 Problems...

Note - I previously have called a blog "Pompey got 99 Problems". It seemed apt

Yesterday was a tough day for anyone at Fratton Park. It was tough for Portsmouth fans because quite frankly, Portsmouth played shit. I went to the game courtesy of The Sun’s football ticket offer and I felt ripped off paying a tenner for my ticket. I really do feel bad for the people that paid £23 to watch that shower of shit. It was a tough day for Derby fans as well. I mean, they played pretty shit themselves but they looked a lot more like a unit going forward than we did – and to lose all three points at the end must be heartbreaking. Especially considering Portsmouth did not deserve any points (I’m not sure if the FA can take points away for a poor performance, but we were nearing that stage). One thing which was proven yesterday is that Portsmouth FC is in deep trouble. News came out last week that the players are going to be paid late again which brings back old worries of administration and liquidation and we have a paper thin squad – some of whom seem to be under the impression that they deserve better than playing for Portsmouth. The purpose of this blog is to ask several questions about Portsmouth, and then discuss something which most fans probably won’t consider and will think I am wrong about. That is discussing whether relegation to League One would be such a bad thing.

1. The goalkeeper question. I’m not anti-Jamie Ashdown at all. I used to be but I recognise he has done alright this season but has been let down by a poor defence quite a lot (yesterday being a prime example). However, on a month to month basis, we hear that Darryl Flahavan has signed a new one month contract. Why is he not being given a chance? I don’t think he should be our no.1 goalkeeper, but giving him a chance every now and then so we can see how good he is might be useful considering he is our only other option at the moment.

2. Why if Tal Ben-Haim is under contract with us, why can’t he play? I accept there is a contract dispute with West Ham about him at the moment, but he is our player and is being paid by us. Surely this means that if he is fit, he can play. I hear that Ben-Haim’s agent came out and said “he will never play another game for Portsmouth”. Well, I’m pretty sure if he’s being paid, that’s a breach of contract. You never know what goes on behind the scenes, but if that isn’t breach of contract, what is?!

3. Ibrahima Sonko – discuss?

4. Aaron Mokoena, I know you are the captain but it might help if you displayed some form of leadership. Furthermore, I know a football can be a beautiful thing but if you could stop just looking at it, and hit it occasionally, we might stand a better chance of not conceding goals! I think we need a new captain.

5. Can someone just clear up this debacle surrounding the contracts of Richard Hughes and Michael Brown? It would seem they can’t play again without automatically having to be offered a new contract (I assume at the same value as their current ones). Now, I can’t speak for Michael Brown as he has been pretty quiet on the issue, but Richard Hughes has said “I just want to play football”. Well if that’s true, waive the clause and sign a new contract which allows you to play! You can’t want to play that much if you are prepared to do fuck all about agreeing a new deal! Furthermore, if you wait it out until the end of the season, earning premiership wages (this goes for Brown and Hughes), guess what will happen to you, you will end up on the free agent list. How can anyone scout a player who doesn’t play?! It seems so obvious to me, but then again, I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. I wish the club would just be open and say “we offered them both £10k a week, and they said no, so we withdrew the offers” or something!

6. Speaking of the free agent list, we have a tiny squad. Come on Lampitt, at least have a look at it! We could sign players to fill holes and back up positions we are low on and give our tired players a break every now and then. I wouldn’t have thought they would want that much per week either as they aren’t playing!

7. Liam Lawrence is a natural leader, and a good candidate for being club captain (I mentioned above we need a new one). But I have just one important question, why is he such a twat?! I can’t bemoan the fact he was angry about the QPR sending off (I don’t think it was handball and as such shouldn’t have been a penalty). But since that game I’ve seen Pompey twice, Brighton and Derby. Both times things haven’t gone his way with regards to officials decisions and instead of being a human and getting on with the game, he feels the need to give his two cents, Every. Fucking. Time. He also gets easily frustrated with his own play and when that happens, his head seems to drop and he might as well get sent off as there is no point in him being on the pitch. He tries too much to be fancy when what he really needs to do is concentrate on pumping balls to the other midfielders and strikers rather than trying to do too much alone. Now, yesterday it is unfair to criticise him that much (although he did do all the above things) but he received very little help at times when he needed it. But he needs to realise that if he keeps his head up and his mouth shut, then he’ll be a much better player. I accept its pretty rich of me, someone who couldn’t be further away from being a professional footballer to criticise a pretty reasonable player, but he is so frustrating!

8. What happened to Dave Kitson? He was pretty good when he first came here but now he just seems to be aggressive and apathetic to the team going forward. He just flicks his leg out at balls without any thought as to where it is going. It was embarrassing watching him yesterday at times. He made very few good passes, the flicks pretty much all went wayward – and with one he almost assisted a 2nd Derby goal! Any chance of getting back to scoring goals and not spoiling chances before they can even be made, maybe?

9. This season has made me realise that I really like Dave Nugent, but he really isn’t good enough for the premiership. What seems to be his main problem from where I am sitting is that he tries far too hard to get running before he has learned to walk. There was a chance in the first half where he was one on one with the keeper, and he scuffed the shot and was easily tipped wide. In the 89th minute, he scored an awesome goal from outside the box. I’d rather he scored 15 of the first chances per season than 5 of the awesome goals. But it appears that’s how he plays and I’m not sure it is an overly good thing.

10. Just what exactly is the point of Ibrahima Sonko?!


Ok, just from reading the above, you might have gathered that from where I’m sitting, there needs to be some serious changes to this team. We should have a good enough first team for mid-table championship action but honestly, who wants that for their club (excluding teams in lower leagues than us) but frankly the way we are playing at the moment doesn’t even deserve a mid table finish right now. It left me wondering whether us being relegated down to League One would be a terrible idea. Financially speaking, it wouldn’t be a benefit really as we would lose what little TV revenue we get at the moment but from another perspective, it might be very beneficial and very necessary. Here’s why

We would lose a lot of our best players at the moment. How is this positive you ask? Well, our wage bill would shrink and we would get to sign players and rebuild a team instead of having a patchwork one. Speaking of positions, GK wise, I wouldn’t see Ashdown going anywhere. Flahavan would likely sign a long term deal and we could sign a 3rd keeper. Defender wise, Mokoena would probably go, as would Ben-Haim, Hreidarsson and Rocha. We would obviously lose our loaned defenders as well. In their place, we sign talented youngsters and loan experienced defenders who would make a formidable back-line. Furthermore, getting Ben-Haim to fuck off will be a blessing for the wage bill! I’d try to keep Ritchie De Laet for another season if Man Utd would let us along with Joel Ward and Peter Gregory. Midfield wise, well we’d lose all out current midfielders. We’d get some form of money for Lawrence though so that would help matters. Plus with all 4 of them off the books, we could probably sign ten players and still have left over money from their wages. £36k per week Michael Brown...piss off! Striker wise, well Nuge would go as his contract expires in the summer. Kanu might hang around but I doubt it. Kitson would go so more transfer money and a smaller wage bill. I would make a real effort to keep Danny Webber and Nadir Ciftci. Despite the fact Ciftci has already said he’s going in the summer, he’d play a vital role in a League One Portsmouth side. TL;DR – We’d reduce our wage bill, remove players who don’t care about the club and sign a new squad of youngsters and experience. Loan players from Premiership/Championship and develop youngsters!

Another plus would be ticket prices. Now, I believe tickets cost too much anyway. If they reduced them to £18, you’d have a full house every week, rather than 14000 people coming through the door when its £23 a ticket (and most of them I’d imagine are season ticket holders). But, if we went down, they could reduce the amount to £15 a ticket. Now, that would get the real supporters through the door and return to the times where a family day out at FP wouldn’t be a ridiculous price. By doing this, you are creating a whole new generation of Pompey fans, who will assist in bankrolling the club for years to come. Plus one good thing which would come of it is playing new teams and visiting new grounds. I’d go and watch Pompey away at Bournemouth and Brighton (assuming they are still League One at the end of the season). I’m sure I’d go to others as well and that’s just me.

One thing which is possibly a major detriment to the club going down is its long term security. However, I feel that if the club went down, it would significantly reduce the asking price of the club, thus enabling a local business man to come in and buy the club and give sufficient resources allowing us to build slowly but positively.

Of course, this is all hypothetical, and I don’t know if it would all work out. But right now, I do not see the benefit of surviving this season and going forward with a tiny squad who are shit. Whatever happens, I will remain a Portsmouth supporter – I just want and hope for better things for the football team I love. Maybe a fresh start is what we need. PTID