King of Blues irreverence gives us sleepless nights

A chance encounter with Yakubu at Queen Alexandra Hospital revealed he had malaria
A chance encounter with Yakubu at Queen Alexandra Hospital revealed he had malaria

In the interest of hard news I am this week going to focus on, erm, weird and wonderful Pompey XIs.

I’m indebted to the king of Blues irreverence himself, Steve Bone, for inspiring this leftfield glance at our former players.

Mr Bone spent many years at The News coming up with all manor of strange facts and figures to keep us occupied at Hilsea Towers.

His talent for stats and numbers, as he’s probably sick of being highlighted, is perhaps best underlined by his ability to be able to recall scorelines of Pompey games around random dates given to him.

Now he’s putting his skills to use in the Pompey Twittersphere 
(@stevebone1), so the online masses can get to see the very peculiar mechanics of Boney’s mind.

That was graphically depicted when he decided to spend a recent Friday night dreaming up a team of ‘Pompey Pauls’ and then a Pompey David XI.

I believe it was Paul Robinson inking a permanent deal which provided a pretty tenuous link to Steve coming up with his Pauls XI.

Why that was then followed up with the Davids line-up, no-one is quite sure.

Doing so at 11.30pm perhaps wasn’t the best way to wind down, especially when I then got involved and refused to retire until dreaming up a Pompey side consisting of players with four, or more, syllables in their surnames...

That was successfully achieved well after the witching hour and read: Kawaguchi; Vanden Borre, Zamperini, Stefanovic, Hreidarsson; Delapenha, Prosinecki, Atangana, Radosavljevic (Preki); Lualua, Biagini.

You can go anywhere, and nowhere, with these name-based teams (and Mr Bone certainly has certainly done both).

The thing is, these kind of quirky challenges which allow you to utilise the dark recesses of your Blues knowledge are quite addictive, it turns out.

Take coming up with players with first and surnames beginning with the same letters.

Finding a goalkeeper who fulfilled the criteria proved a brain drain, so thank you John Jarvie – who served the club between the sticks for four games in the 1920s.

Maybe some of the other names are more familiar in this 4-4-2: John Jarvie, Petri Pasanen, Gabor Gyepes, Andy Awford, Herman Hreidarsson; Steve Stone, Steve Soley, Conor Clifford, Mick Mellows; Lomana Lualua, Colin Clarke.

So word-based Pompey XIs can get the grey matter working in a relatively useless way. But why leave it there?

Well, maybe you would because you had a life but that didn’t stop me making a team out of an often bizarre propensity to bump into players outside of my work environment.

So here’s that XI in a 4-3-3 with some cracking encounters in brackets:

Sander Westerveld (in a Gunwharf Quays bar – he bought me a beer, too); Hayden Mullins (on an 18-30s holiday in Greece), Linvoy Primus (watching hip-hop DJ Grandmaster Flash), Mark Casey (wearing Mark Burchill’s training gear in Majorca), Dejan Stefanovic (in a car park outside my home).

Franck Songo’o (when he was stood outside a gentleman’s club with 
one of the employees), Thomas Thogersen (on the dancefloor in what was then Fifth Avenue nightclub), Mick Tait (watching my football team play).

Teddy Sheringham (in a west London hotel), David Nugent (playing roulette in a casino with Jermaine Pennant and Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe), Yakubu (Queen Alexandra Hospital, where I found out he had malaria).

Next up is a team of Pompey players I’ve upset with my stories but I haven’t got beyond Hayden Foxe being managed by Jim Smith so far...