All-Seeing Eye: Pompey v Dagenham & Redbridge

Pompey boss Paul Cook takes the acclaim of the Fratton faithful     Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook takes the acclaim of the Fratton faithful Picture: Joe Pepler
Oli Hawkins. Picture: Joe Pepler

Hawkins prompts Pompey transfer rethink

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It was the perfect opening to the season at Fratton Park on Saturday.

And the ALL-SEEING EYE was there to witness a day rammed chock full of positives unfold for Pompey...

Club stalwart John Jenkins with the HMS Victory painting, kindly returned by Milan Mandaric

Club stalwart John Jenkins with the HMS Victory painting, kindly returned by Milan Mandaric

HELLO COOKIE: Paul Cook was properly introduced to Pompey fans for the first time on Saturday.

Anticipation at the big kick-off had reached fever pitch by 2.55pm, with excitement high at the arrival of a new campaign.

Cook ensured it was taken to another level as he took to the Fratton turf to acknowledge the home support.

Typically, the Scouser wasn’t happy with a wave - instead looking like he was having a punch-up with himself as he rabidly saluted his supporters.

VICTORY SAILS HOME: One of the great tragedies of recent years has been the loss of so many artefacts from Pompey’s grasp.

It’s scandalous that so many items of historical significance disappeared, particularly in the Gaydamak era, as the former owner dismissed anything associated before his period of ownership.

So another of the wealth of good news stories to emerge on Saturday was the return of one item, which for so long, was associated with the Pompey boardroom.

Henry J Morgan’s picture of the HMS Victory had hung there for over half a century.

It went with former Pompey owner Milan Mandaric as part of the deal when he sold to Gaydamak in 2006.

Mandaric has now ensured the painting – officially entitled HMS Victory towed into Gibraltar after the Battle of Trafalgar – 1805 – is back where it belongs.

The painting is on permanent loan to the club all the time it remains in community ownership.

STATS THAT: The stats were on the run at Fratton Park on Saturday.

First Brian Murphy’s appearance in goal saw Paul Jones dropped after 173 consecutive starts.

Then we saw the end of the wait for an opening-day win which went back to the success over Blackburn in 2006.

And whoever worked out Pompey hadn’t beaten a London side on the opening day in 12 attempts stretching back to the 1920s is a proper statto. But that fact is now also consigned to history.

THIRSTY WORK: Football supporters aren’t usually fans of change.

And that was seen in the wonderfully English reaction to a drinks break on Saturday.

The temperature apparently warranted a stop in play for rehydration midway through the first half.

The All-Seeing Eye can’t recall seeing that before in competitive football involving Pompey. But the murmurs of discontent which then became more audible grumbles and finally a slow hand clap made it worth it.