Robert Prosinecki playing for Pompey was magical – Rick Jackson
Watching the Chelsea goalkeeper defy his manager during the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday reminded me of a Pompey player throwing his toys out of the pram at Fratton Park – but for a totally different reason.
I would say the most gifted player I’ve ever seen in a Portsmouth shirt is the Croatian international Robert Prosinecki, who only played for us during the 2001-02 season.
He was a friend of then owner Milan Mandaric and it seemed as a favour, played for us right at the end of his illustrious career.
At 33, he’d been at the highest level, with some truly great players at Real Madrid and Barcelona.
I’d never seen anything like it. The roll over of the ball, his vision, how he’d put opposition players on their bottoms, breeze past others and make space.
He provided Peter Crouch with almost all of his 19 league goals that season, he was an absolute genius and I would put his ability up there with the likes of Zinadine Zidane.
Sadly, he wasn’t much of an athlete due his is love of Marlboro Red cigarettes and whisky. He would smoke before a match, after the match and apparently, at half time in the showers. But would you tell him off?
On this one occasion, he was masterful. He scored a hat-trick. His touch was sublime, his goals were world class and I was lucky enough to see him after the game.
I was a season ticket holder in the Chimes Bar, which many players walked through after leaving the changing rooms and headed off to the car park.
Everyone stood as the enigmatic blonde appeared and gave him a standing ovation. I shook his hand and said that’s the best performance I’d ever seen in the flesh.
He was angry – you could see it in his eyes. He lit a cigarette and someone bought him a whisky.
‘I don’t expect to score a hat-trick and not win a game,’ he said.
We had drawn 4-4 with Barnsley, but Jason Crowe and Kevin Harper are no Davor Suker or Luis Figo!
I do not think the perfect summer exists in the UK
Are we being lulled into a false sense of security with this gorgeous weather?
We’ve been on the seafront most days enjoying the sunshine, having to take off coats as it’s got too warm.
Two things may happen in my mind. It snowed twice in March last year as the Beast from the East took hold.
So maybe March will be freezing and spring will be put on hold? Or, this nice weather will carry on until spring and the summer will be a washout.
Then again, will a cooler summer please many?
When I mention my theory of this summer, all I hear is about how it was too hot last year!
Does a perfect summer exist in the UK?
A second referendum could lead to clearer results
I’m struggling to see how Brexit is going to end well for the people of the UK. Did those who voted leave do so with the wish for us to still be in the customs union?
In my mind, I think the majority of leavers felt that we should leave the EU lock, stock and barrel.
So if the prime minister does get an acceptable deal through from the EU, will this be enough to keep the 52 per cent of leavers happy?
But the majority of the country’s MPs want us to have a deal and are pressuring the PM to rule out a no-deal scenario, meaning we have no bargaining tools.
After seeing how the EU have behaved, I wonder if the result of a second referendum would now be clearer than the first?