Isle of Wight   Pompey Supporters Club
The Chairman & Old Sage's View on Being a Pompey Supporter, Life & Everything Else  ...

All hail King Kenny he has kept us up with another stunning away victory; that’s one a month this year! We can now sit back and enjoy the unimaginative mediocrity and defensive lapses as we strive (or should that be stumble?) towards improving the worst home run in nearly sixty years. Colin Way remembers it well, he was the reserve ‘keeper at the time! 

Please can nobody mention the play-offs; no more silliness. 

KJ and Paul Cook are ‘chalk and cheese’, there’s little doubt on that one, but there is one significant difference where KJ comes out on top and that’s the ability to win away from home up north against c*ap sides! Under Cook when we disappeared into the frozen tundra at the likes of Morecambe and Accrington, especially in the dark, we feared the worst and more often or not that’s exactly what we got! Come to think of it almost anywhere on a Tuesday night when Cookie was here. 

Other than the extraordinary weather conditions on Saturday there was one other thing that I noted before a ball was kicked and that was that KJ took the populist route and selected a team that I think most fans would have picked...he normally goes out of his way to be (quietly) controversial in terms of selection/tactics...and often gets it wrong.  

Of course, it was made easier for him after last Saturday and our injury list. Burgess needed a rest and Jack is fit again, the loanee kid from Wolves who was supposed to be playing wing-back last week was probably injured but was frankly pretty awful and Haunstrap is available again, he moved Donohue into the midfield and he gave Kal Naismith another long overdue run out. Certainly that would have been my starting might be the first time KJ has picked the right side since he’s been here!! Still a win and three points, never to be sniffed at. 

A source (as they say on Sky TV) tells me that it was Ronan’s best game for us and that Whatmough was outstanding. Unfortunately, I understand that Ronan is the only one of our loan players where we haven’t got an option to buy; shame I was going to send over a grow bag! As for Jack, well we’ve always known he has a touch of class, let’s hope he can get through the rest of the season and build himself up over the summer months. In terms of playing ability he is easy on the eye but you do worry that he might pick up another (long term) injury and I cringe every time you seem him turn quickly or go in for a block tackle. 

Congratulations to our old pals Stanley, an old friend of mine would have been so proud, clear at the top of League Two after another home victory in front of a mega 2,300...they won’t know what to do with all the money! 

Shame about Scummers but just think is there anything that could be more disappointing than getting relegated and losing in the FA Cup semi-finals. The bottom of that Premier League looks very tight but me and Spanish Al fear that someone like Huddersfield and Stoke might spoil the party. That said, they can beat Wigan but when you look at their remaining games you do wonder how many more points that can get when they only have three home games left against Chelsea, Bournemouth and Man City. 

That’s it...onwards and upwards...can’t make it on Sunday, I’m in Brum, we’ll probably win 4-0!



Another great day at Fratton Park... not! 

Like it or loathe it but in the modern game eight points in thirteen games including just two wins against sides on a par with Gosport normally results in the manager getting the boot; especially when you analyse the total ineptness of our last three defeats to Southend, Blackpool and Gillingham. Forget the injuries there is something gravely wrong when you see our so called experienced manager getting regularly outwitted by opposition managers so easily. 

He comes out after the game, pays a few compliments to the opposition, comes out with the same old platitudes and explains to people where we went wrong. He rarely takes responsibility for this errors, although his job title says manager, and the possibility of an apology to the might as well forget it! We’re told he’s here for the long haul, how optimistic does that make you feel? 

One of our recent managers (best he remain nameless) once said about Pompey ‘people went to war from this city’ but it seems to me that Jackett doesn’t get it. His demeanour is all wrong, stood there like a statue, there is no passion and he doesn’t seem to have the ability to motivate or inspire. It is somewhat strange because he has managed clubs like Swansea, Millwall and Wolves; clubs not that dissimilar from ourselves but in simple terms here at Fratton he’s a square peg in a round hole, he doesn’t ‘fit’. 

He bought into the situation when he came to the club and presumably accepted the ridiculously small budget and went about dismantling a perfectly good squad and brought in a couple of utility players from clubs relegated to League Two; a striker held together with sticky tape and pieces of string; an inexperienced ‘keeper and arguably the worst selection of loan players since we were in ‘plummet mode’ in the period leading up to coming out of administration. They (Eisner(s), Mark Catlin and Jackett) called this ‘building for the future’, which is quite patronising to be honest because if this is the future we’ll be back in League Two in August next year. 

I constantly listen to someone next to me wittering that it is a young side and they don’t always get it right. That’s right but it is the management’s choice to thrust low paid youngsters into the side when they’re not really ready. It’s the cheap option and it isn’t working. With experience you get leadership and I see none of that out on the pitch, haven’t seen any all season to be frank, and precious little from the sidelines. 

Focusing on the playing budget for the moment I’m still very confused. I don’t bother much with the Premier’s boring but having come up just nine months ago I do occasionally glance at the results/table in League Two. Little Accrington won at Luton on Saturday and are top of the table...good luck to them! In the week they had a home win against Morecambe in front of just over 1250 and, despite their success this season, their average home gate on a Saturday is a little more than 1800. See where this is going? Yes, our average home gate is edging towards ten times that figure. This isn’t the only reason that Paul Cook left but it sure as hell is one of ‘em! I know I’ve asked before but Mark can you just run that one by me again, please?! 

Talking about PC, love him or hate him, does anyone actually imagine that he would have allowed that situation in January to pan out like it did when we’d just lost O’Keefe and Rose for the rest of the season. Some more poor loan signings and a sixty minute ‘keeper! While we’re on that subject, the injuries can’t all just be down to bad luck. Perhaps we should be having a closer look at some of these players when they roll up saying predictable nice things about joining a great club; revisit our training methods and look into the recovery/rehabilitation of these players. 

So the squad is Jacketts’ and the injuries are, in part, down to bad luck but his job is to manage and the inconsistency has now given way to ineptitude. It is his responsibility and he is failing miserably. Last week he talked about the 75 point target and how he’d like to get hold of another couple of Nathan Thompsons this comment. 

I am a big admirer of Mark Catlin and surely he must be regretting giving this guy another two years on his contract before he’d even found his allocated parking space! He must be able to see which way this is going... and 14,500 reason ticket renewals it certainly is not!! 

You can never condone what happened at the London Stadium on Saturday but they are passionate bunch like us and they have been badly let down. I spotted one banner reading, ‘promised a dream living a nightmare’. Perhaps in our case a banner might read, ‘lots of promises but beginning to have trouble going to sleep at night’. Cheerio. 

Up the Blues


The Old Sage's view  .....

It was a bitterly disappointing second half on Saturday, I never saw that coming at half time.

I will just make a few points about the way things are going, after all it’s only a game of football. Other things happen that can put things into perspective. 

Injuries have killed us since the new year, and it’s injuries to key players (Rose, Evans, Pitman).

Our transfer window activities were very poor and didn’t help us at all.

Too much is being asked of a young, wafer thin squad.

Our good run in November/December (9 wins in 11 games) was built on a rock solid defence. Now we seem all at sea with no communication between the defence and keeper.

Central midfield was obviously in need of reinforcements but we have done it by moving players out of defence to cover in there.

I’m all for youngsters getting a chance and have said that regularly, but we also need a bit of experience mixed with them. Letting Doyle and Baker leave was puzzling to me.

We are too negative in how we line up (3 centre backs and 3 full backs on Saturday?)  No out and out strikers.

We are too slow to change things from the bench.

Sadly, we are better off playing away at the moment as players are almost scared to try something for fear of the reaction from the crowd. Kyle Bennett is a classic example.

Is the manager right for us? I’m not sure, but then who is? The last one never really got accepted by some, even though we were never out of the top 8 in 2 years and won the league!


Please note that the views expressed in this column are my personal views not those of IOWPS

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