Portsmouth form and team statistics fall drastically after Mark Catlin’s Covid-19 wage cut warning

By Freddie Webb

Portsmouth’s player and team statistics have fallen significantly after Mark Catlin warned of a reduced wage budget next season.

The Blues have only won one match in their last six since the CEO’s interview with The News Portsmouth, where on 10 February, Catlin warned that Pompey’s out of contract players would have to expect a wage cut due to a post Covid economy.

He stressed the days where the club could offer pre-covid level wages were gone, as the club was no longer generating £10m a year in revenue.

Reports in August said Portsmouth were losing £700k a month and this was cited as the main reason for the wage decrease, despite Catlin revealing to the PO4cast that the club were in a strong financial position to deal with the pandemic compared to their rivals.

Since February’s report, the Blues look like a shadow of the promotion chasing side from January.

Against largely mid-table and relegation threatened opposition, Kenny Jackett’s side have only scored four goals from open play and have failed to create more than 1.5 xG per 90 minutes in all but one of those matches.

Analytics: wyscout.com

In January, the team were outscoring their xG, as Kenny Jackett used a high pressing 4-4-2 formation.

Now, Kenny Jackett has regularly changed formations and the side has failed to create as many scoring chances.

Pompey are still 6th in League One for goals scored, but if the attack fails to improve, then they could slip out of the play-off places, which they only occupy by two points.

Problems are also clear to see defensively, with individual errors happening repeatedly throughout this decline.

In total, eleven goals have been conceded and the teams expected goals against ratio lags behind their promotion rivals.

Analytics: wyscout.com

The Blues are 8th for the lowest number of goals conceded – 34 goals from 32 games – but have an xGA of 39.8.

Fans have been shocked by some of the poor defending but these cracks were shown by the metrics before Catlin’s interview.

Pompey had a much larger xGA differential then, but it was being offset by their goals scored and Craig MacGillivray consistently making key saves.

Due to individual errors and an unsettled and unconfident back-four, these defensive frailties from earlier in the season have gotten worse.

Both of these metrics are not suitable for predicting league positions, as there are too many other variables to consider, but they line up with the recent major decline in performances the fans have seen on the pitch.

Photo: Dan Westwell

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