As the dark cloud of Jackett’s reign passes from the gates of Fratton Park, new hope dawns as all eyes circle on the merry-go-round of possible replacements.
But, before we get into that I wanted to take a minute to personally thank Kenny for his contributions to Portsmouth Football Club.
It’s always sad to learn someone’s lost their job, especially in today’s climate, and I’ve never met one supporter who thought he was a bad person, nor a bad manager. Put simply, time had taken its toll, and it was time for a fresh start. Good luck in your next role.
Back to the pressing matter, and who could likely take charge at PO4, as a host of names continue to roll in. From the baffling, to the ludicrous, to the unlikely, to the… potentially unproven nominations, there’s no shortage of options for Pompey to explore.
As reported by many outlets, the club are toying between a short-term appointment to the season’s end, or whether to play the longer game and name Jackett’s successor on a longer contract. And – as told by Catlin himself – there are many in-role managers considering Pompey as their next opportunity, whetting the appetite of those in charge at Fratton Park.
But, before we consider whom might be right in either the short-term or long-term, we should consider what the club needs, and whether supporter want should play any part.
For transparency, I’m in the Daniel Stendel camp – not because of the outcry of support nor German flags populating Pompey Twitter right now, but on the credentials of a man who, in a modest capacity at Barnsley, achieved promotion from the very league Jackett struggled with for four years.
But that’s not just the appeal for many, with Stendel’s personality showing an individual who resonates with the fans, drinks with the fans, is one of the fans. But, it wasn’t that long ago we had just that – an enthusiastic Scouse manager, whom achieved success at Pompey, but still received dogs’ abuse (albeit from a minority).
The one thing I’ve learned across my supporting lifetime is that new hires are a bit like what many go through after a difficult breakup. We look for a “rebound manager”, someone polarised from what we’ve had before – and we’ve been doing it for years.
From managers whom represented during playing careers (Whittingham, Alford), to those who hadn’t but were “young and hungry” (Barker), to those with some experience but awaiting a “sleeping giant” (Cook), to the vastly experienced (Jackett), what’s next? Well, the popular choice – of course – the gegenpress-style foreign manager, Stendel.
Not to say he wouldn’t be a great appointment, I think he’s just what we need – but, is that systemic of years of to-ing and fro-ing as a fanbase, or simply looking logically at what the club need?
Other options of course keep circling, too. Harris, Coleman, Bowyer (albeit one foot in the door at Birmingham) to name but a few, many whom have been discounted because they’re not far enough from what we’ve just endured. That said, they’re different managers, with different supporting personnel, with different experiences and different ways of coaching.
The one constant in all of this is that, as a fanbase, we respect the decisions of those in charge and whilst we may disagree, those stepping in will have the full support until good reason otherwise, which is just about what any manager can hope for as they step into a club of Pompey’s size and stature.
Time will tell.
Photo: Paul Devlin / SNS Group