It’s a whirlwind of rumour and controversy with very little privacy and dignity towards the end, I am of course talking about the Pompey managers job.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen the Pompey job change no less than eleven times, from ex-players to Continental tacticians. Some have worked leading to glory, trophies and European success, whilst others have lead to relegation and inevitable failure. At the time of writing, it has just been released that current manager, Andy Awford is having his fate decided by the board. If the deciders raise their hands and point their thumbs to the ground, he will join the list as the sixth sacked manager in just under ten years. It’s a sad thought for a man who’s done almost every job at Fratton Park since retiring from playing at the age of just 27, due to injury. He made 313 league appearances, and was part of the side who reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in 1992. His legendary status will still be in tact long after he leaves Portsmouth, if he does so.
As manager he has taken over and steered Pompey to safety last season, his first win coming against Newport two days after his appointment, he didn’t lose a game for the rest of the campaign, maintaining vital Football League status. His first loss came against Newport, proving what goes around comes around. Now with just seven wins all season, none of which have come away from home, the Blues boss could be the ninth managerial casualty in League Two this season.
It’s all about the stats, with five managers being sacked in a decade for Pompey, looking at those unfortunate men’s last ten games almost slams that final nail in Awford’s coffin. Richie Barker, perhaps the most disliked manager we’ve seen in the
Football League era lost four of his last ten, grabbing a point on four occasions. His run-ins with fans is perhaps what pushed him over the edge. Of the five, Guy Whittingham has the best record, the first manager sacked since Paul Hart in 2009, Whittingham won four of the ten, losing the same amount, in hindsight perhaps a harsh dismissal, but he was seen as more of a coach.
Paul Hart, a strange appointment for a Premier League side, but at the time money was incredibly tight. He inherited a side falling apart, full of loanees and rejects which was impossible to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United. Seven losses in his last ten saw him replaced with much loved Avram Grant.
The final two, also Premier League managers see’s Tony Adams, one of the worst managers the club has ever had. A shame for a man who did so well as assistant boss under Harry Redknapp. His win percentage was just 18% but his squad was being sold without his knowing, one win in his final ten saw the ex-England and Arsenal man sacked. As assistant, he was part of the FA Cup winning staff, and managed Pompey to an unforgeable 2-2 draw with AC Milan.
Finally, Alain Perrin the Frenchman hired to keep Pompey in the Premier League was axed after just months in charge. He will forever be remembered for beating Harry’s Southampton 4-1 at Fratton Park, but his basement side come the end of 2005 was enough for the men upstairs to make a change.
Awford has had his critics for some time, and only recently have the fans begin to be swayed. The boos have rung around Fratton Park for all to hear. Awford’s final ten games currently stands at seven defeats, three draws and not a single victory. Pompey haven’t won in the league for over three months, perhaps change is needed. I’ll leave you draw you’re own conclusions.