Portsmouth - Was Tony Adams Sacked Too Soon?
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Was Tony Adams Sacked Too Soon?

Tony Adams was sacked on Monday as manager of Portsmouth just three months after taking over following Harry Redknapp's departure. Adams' last game in charge was Saturday's 3-2 home defeat to Liverpool. Adams only managed two wins from 16 games and with pressure on the club to maintain their premiership status the club has acted by sacking the manager. But has the decision come too soon?

Adams is a brilliant professional and worked well as assistant manager during his time under Harry Redknapp. The team won the FA cup last season and the team was starting to come together and challenging in the top half of the table. Redknapp decided to take the managers job at Tottenham and Portsmouth acted by moving Adams to manager. Not long after Redknapp's departure Joe Jordan followed the ex Pompey boss to Spurs leaving Adams a large void to fill in the backroom staff. Jordan had been a big part of the coaching staff and losing him had to come as a blow.

With the January transfer window getting closer and closer throughout winter, it seemed that every week there were more and more rumours of Redknapp raiding his old club for players like Jermain Defoe and Glenn Johnson, as well as other clubs rumoured to be interested in Niko Kranjcar and Lassana Diarra. The Diarra deal was the first to be done in the last week of December, and you cannot blame the club for accepting a bid of £18mill from Real Madrid. Defoe was quick to suggest that he wished to rejoin former club Spurs less than a year after making the switch to Portsmouth. Defoe and Crouch had started to form a decent strike partnership for the club and losing him will have been a blow. Diarra was a strong player in the midfield and although he left in exchange for a good amount of money, replacing a player of his talent would be difficult.

With the club struggling to hold onto its players a run of tough games and bad results saw Portsmouth at the wrong end of the table. Difficulty signing players in the January made it hard for Adams to make his mark on the squad and an FA cup exit in a home tie at the hands of Swansea piled the pressure on the manager. In their game against Fulham, which they lost 3-1, Portsmouth looked in all kinds of trouble and the team were a shadow of their former selves. Previously difficult to breakdown, solid at the back and strong in attack, Fulham sliced open the Pompey defence with ease and it was rumoured then that Adams would be sacked. Some newspapers reported that Adams would be given three games to turn the club around.
Their game this weekend with Liverpool was a pure example of the disorganisation at Portsmouth. Pompey twice took the lead and twice made mistakes to allow Liverpool back in the game. You simply cannot give away mistakes and goals like that in the premier league. I think that performance level from Portsmouth in the game against Liverpool was a vast improvement on the previous game against Fulham. Liverpool were lucky to take the three points in the end and I think that Tony Adams is very unlucky to be losing his job. That game could have easily gone the other way and if it had then he would definitely still be in a job today.

Adams becomes the 6th manager of the season to part company with a premiership club (not counting Avram Grant and Sven-Goran Eriksson). If you look at Adams and Paul Ince, are 16 and 17 games long enough to make your mark on a team? Not all managers play the same style of football, and it can take a while to get success under different managers. The top six teams (with the exception of Chelsea) all have long term managers. The constant changing and swapping of managers does not help clubs in the long run. The short term impact of a new manager might be avoiding relegation, but there is no saying that the previous manager would not have achieved that. New managers generally means new players, old players moving out and increase in wages and transfer fees. The only people who benefit from that are agents.

Tony Adams would have been successful at Portsmouth had he been given the proper amount of time to make his mark on the squad and the club. I'm sure that he will be successful in the future, as will managers like Paul Ince. Clubs need to realise that the constant hiring and firing of managers does nothing but cause problems and cost money.

Thanks to Liam Yardley, who writes for another football blog, but he approached me with this article asking if I would publish it, so I said I would put it on Vital Pompey too - to see Liam's blog click here.

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The Journalist

Writer: Liam Yardley Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 12 2009

Time: 8:44AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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i was approached by Liam Yardley a few days ago, who wrote this on his blog, asking if i could publish this on vital pompey too. i said i would. a good read.
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12/02/2009 08:48:00

You make some fair points Liam but no, he should have gone at Xmas. The club has to stay up, going down would crucify the club finanially. Unlucky as he was, good as was etc, the results wern't happening. Time to move on. We have some serious games to play & some against top opposition. We need at least 5 wins to have a chance of staying up. That is all we need to focus on the 'now' & not the 'then'.
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12/02/2009 09:01:00

No, i dont think he was sacked too early. I dont think he was ready for the job in the first place. Sure, he isnt totally to blame for our current league position, but then his lack of experience was evident
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12/02/2009 09:01:00

I don't think he was sacked to early either. He's inexperienced, and at the time, we were in a great position so we could've afforded to give him a chance - since then things have spiralled downhill and now we're in real danger, he had to go.
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12/02/2009 09:13:00

Mixed feelings on this one, I do think if he had stayed he would have turned it around and then gone onto better times, however you can't deny the poor run of results and at the end of the day this is a results business. The players did let TA down badly on various occassions during the last 5 or 6 games and you can't train that out. That said tactically he has made mistakes and should have changed things around earlier in games. For all we know though tomorrow may bring an announcement of a new buyer and new manager, which will hopefuuilly bring us some stability both financially. We just don't know and I will never trust Storrie again on what is and what is not happening within the club. Can't believe we will go to the Stoke game without a full time manager in post, something must be in the pipeline for them to have done it last weekend.
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12/02/2009 09:16:00

Don't think he should have been giventhe job in the first place. But as he was given it, then no they should not have sacked him when they did. That said, whoever we took in October would probably have walked at Xmas when Sascha told them he was selling 35m worth of Players and only replacing them with 5m worth.
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12/02/2009 10:38:00

I originally thought we should have kept him to the bitter end of the season but the fact that he nearly walked in december suggests to me that he's more interested in his media profile than the club.
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12/02/2009 11:00:00

I as one of those in the evening news saying i thought it was a shame and players should take the blame etc, but after he has gone, and more and mre is coming from the dressing room etc, it makes you realise that as good as he was initially, the harder he was finding the job as time went on, until eventually he was not 100% sure what to do, the players were looking to him and not getting answers on the pitch, and players were recommending from the field and getting ignored? So i think Pompey had to act, sorry Tony, lovely guy, but just need a bit more experience i think,
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12/02/2009 11:33:00

Maybe Tony should just concentrate on walking his dog on the beach. A great guy, and I wish him luck but his time as POmpey manager should not have happened. We took the 'cheaper' option and it really shows now.
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12/02/2009 11:48:00

Whether he was sacked too early or not is not the issue. If he won another 2 from 16 we would be bottom of the league. The fact remains that he was in charge when we failed to win 14 matches. Most Managers would have suffered the same fate. His only wins were against sides in the bottom 3 at that time. Nothing he did at Pompey was considered a great achievement. We lost to ordinary sides. In my opinion if we didn't get 25 pts by Xmas then we were in trouble. Guess what we still haven't got tht tally and it's nearly mid Feb. Yes we won the cup and must hold on to that dream because that will be it now for many many years to come...we are well and truly f***ed.
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12/02/2009 11:57:00

Yes he was sacked too soon, but all managers are, I think he was badly let down by Sacha cashing in on Diarra and Defoe and not making enopugh money available for quality replacements, but more than that he was let down by players with enough experience not to make the schoolboy mistakes that they were making. I think Tony will go on to be a top manager in the future and he would've done it here if Panic hadn't set in. Where are the new managers going to come from when the current crop dies off? Unless we let managers learn their trade then English football is in for a sorry time and even more foreign coaches.
Steve C
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12/02/2009 15:58:00

I don't think we had a choice over Diarra, he would have gone even if HR was still in charge! Real Madrid & 20m, irresistable offer. Defoe wanted his daddy & wouldn't stay.
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12/02/2009 16:19:00

It's not the selling of them thats the real problem, it's the lack of similar quality replacing them.
Steve C
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12/02/2009 16:40:00

Unfortunately the situation is that we no longer have the money to replace players of that quality - we need new owners fast. I really wish we could have given Tony the time he needed, he got a rough ride - but we had been in freefall to the Championship, our defence was shocking, we kept making suicidal errors and shipping soft goals, far far too many of them, as well as tactical errors that even I could see (and I'm a girl!). At the end of the day the club has to come first. If PFC had done nothing, or acted when it was too late, we would all have blamed them for that. Something had to be done, and I don't know what else it could have been.
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12/02/2009 16:57:00

if truth be told we can blame the club fore the situation we're in now, we were living beyond our means. That maybe could've carried on if the credit crunch hadn't come along, i suspect that Sacha's pocket took a major hit and thats why he needs to sell.
Steve C
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12/02/2009 18:01:00

Time will tell, simple as that really, if we win Saturday he probably wasn't sacked soon enough, if we drop, who could of stopped it?
Report Abuse
12/02/2009 18:16:00

i'd be trying to get Dario Gradi if it were up to me, he'd do wonders for bringing youngsters through.
Steve C
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12/02/2009 18:21:00

Timing was a bit odd, but his sacking was inevitable.. When Pompey survive we we no doubt all agree that the timing was right !
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13/02/2009 07:49:00

He should never have been appointed in the first place, a wasted 3 months in my book.
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15/02/2009 15:45:00


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