Date:Friday May 29 2009
Andy Awford, who has championed Paul Hart all along, has said in The News that he 'deserves a chance, I really do.'
He had plenty to say, but followed this up with: 'I know he has been criticised by some for using a certain style of play but we were only going one way when he came in and he steadied the ship.
'He got the club to where it was meant to be with the remit of keeping us - and he did just that.
'On that basis he deserves an opportunity to have a chance next season to build on that and take the team on.'
My stance remains the same as it has been all along, we should have kept Hart until the end of the season and then whatever happened allow him to return to the youth side of things, an area without a shadow of a doubt that he is of much more use to us next season and in future seasons - our long-term future.
Being 'given millions of pounds to spend it might not be for him' is something else that the former Pompey defender said, and that might prove the case but I totally disagree that 'nobody can deny he doesn't deserve it after all he did for this football club at the end of the season' and disagree mainly with the 'Pompey might not even have a new owner if it wasn't for him keeping them in the Premier League' thoughts that followed...
As I, and others, have said countless times you cannot argue that Hart came in and made us harder to beat.
His stubbornness and unwillingness to change - and to be 'chopping and changing' might have rocked the boat more than not changing things did, and rocking the boat was not something we could afford in our precarious position was it? - really did help but I also maintain the thoughts, as shared a million times, that other teams helped to keep us up as much as we did!
We stayed up though, that was a must and then we would take it from there, and we are...
Apparent 'new found wealth' has not swayed me in my thinking that I want Hart to take a step back, and I hope and pray that he will as I would be gutted if he not only left his post as manager of the club, but left the club altogether, which could be possible? He 'might' have seriously got a taste for management again and might not want to return to his old 'day job?'
The 'favourites' for the job are Sven Goran Eriksson, Slaven Bilic and Avram Grant.
I can see the benefits of the Swede, but also the pitfalls. He is a mercenary, but then again who is not these days! At least he is honest with this... His record in club management is exceptional, and given the tools and the time I could see this being no different with Pompey to be honest. He would need to keep Kiddo alongside him though in some capacity without a doubt for him to offer the 'passion' from the sidelines.
The Croatian is not proven in club management but I like his style, I like his approach and I like his passion so I would be all for Bilic but I am still not overly struck on the Israeli - yep, he took Chelski to within a spot-kick of winning the champions league, came runner-up in the league cup was it and in the league but he had everything, and all the foundations, laid on a plate for him! You could argue it was harder to fail than succeed with the side he inherited...
I am not being disrespectful to Hart, I have a lot of time and respect for him and what he has done with the club over the years he has been here and do thank him for taking us on when we needed someone to, and of course do hope he goes back to what he was doing as this would be fantastic for our future, but can anyone seriously in there heart of hearts say that they would willingly want him appointed as manager?
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Friday May 29 2009
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