Gray and Whittingham it is...for now
So, Steve Cotterill's 16-month reign as Pompey manager is over - I thank him for what he did for the club, especially last season in difficult circumstances, but when all is said and done he is just 'another manager'...
Sorry if this sounds harsh, it is not meant to be and I am not cold and/or heartless but the only constant in football these days are the fans - players, coaches and managers come and go so getting 'overly attached' to anyone is not something that I, and I dare so a large number of others, really do these days.
Like I say I thank him for his efforts in what was often a thankless task in many ways although I have to say that I do think that the parting of ways was 'probably' the best thing for all at this point in time - I do not think that Cotterill had much shelf life left at Fratton, and I dare say that he knew this too so to walk out of one job and into another is certainly a good move for him as it is a lot harder to find work when you are out of it than when you are in it. From our viewpoint I am not convinced that the squad is united these days, small fractions and divisions are growing I reckon and with a squad of our size we cannot afford this.
The manager, for me, did not have the full support of the squad and, as I say, when this happens you are in trouble - few, despite all that they have said over the weeks, have rarely leapt to Cotterill's defence with their words...
A fresh start with a fresh manager who will, I would hope, be hungry for success and will bring in his own ideas is something that we needed. A club of our size, and with our recent history, needs to be appealing to as many as we can and the 'Cotterill brand of football' was, by common opinion, starting to divide more and more and some have even voiced an opinion that it had 'put them off' going, not something we can afford.
As far as I am concerned I pay a hell of a lot of money for my football and I want to be entertained, and all too often in recent months - despite having 'moments' I cannot say that I have had enough of this for my money.
The next move that PFC make will be an important one, and this move needs to be one that we make with a long-term in mind - all too often a managers reign, or indeed a players' spell at a club, is all too short these days but it would be nice if we could get in a manager and see him fulfil the length of the contract that he is given, and more even!
Who this will be is open for debate, we will all have an opinion on this and plenty of names will be thrown into the hat, some more realistic that others that is for sure.
Billy Davies, Dave Jones and Martin O'Neil have all been mentioned - for me O'Neil is way out of the question but Davies or Jones are managers that both have a proven track record and would offer us a good option. He might be a scummer, or at least former one, but Jones would make a decent appointment for me.
Macca and Karl Robinson are names that I have myself mentioned - Macca talks the talk but could he walk the walk. Robinson, despite only being 30-years-old is looking like being a fantastic manager who would offer us a great style of play that would certainly entertain me, well many of us. Alas I think that neither of these will get the nod, perhaps Robinson would not even want it even if he was considered?
I know that the entertainment value would be top class if this name was considered, Gianfranco Zola, although I cannot see it - not that it is not 'possible' but just not likely...
So, for me it is down to Jones or Davies, if either are approached I would not be disappointed but what I know is there are enough 'out of work' managers that could fill this job and some, if we will pay a few quid for it, that are in it that could also do the job I just hope that CSI are well advised in their next move.
Whoever we get though I just hope that they have some tactical ability about them and can get us playing some good football - we have players that are capable of doing this so lets see this and not hoof ball I pay to watch football not that.
Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham will get the chance to 'audition' for the vacancy against Barnsley, and I would suspect Ipswich, although I would prefer them not to be considered on a permanent basis and would rather we show a sign of intent and look to bring in someone and not promote from within - this can show a lack of ambition.
Whatever though Gray and Whittingham's blue and white army will get the support they will be looking for today and for the time they fill the void...
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