Date:Thursday November 8 2012
So, Appy became the latest manager to leave Pompey when he was confirmed as the new Blackpool manager last night.
Players, coaches and manager come and go, the only thing that remains constant is the fans - granted this level of support can fluctuate but unlike these players, coaches and manager etc. we do not switch allegiance willy-nilly.
A good friend of mine has made it a point over the years of refusing to sing the managers name when the chants of 'so and so's Blue & White Army' is sung, I am also pretty sure that he was never keen on singing the 'Michael Appleton, Michael Appleton. In Appy we trust, he will never leave us, Michael Appleton' song either. Granted that song by its very nature would always one day become the case so does not really have that much meaning really...
Just joining in for the 'Blue and White Army' part of whoever's army it is seems the right way to go about it to be honest.
Another good friend of mine also said this to me today: 'Glad he has f****d off. Took too long to man up and accept that he wasn't man enough for the challenge.'
Harsh? It could be argued that perhaps it is, but what it cannot really be argued is that it is a fair comment to make when all is said and done...
We cannot doubt the fact that what Appy has had to go through was not what he signed up for - that said he still, for most of his time, had a pretty good playing squad at his fingertips that arguably - troubling circumstances or not - should have done better than it has. Continued off-the-field problems do not help, but can this be used as a shield sometimes?
I had always been a very big fan of Appy's, and felt that he was a rare 'bright light' in an otherwise miserable period in our history... this was, and no sour grapes, until the past few weeks, or month or so and my views on him started to change.
His tactical ability as a manager has been questioned a fair amount at times. It is still tough to know if this was lacking or not though really isn't it? Not having the 'quality' at his finger tips or not, more tactical awareness could have been shown at times really.
It was often the wonderful humility and dignified manor he went about things that you could not fault, but this too had really changed in recent times too. He started acting in such ways far less and some of the things he was coming out with lacked respect to those he was referring to and needed questioning - for example the whole spat with Bournemouth recently and his lack of respect to a few players that are contracted to us...
For someone that was 'in the dark' a move to Blackpool happened pretty quickly, then there is the fact that he - according to BBC sport, which usually has its fingers on the pulse - undertook not one, but two interviews with Burnley before missing that job!
Managers come and go, I can accept that, but what I cannot accept is someone hawking themselves all over the place in the hope of landing another job - and he has done this countless times in recent weeks looking for a way out.
I appreciate what Appy did for us in difficult times, and also appreciate it was tough for him, but if he was not up for this job I wish that he had decided to just walk away a few weeks ago, as it has been blatantly obviously for a good few weeks the interest had gone, perhaps had he done this we would still be in the FA cup now, and in with a chance of bringing in some much needed funds...
The next appointment we make is an important one, it is not essential but would certainly help that we stay in this league but what is imperative is that we bring in someone that gets Portsmouth Football Club, understands what this means to us and can truly appreciate this so a real connection with this club is needed with this appointment.
Is Guy Whittingham the right man?
Well, I do not know, but in the short-term it could very well provide that fix while the final areas of The PST takeover are ironed out, and then we take it from there.
One thing that cannot be disputed is that whoever becomes our new managers knows exactly what they are signing up for, they come into this job with their eyes wide open and cannot say otherwise.
The players 'should' be able to raise themselves but hopefully someone with the right commitment can help inspire them a little more to get the results that a squad of players, small or not, that we have should be getting based on what it looks like 'on paper'...
Some of these players need to take a long hard look at themselves too mind, if they cannot hack it then they too are free to go through the exit gate. If it means shipping some of these out too and bringing some of the younger players - that cannot get a look-in due to the 20-man squad cap - in as a result so be it.
Pride, passion and commitment is what PFC is all about right, and this is what we want to see from those on the pitch. Maybe some of the kids, that we thought we would be seeing week-in-week-out anyway, would certainly offer us more of this!
Thanks for being there when we needed you Appy but now its time for a new era in the history of PFC to begin with someone in place that is 100% committed.
He is not the first, nor will he be the last, to come and go but if the past few years have taught us nothing it should have taught us fans that WE are the most important thing about Portsmouth Football Club, and we have to stick together and make sure we remain united...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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Date:Thursday November 8 2012
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