Vital Football

Barker's Blues Revival

Barker's Blues Revival

Richie Barker has been in charge of Portsmouth for around a month now, having managed six games he has racked up five pointes, most notably the Boxing Day win against Dagenham & Redbridge. With the January transfer window now open, Barker has been swift in bringing in new recruits, most notable Nicky Shorey from fire-sale Bristol City on a free transfer. Shorey, one of the most consistent players for Steve Coppell's Reading side that established themselves as a Premier League outfit, played his first game in a Portsmouth shirt on Saturday against Oxford United, in an unfamiliar midfield role. Although, in my opinion, he played well in midfield, left back is his favoured position. Already showing his versatility, he seems like an already valuable asset for the blues.

Barker also signed Ryan Taylor from Bristol City, as well as Jake Jervis - having finally been given international clearance to leave his former club in Turkey. Jervis returns to Portsmouth after his previous loan spell from Birmingham City was cut short, and after being subsequently sold to his former Turkish parent club. Termination of his contract allows him to have a second go at his Pompey career, after his somewhat short loan spell showed very promising signs.

Ryan Taylor, like Jervis, is a striker. Although his scoring record isn't superb, he has been plagued by injuries in the past few years, as well as being used as a fringe player, coming on regularly as a substitute. His addition to the squad brings the blue's striking numbers to 7, with Barker opting to play with 1 up front. This brings into question David Connolly's role within the squad, as he is still coaching, and earning his coaching badges with the club, as well as being an availability for the first team. The 36 year old, has only scored a handful of times for Pompey this season, and since his dismissal at the beginning of the season, hasn't seemed the same. The powerful partnership he had with Patrick Agyemang last season has rarely been utilized this term, with both of the forwards being injured and/or suspended.

Connolly's lack of first team game-time and the arrival of two new strikers open up the possibility of early retirement, allocating more time for coaching. This is just one possibility Barker has to consider, after he stated in an interview before the Southend United game that Connolly hadn't trained with the first team in 3 weeks, due to fitness. There is also the opportunity to loan out Ashley Harris for the third time this season, or even Ryan Bird who hasn't lived up to his expectation after returning from his initial loan.

There are many players that Barker has under his radar, both inside and outside of Portsmouth. Rumours suggest that another former Reading player is on his way to Pompey - James Harper, who was also instrumental in Steve Coppell's reign at Reading. Coppell seems to be doing his fair bit of negotiating, demonstrating why his appointment as Director of Football was a good one. Inside the club, Barker has a lot to focus upon. With the release of Shaun Cooper last week, I'm sure Barker will be running the rule over the underachieving players, as well as looking to strengthen the squad's backbone.

On Saturday, Barkers men look to welcome Mansfield Town to Fratton Park, hoping to build upon their goalless draw against league leaders Oxford United. This game may be the chance for Jervis to show off what he can do in League Two, against a fairly average opponent. Nevertheless, it's onward and upwards from here.

Onward and upwards, in Pompey We Trust!

Written by Harry Davis - Harry tweets at @MrDavishPFC.

Follow @VitalPortsmouth.

Click here to make your prediction: Pompey v Mansfield.

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

Vital Pompey always wants blogs, so if can offer us something we would love to share it with the masses!

To email your own unique article/blog for publishing
***CLICK HERE***

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Harry David (aka MrDavishPFC)
Date:Thursday January 16 2014
Time: 11:29AM

Comments

0
Some might be thinking has Barker really done much?
I think that he has, we have seen a clear improvement and IF we can get a massive win on Saturday I think others will follow and the more confidence grows and the less danger we are in the more we will see his side do what he REALLY wants them to do!
Barker is willing to go against his way of wanting to play, and playing is what he wants, and I like the fact that he WILL go against his principles if he has to.

As for Connolly, I would not be at all surprised if he announced his retirement if/when Jervis is confirmed, if not then he WILL retire in the summer I reckon. His latest injuries might have been an injury too far at his age...
pompeyrug
16/01/2014 11:32:00
0
Have your say on Harry's latest blog, leave a comment here and/or on the forum pages too!

To see the forum thread - click here...
pompeyrug
16/01/2014 11:32:00
0
Nice one Harry. Connolly is naturally fit and is always useful to have on the bench to get you a goal.
eastneydave
16/01/2014 13:46:00
0
I seem to remeber we were optimistic at the beginning of the season, bookies installed us a favourites, all was rosy. Lets see what the next few games bring in.
Ihatemidweektvgames
17/01/2014 08:15:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Portsmouth Articles

Jeepers keepers! Freebie options explored

An emergency loan arrival of a goalie has been ruled out by the Football League but this doesn't mean a free agent cannot be signed by Pompey should a suitable option be found?

Tubbs recall?

Tubbs is officially on loan with Eastleigh until the end of the month but with the hopes of a play-off place gone for them he could he come back to play a part for Pompey?

Match Day Officials v Northampton (7/5/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Northampton this weekend.

On this day in history...5th May

A look back at this day in history, and what was happening with Pompey courtesy of our sister site PompeyRama, 5th May.

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

pompeyrug
Editor email
Profile
eastneydave
Editor email
Profile
paultsmouth
no email
Profile
Chix
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Hartlepool MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Murphy46%
Stevens0%
Burgess6%
Barton0%
Freeman0%
Doyle0%
Hollands3%
Naismith21%
Roberts12%
Evans0%
Smith3%
Sub - McGurk0%
Sub - Chaplin6%
Sub - Whatmough3%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 45 28 12 5 96 35
2 Accrington 45 24 12 9 84 26
3 Oxford 45 23 14 8 83 40
4 Bristol Rovers 45 25 7 13 82 30
5 Portsmouth 45 21 15 9 78 32
6 Plymouth 45 23 9 13 78 21
7 Wimbledon 45 20 12 13 72 13
8 Cambridge 45 18 13 14 67 11
9 Leyton Orient 45 18 12 15 66 -2
10 Wycombe 45 17 13 15 64 4
11 Exeter 45 17 13 15 64 1
12 Carlisle 45 16 16 13 64 0
13 Mansfield 45 17 12 16 63 8
14 Luton 45 18 9 18 63 -1
15 Barnet 45 16 11 18 59 -4
16 Hartlepool 45 15 6 24 51 -18
17 Notts County 45 14 9 22 51 -24
18 Yeovil 45 11 15 19 48 -15
19 Stevenage 45 11 14 20 47 -15
20 Crawley 45 13 8 24 47 -30
21 Morecambe 45 12 9 24 45 -22
22 Newport 45 10 13 22 43 -20
R Dag & Red 45 8 10 27 34 -34
R York 45 7 12 26 33 -36
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Portsmouth Results (view all)

Portsmouth Fixtures (view all)

May 7 2016 3:00PM : Northampton Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.storagematt9
2.Copnor434
3.mslorna483
4.Emsworthianblue3
5.FrattonBlue2
6.eastneydave2
7.russellm1
8.Ronald Wilson1