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***



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
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
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
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

On this day in history...6th February

A look back at this day in history, and what was happening with Pompey courtesy of our sister site PompeyRama, 6th February.

Blues MotM at Morecambe

The 1-1 draw at Morecambe will always be remembered for 'that goal' from bloody Barry Roche with it his goal, deep into injury-time that denied us a precious 3pts at the Globe Arena.

LEYTON ORIENT PREVIEW

Pompey return to familiar surroundings hoping to quickly move on from Tuesday night's gutting 94th minute leveller from Morecambe keeper Roche.

Leyton Orient provide the test, a side 9th in th

What A Sickener!

What A Sickener! By Terraceman who remembers 1984.

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

pompeyrug
Profile
eastneydave
Profile
paultsmouth
Profile
Chix
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Pompey v Leyton Orient?
Suggested By: pompeyrug
Pompey win76%
Draw12%
Leyton Orient12%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Northampton 27 18 4 5 58 18
2 Plymouth 29 17 5 7 56 17
3 Oxford 27 14 9 4 51 19
4 Bristol Rovers 29 14 5 10 47 10
5 Portsmouth 27 11 12 4 45 21
6 Accrington 25 13 6 6 45 14
7 Mansfield 29 12 8 9 44 8
8 Wycombe 27 12 7 8 43 6
9 Leyton Orient 29 11 10 8 43 4
10 Wimbledon 28 11 9 8 42 7
11 Cambridge 29 11 8 10 41 2
12 Exeter 28 11 7 10 40 -1
13 Carlisle 25 10 9 6 39 3
14 Morecambe 29 10 6 13 36 -2
15 Notts County 27 10 6 11 36 -6
16 Luton 29 9 8 12 35 0
17 Crawley 29 10 4 15 34 -14
18 Barnet 28 9 6 13 33 -8
19 Stevenage 29 6 10 13 28 -14
20 Newport 28 6 9 13 27 -11
21 Yeovil 29 5 9 15 24 -14
22 Hartlepool 25 7 3 15 24 -18
23 Dag & Red 27 4 8 15 20 -20
24 York 27 4 8 15 20 -21
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Portsmouth Fixtures (view all)

Feb 6 2016 3:00PM : Leyton Orient (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 13 2016 3:00PM : Bristol Rovers (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 20 2016 3:00PM : Yeovil Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 23 2016 7:45PM : Barnet (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 27 2016 3:00PM : Cambridge United (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 1 2016 7:45PM : Exeter City (a)
Sky Bet League Two

Recent Portsmouth Results (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.pompeyrug29
2.Jimsmithswig18
3.FrattonBlue12
4.storagematt9
5.Pompeytim7
6.Copnor437
7.PompeyJake3
8.PFCblue3
9.mslorna483
10.Emsworthianblue3