Done Deal - Captain joins Coventry
Pompey have confirmed Michael Doyle has agreed a deal with Coventry, he'll officially become a Sky Blues player (again) when his contract at Fratton Park expires at the end of June.
A statement on portsmouthfc.co.uk read: 'Michael Doyle has agreed a deal to sign for Coventry. The 35-year-old midfielder will return to the Sky Blues when his Pompey contract expires at the end of June.'
Doyle, who expressed a desire to remain at Pompey and Paul Cook was also keen to keep his captain, was linked with a Coventry return earlier this afternoon. Now confirmed, Doyle returns to a club he previously played for on almost 300 occasions, between 2003 and 2011.
Obviously Doyle left with the clubs best wishes.
The statement continued: 'Portsmouth Football Club would like to thank Michael for his excellent service to the club and wish him well for the future.'
A terrier-like midfielder who always gave his all, the minimum requirement if you pull on the famous blue shirt, that will leave in the best possible way, captaining the league two champions.
I would have kept him but, as was pointed out by Jimsmithswig, his exit should open the door to someone who probably wouldn't have got a look-in had Doyle stayed? This due to Cookies, by his own admission, loyalty to players, especially those coming to the end of their contracts.
Jimsmithswig said: 'Not surprised read somewhere Coventry offering him coaching opportunities as well, mostly served us well but annoyed me when he dropped too deep and got in the way of our 2 centre-halves bringing the ball out, which they are more than capable of. Also frees up one of Cooke's "reward loyal players" as I would hope he wouldn't have been an ever present next season. Time for a youngster to be given a go.'
Doyle was clearly a Cookie favourite, his captain never dropped out the side regardless, but at 35 he wasn't the Pompey future, the likes of Adam May and Ben Close, assuming he is offered a new deal, are, so could, if not should, get a chance next season?
I'll miss his leadership qualities, now for someone else to step up to the plate on that score. Must admit it'll not be the same not seeing him angrily barking at the nearest available player when a mistake was made, even if it was Doyle making a balls up!
Best of luck to him.
PLAY UP POMPEY