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Could Pompey cope without Cotts?



Speculation is rife that Portsmouth gaffer Steve Cotterill is set to be offered the manager's role at Nottingham Forest - with current boss Billy Davies at war with the club over living arrangements.

My question to you today is this - should those in charge of the club, including Cotterill's love-child, David Lampitt, be doing all he can to keep him in charge of Portsmouth Football Club, or would we do better to cut our losses and look for a new manager?

For me, Cotterill has done a wonderful job. He's taken up the role in a time when very, very few others would, and has kept us up. But for me, that's where the buck stops. Many times this season, I've been sat in my usual seat in the Fratton End, questioning the tactics of Cotterill, including many games where we've needed to press our opponents to try and claw back a goal or two, or even go for the win. Yet, we've either consolidated play and stuck out for a point, or brought on Ibrahima Sonko to tighten up the back four, even when going for three points.

This, coupled with the largely limited contacts available to Cotterill, with three loan signings from the same club, two of which largely overrated and overplayed due to squad limitation, left many games lost due to silly error (most notably for me, Nottingham Forest away - enter Sonko).

All of the blame cannot be attributed to the manager alone, however. We can cut him some slack. He hasn't had the backing a manager possibly should have going into the season, and coupled with a very long and frustrating USA pre-season, the start to the season probably wasn't all that great - but what of those players who really, really wanted to play for the club, yet now find themselves looking at an immediate future in Npower League Two - or lower?

Pompey born and bred, as well as fan of the club Matt Ritchie now finds himself relegated to League Two with Swindon Town, after deemed surplus to requirements at Fratton Park. A player held in high-esteem with fans', feeling that he had a bright future with the club, was bombed out of Portsmouth after Cotterill felt that the club needed to save on their wage bill, however remained to allow Lawrence to sign a permanent deal with the club, then go on to play little even when back to fitness.

Ritchie, as well as recent departure Marlon Pack, emphasises the financial situation that we find ourselves in, and also Cotterill's inability to look at potential, allowing players such as Aaron Mokoena remain at the club - at fault for many points being dropped this season - while players who bleed blue remain up for grabs by clubs around the country.

Cotterill joined Portsmouth just under one year ago in June 2010, with the club in disarray following relegation from the Premier League. With his hands tied at the start of the season, Cotterill brought in Ibrahima Sonko and Carl Dickinson on season-long loans and signed Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson, while Darryl Flahavan joined the club on a month-by-month rolling contract.

Such a small squad meant that Pompey had a very stretched budget in terms of players they could afford to use each week, with large parts of the season leaving Pompey with less than the permitted seven available substitutes on the bench.

Now the season is over, and we can start moving forward (well, if the CSI takeover ever goes ahead), it will be a tough decision for the club to either stick or twist in regards to Cotterill's tenure, especially if a probable bid from Forest occurs.

Brett's Babble:

For me, Cotterill needs another 6 months. If he is awarded the backing of a decent finances, and to not have to rely solely on loans, he could come good - my main worry lies with his ability to set out his team to look for a win, rather than scoring a goal and sitting back for the remainder.

Far too many games this season, we've gone one goal up and not gone for all three points, inviting our opposition to have a go; or we've gone one down and sat back, looking for a draw in games we should be winning comfortably.

Of course, in this league there are no easy games, but to see us at least try in the ones we have would be a welcome sight. Perhaps looking towards a manager in the mould of Paul Lambert or, dare I say it, Nigel Adkins, would be a good one - managers with little reputation but desire to succeed, and skill to man-manage.

Written by Dan Brett.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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Writer: Dan Brett Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 9 2011

Time: 11:48AM

Your Comments

I dare say there are equally well qualified people out there but given the choice I would stick with SC. We stayed up despite the major restrictions placed upon him. I would like to see him able to strenghten the side next season by buying some reasonably inexpensive players next season and then judge. Better the Devil you know
MickTait
Judge him on what he does in building a team and hopefully signings
dedmans
Given the circumstances he has done the job- kept us in the championship, safe weeks ago was a bonus, mainly with free transfers and loans which by definition are players other clubs don't want. Sure he's made mistakes, all managers do, but selling Ritchie and releasing Pack, Kilby, O'Brien etc most definitely was not a mistake, in SC's opinion they will not make championship players and since they've left have done nothing to prove him wrong. Just because a player is local born and Pompey through and through and supposedly held in high esteem by the fans (not me) doesn't mean he's a good player. I will reserve judgment on SC until he has been able to build his own team with a reasonable budget.
ashfordblue
This is a non-story. Forest in the play-offs for a second season running may well be Davies finest hour, especially if he gets further than the semis. Only Martin O'Neil would tempt the forest board, and he's not daft. He'll only play for a team with freedom to spend beyond what the Forest board can offer. Cotterill, with all respect, just isn't that much of a catch, so don't sweat.
Husky Red
There are plenty of managers out there who are the equal to Potty Cottey/Pol Cott/ waffling Worzel; Eddie Howe, Billy Davies, Cloughie, Cardiff's manager, wot about Norwich's manager, what a job he has done.... Yep plenty fit the bill. However I have said and maintain he has not web the only manager working under an extremely restricted budget and topsy turvy off the field issues but he few have had the problem of an absent owner so Steve needs 8-10 wks of a new season to be judged. For me Brett's proposed 6 months is to my mind too long, he (Cot not Brett) has had a season already but does not seemed to have learnt from his mistakes, or even accept them. Of course this may all may be a bit Hamilton as any new owner may already have someone else in mind. Personally I don't see Forest and manager parting ways just yet.
russellm
I tend to agree with ashfrodblue. The only sad thing is, in my opinion, is that he had to let Wilson go. But what would you do when you are crying out for numbers? 2 premiership players for 1 who had just one season in the premier? Hmm, I would have done the same, but sadly, things didn't work out that well, especially for Kitsu! I hope he has the money to buy some decent inexpensive players, but then again; I am not sure he can bring in what the squad requires. Just look at Sonko and Dicko. Maybe he was starting to panic, but that's not the excuse. Anyways, I like the idea of having him again, at least he is the longest serving manager in the last 3 seasons or so!
Pompey Malta
it would be nice to see what SC can do with bit of transfer cash behind him our squad was so thin this season he never had much choice in his team selection, as for Matt Ritchie & co to much sentiment im affraid if SC thinks they aint up to it so be it hes has a much better idea of talent than any of us so they went . good enough for me. we also had no points for the first seven games of the season & yet we were safe with ten games to go . i think hes done an Excellent job & should at least have the whole of next season at least . with a bit of cash who knows lets hope he has the chance to spend a little then i feel we could see his real managerial skills .
sea-juicer
Agree that those that were shipped out were not all that the fans had hoped they would be. They're not exactly setting the world a light at lower divisions? As for sonko and dicko, I've heard rumours we had to have x amount of players to field a team to ensure we didn't get points deducted. If this is true, and all you could get was sonko and dicko, to make up numbers and retain 9 points, then maybe he took them purely for that reason as no one else would come? Or were available? We can judge on what happened, and who he acquired, but we may never know if there were reasons behind this that made sense.
Midge
Agree that those that were shipped out were not all that the fans had hoped they would be. They're not exactly setting the world a light at lower divisions? As for sonko and dicko, I've heard rumours we had to have x amount of players to field a team to ensure we didn't get points deducted. If this is true, and all you could get was sonko and dicko, to make up numbers and retain 9 points, then maybe he took them purely for that reason as no one else would come? Or were available? We can judge on what happened, and who he acquired, but we may never know if there were reasons behind this that made sense.
Midge
 

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