Barker And Coppell Appointments Confirmed

09 December 2013 08:35
Can the duo take Pompey forward?

Richie Barker has officially been confirmed as Pompey's new manager with Steve Coppell also confirmed as the director of football, but are they the right men for what is a tough job?

As you'd expect, Barker said the usual things about the size of our club, how passionate the fans are and his ambitions to get Pompey out of the division and beyond as soon as possible.

From a personal point of view, Paul Tisdale was my preferred candidate for the job simply because he has more experience than Barker but most importantly because he could have instilled a philosophy to play attractive football at Pompey which the fans would have appreciated. After all, most fans come to Fratton Park to be entertained.

I'll also admit that had Barker been appointed on his own that I'd have been underwhelmed given that he had just been sacked by Crawley. No doubt the conspiracy theorists are still speculating about the time of that dismissal being just a couple of days after Guy Whittingham was sacked. 

No amount of denial from the board or details about their interviewing process is going to stop people accusing those in power at Pompey of giving out "jobs for the boys" so to speak.

Whatever the circumstances behind Barker's sacking were (and it would be interesting to discover exactly why he was fired from Crawley given his record there was fairly good before a run of seven games without a win) the board obviously think he has a lot to offer.

One of those things would be the services of Steve Coppell who could turn out to be a huge asset to this football club. Having someone with his depth of football knowledge and contacts can only be beneficial not just for the football club and how it's run but for Barker too.

Whilst Barker's record isn't outstanding it should be said that it's not too bad, either. His ability to keep Bury in League One comfortably is to his credit and let's not forget that at 38-years-old he is one of the youngest managers in the Football League.

As for short term ambitions, it is probably expecting too much for Barker to lead Pompey to promotion this season. If he did, then he'd have proven all of his doubters wrong very quickly indeed.

All I'm hoping to see is an improvement in Pompey's style of play and every single player giving everything they have. Hopefully Barker will live up to his name and show his aggressive side if players aren't pulling their weight.

Richie has also mentioned that he will be working closely with the youth team and Andy Awford so hopefully we'll see more of the likes of Jack Whatmough make an impact as the season progresses.

Progress is ultimately what Barker has got to achieve this season to keep the Pompey fans content at least. An instant impact would be ideal but he may take time to settle in so we need to be as patient as the modern football fan can be. I'm certain that all Pompey fans will be 100% behind Barker (to begin with at least) and Fratton Park will be rocking for the visit of Newport on Saturday.

Welcome to Portsmouth, Richie and Steve. You've got one hell of a job on.

Source: Fratton Faithful


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