Category Archives: Portsmouth

The Guardiola Effect

With Portsmouth appointing Danny Cowley and his Brother Nicky as new coaches yesterday and having watched their interview, It was hard not to start thinking of the Guardiola Effect.

In case you haven’t seen the interview, the Cowley brothers were asked how they like their teams to play football.

The answer …

With a High Pressing line, attacking on the front foot and fast, giving the opposition no time to think

Having listened to this, the mind started to wander towards Pep Guardiola. You see his teams have played that way for years. The results are obvious. Trophies!

Now you can argue that he has brought success, but there are many negations for that, because players still have to perform. Although, if you were in charge of a team that had very very rich owners giving you a blank cheque book to buy the best, then I challenge you to not buy them.

Its this transition caused by Guardiola, that has led a number of managers to follow suit. Some examples are: Mauricio Pochettino, now at Paris St Germain, Maurizio Sarri, formerly of Chelsea and Juventus and Jurgen Klopp, of… Oh Yes, Liverpool.

Now these are some more famous examples. Each of course would argue that he has his own ideas behind that philosophy. Lets, however, look closer to home for some more examples of The Guardiola Effect.

In the Championship, Darren Moore now at Sheffield Wednesday, while in League One: Grant McCann at Hull City, Russ Martin at MK Dons. More on MK Dons in a moment. Mark Robinson at AFC Wimbledon and finally Darren Ferguson at Peterborough All of these are managers who, are adapting the Guardiola effect.

Now when you actually stop and think about it, the principle is very simple. Your team has two parts of its game. In Possession and Out of Possession. Simply put, when you lose the ball your have to win it back again and keep control of it so you can dictate the pace of the game and wear the other team down.

Ultimately, you want to be playing in your opponents defensive area, which is your final third because attack is the best form of defence.

Make Sense?…

Games of Football are won by scoring goals and not conceding them. This was embodied by Guardiola’s teams at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City

If you concede more than one every game, then clearly you are not going to be very successful. This brings me on very nicely to two team who through the years, do this very well.

First cast your mind back, waayy back to the mid-eighties. Wimbledon, love them or loathe them, played the game this way. In those days they played the POMO game – Possession Of Maximum Opportunity.

It was successful, though they bypassed the midfield and relied on winning second balls, they gained lots of promotions this way and won an FA Cup Final in 1988 against Liverpool thanks to a Lawrie Sanchez goal.

Bolton Wanderers, years later under Sam Allardyce, were also as successful playing like this. Now fast forward to date and this current season. Currently in League One, MK Dons under the guidance of Russ Martin, they are arguably playing the most successful brand of football throughout the Football League.

They play possession based football, which week in week out causes their opponents no end of problems and Martin’s side invariably win the stats charts by miles compared to other teams.

MK Dons, play the Guardiola Effect very well, wearing teams down and it is no coincidence that they often score last minute goals, simply because the other team are tired from trying to win the ball back.

The transition is fairly smooth and the opposition very rarely get to touch the ball. A testament to how effective this style of play is demonstrated by regular appearances of MK Dons players’ names appearing in the League One Team of the Week.

Now they may not win promotion this season, but the play-offs are a possibility along with Portsmouth. They will be strong favourites for automatic promotion, possibly even as champions next season from League One.

Whether Portsmouth do get Promotion this season via the play-offs, due to the Guardiola effect remains to be seen, but it will be an exciting period in PO4 for the next 12 games.

So, who else will the Guardiola Effect… Affect?

Portsmouth aPPOINT Danny Cowley as new boss

Portsmouth FC, who are currently looking for a new manager, have gone strangely quiet on this topic in the last few days. Joe Gallen, was the Interim coach for Tuesday night’s game at Peterborough.

The club, however, say they have had a number of applications, but despite their being several names linked to the job, two appear to have rules themselves out completely. Those being Neil Harris and Daniel Stendel. This was on the basis of the appointment Portsmouth are keen on, which is short term until the end of the season. While both Harris and Stendel, wanted longer term contracts.

All of which has apparently left the path clear for the Cowley Brothers. Danny and Nicky Cowley, who have been out of work since leaving Huddersfield. It is understood the club have held extensive talks with the pair and have named them as new coaches of Pompey until the end of the season.

It is not understoood what role if any Joe Gallen will play in the new set up. Gallen has been Kenny Jackett’s right hand man, for several years, but in the wake of Jacketts departure, he was put in sole charge. And judging by the way he donned more formal clothing on Tuesday sees himself as a candidate, but with the Cowleys set to be appointed it might be a different picture.

Fan Excitement

Will the Cowleys appointment give the fans excitement? They certainly were not the coaches that perhaps many were expecting, however, they are still none the less very successful at lower league level

Every club they have been with since starting out at Concord Rangers they have improved and more importantly from Portsmouth’s view, achieved promotion to a higher league.

Their last notable success was with Lincoln City, before the Cowleys’ appointment Lincoln were a non-league side, but under the Cowleys they got promoted back into the Football League & subsequently gained promotion to League One.

This success attracted Huddersfield Town to come calling. The Brothers then left Lincoln, who at the time were riding high in League One to take over at the Yorkshire based club. Sadly for them despite saving The Terriers from relegation, the Cowleys were sacked and have been out of work ever since.

Success

Right now though they may not star names as some other managers are, but if they bring success to Pompey and achieve promotion to the Championship then the Fratton Faithful will be very happy indeed!

The brand of football the Cowleys will bring to Pompey is expansive and attacking so you can be sure given the talented squad the South Coast club have, in my opinion if not automatic promotion, then at the very least the play offs are a certainty. Either way though it is going to be a very exciting end to the season for the club.

Do you think Pompey will be promoted to the Championship at the end of the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…..

Portsmouth’s MANAGERIAL dILemma

Portsmouth Football Club hot on the heels of losing the EFL Check A Trade Trophy Final to Salford on Saturday are now facing a managerial dilemma

Following the shock loss to Salford City on Saturday Kenny Jackett, the first team manager departed the club.

Many die hard Pompey fans will tell you its been long over due. This author, however, was in the camp of seeing what happens at the seasons end That though proved to be a false hope after the result on Saturday

Portsmouth were devoid of ideas and persisted in trying to go through Salford’s packed midfield, which clearly failed to work. When they did finally open the midfield up, they had joy in getting crosses in.

But that digresses from the point…

This brings us to Pompey’s managerial dilemma…

Following Kenny Jackett’s departure his trusted assistant Joe Gallen is in temporary charge for tonights game at Peterborough.

Gallen, according to the clubs website has the job on a game by game basis, while they interview prospective new managers

The dilemma is ultimately of the South-Coast Club’s own making according to Mark Caitlin the CEO

It is like this, Portsmouth are currently just outside the League One play -offs in seventh position. This is because other results went against them on Saturday. There is still 13 games left to play in the 2020/21 season Caitlin has stated that the post is attracting plenty of interest.

So, with this in mind, do they stick with Joe Gallen until the end of the current campaign? Appoint an Interim manager and then weigh up their options again in the summer? Or confirm a permanent manager now and go for it?

Of the many linked names with the vacancy these are just a few of the names that stand out:

Potential Candidates

Daniel Stendel you might recall was in charge of Barnsley, when they got promoted from League One and he got them playing some super football.

He led the Reds to promotion to the Championship at the first attempt as well as winning the EFL League One Manager of The Year award.

This subsequently attracted the attention of Hearts and Stendel was tempted north of the Border to the Scottish Premiership, against the back drop of the Scottish clubs troubles at that time.

Currently now out of work, it is thought he has been interviewed for the job. The sticking point seems to be the length of the contract Portsmouth are offering, as discussed above.

Add into the equation, the fact that AS Nancy in France are also very keen on him and willing to offer him a longer term contract, then it becomes a real dilemma for Portsmouth and one that is of their own making

There are of course other names in the frame, such as Neil Harris, but he is unlikely to excite fans despite the fact that he got Millwall promoted from the Championship.

Danny Cowley, is another linked name, but has previously stated he wants to manager in the Championship following his time at Huddersfield Town.

On the other hand, Cowley has said that he would like the chance to take Pompey there. They are after all: a big club, great history, superb fan base and Cowley has a more than impressive CV, which until the Huddersfield appointment was littered with success and numerous promotions.

So, with all that said what do Portsmouth do? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below….

Will Portsmouth Retain the EFL Trophy?

Portsmouth travel to Wembley tomorrow to face Salford City in the delayed EFL Trophy Final from last year.

In a bizarre situation, due to the COVID- 19 Pandemic , Portsmouth face Salford City in the 2019/20 final and are looking to create history as being the first team to retain the Trophy.

In the previous final held at Wembley they beat Sunderland on penalties to win it for the first time.

The strange circumstance arouse because should Portsmouth win and create history it will stand for the briefest of times. This is due to the fact that on the following day the 2018/19 beaten finalists Sunderland face Tranmere in this year’s cup final. This is also set to be a League One v League Two affair.

Poor Run

Portsmouth, though favourites in many peoples eyes due to their: large fan base, fantastic support and history, come into this match on the back of very poor run of results.

They were top at Christmas time and in such a good run of form that for many automatic promotion was nailed on.

Since then, however, instead of scoring goals for fun Pompey have been shipping them in instead, though they still have a positive goal difference. Their current form highlights them as third bottom of League One and in addition, a minus six goal difference.

Add into the bargain that their manager Kenny Jacket is under pressure to turn their form around a fact he acknowledges.

But with a bit of food for thought, should Portsmouth lose then it is possible that Jacket may well choose to walk. This though would be out of character for him to do so during a season.

His past history shows that he usually stays with a club for an average of four years, then if the club aren’t progressing as he thinks they should, leaves at the end of the campaign.

Salford

Salford by comparison, are currently ninth in League Two.

On current form based on the last six matches, they sit 16th with a minus one goal difference.

Under the guidance of Richie Wellens they have done well this season. Though the owners of the club, which are the class of 92 no less, have made it very clear and plain that promotion this season is a must.

Whether that is achieved remains to be seen. So, Wellens is under pressure of a different sort going into the game with Salford massive underdogs.

Either way it promises to be a good game.

Who do you think will win? Give us your thoughts in the comments below…

Portsmouth 0 Southampton 4 …

The eagerly awaited South Coast Derby eventually came last night, as league 1 Portsmouth took on Premier League Southampton. It was the first derby between the two teams since 2012, and predictably enough, went the way of Southampton.

The scoreline might seem a tad harsh on Portsmouth, who fielded a strong side last night. The side bore close resemblance to the team that narrowly missed out on Promotion from League 1 Last season.

Southampton for their part were fresh, following being beaten in another South Coast Derby on Friday night against Bournemouth. That game saw them on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline, so last nights game was always going to be a tall order for Portsmouth

However…

Portsmouth more than held their own for 30 minutes, before making two sloppy mistakes by their standards. These defensive errors, which led to Danny Ings Scoring two goals.