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Day: April 19, 2015

On my application to be next Portsmouth Football Club manager…

Dear Mr McInnes,

You may not know me. In fact it is highly likely that you don’t. I haven’t been to Fratton Park in ten years. I used to be a Season Ticket holder but I left the area and fell out of love with the club. Too many crooks spoil the enjoyment and rip out the heart and all that, is that a well-known saying or have I mixed that up?

Anyway when the PST I felt a twinge in my chest. No it wasn’t the abundance of takeaway food in my system forcing my veins to throb, it was actually a sign of life in the portion of my Portsmouth Football Club heart that had been bricked up and left desolate and overgrown with weeds and strewn with litter. It was trying to burst back into life. I backed Guy Whittingham totally and having been one of the very few Pompey fans to have seen Guy as a manager before (I was a Newport IoW ST as well as Fratton Park) I had seen Guy’s work at first hand (had the chairman not pulled the plug on David Laws loan then Newport IoW would’ve survived that year).

So I was confident. Pompey legend. Lots of good will. He would do the job. Yet I found something surprising, Pompey fans demanded immediate success. They didn’t look at the fact the club needed rebuilding from bottom to top. They were just interested in the first team. Whittingham had the side in a solid position but solid wasn’t enough and you got rid of him to bring in your mate Richie Barker. He was shit wasn’t he? In a strange twist of fate I actually witnessed one of his best performances (a 2-1 defeat at Southend) but he was going to take the club down, something Guy Whittingham wasn’t doing. You made a right cock-up there didn’t you?

After that in came Andy Awford. Another club legend who did an ok job but you wanted more than ok. Instant success was demanded and when Andy didn’t get into the play-offs you pulled the plug because that is what you demanded. Now you want an experienced manager because that really worked with Richie Barker…

The thing is you’ve appointed three managers in two years and seemingly according to you, got each one wrong. That is a shit record and you need to look long and hard at yourself. Anyone is a position such of yours would get looks through narrowed eyes making three bad appointments on the spin. Do you actually know what you want? Do you want a manager who’ll be able to coach players up? Do you want a manager who’ll demand money to buy the talent to get the club up? Do you want a manager who’ll oversee a root and branch rebuild of a club that has been on its knees for far too long and that it really really needs? Seemingly not.

I’m not one of those fans who demands immediate success. I know the club needs to be fixed and that doesn’t start at the first team. It starts with the infrastructure of the club, which is seemingly lacking and has been for decades. The last real crop of young players to come through was the Kit Symons, Andy Awford, Darryl Powell and Darren Anderton era. Yes the odd one has come through since but any club who wants to be stable long-term needs to fix this issue. There is plenty of talent around Portsmouth and most of it is being hoovered up by our neighbours up the road. Fixing this issue and getting kids to stay local because the facilities and coaching is first-rate is far more important than upping the wage bill of the first team squad.

Being a community club means being at the heart of community and being in League 2 or League 1 or the Championship makes little difference to that. We’ve nearly gone bankrupt more times than I’ve seen us concede last minute equalisers. So clearly just buying players and spending more money than we’ve got isn’t a prudent strategy. Success shouldn’t be determined just by league position. Success should be determined by whether the club is in a better position as a whole. If the youth set up is better, if the fan engagement is better, if the fan experience is better all these things are just as important as where the club finishes in the league.

So if you want someone who wants to oversee a grand project to fix a broken club then give me a call. My managerial experience is vastly limited and I once helped push start a coach but actual coaching probably isn’t my forte. Yet I spent several years in the commentary box (summerising only – I don’t want anyone to ever think I was an actual commentator) and am rather astute. I don’t expect a call because you’ll go for the easy option like you’ve gone for every single time so far and hire someone who’ll tell you all the things you want to hear and then ask for a surprising amount of money in the wage bill come August.

The next guy will no doubt be hailed as the right man to win the club promotion but I wonder if they’;; be the right person to take the club forward. You need to find the guy who’ll be in place for the long-term and stick with them. Giving managers a few months is just ridiculous. Buy into a vision and let a manager see it through, if it doesn’t work then it isn’t the end of the world but until you actually give someone the time needed to fix a broken club then the club will just stay broken. A brave chairman doesn’t just do what is wanted or expected by the fans, a brave chairman shows leadership and stands up for what he believes in. You’ve yet to do this and until you do then the club will go nowhere and go nowhere fast.

Shall I assume I’m not going to get an interview…?

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On I really really really really really really like you…

Pop music. I haven’t heard a genuinely classic pop music song so far this year. I have heard many good songs but they’ve been in other genres. Yet what do you get when you get one of the greatest actors of his generation to star in a music video for a third placed Canadian Idol? You get one of the most catchy and quality pop tunes for a long, long time.

Carly Rae Jepsen burst on to the scene with Call Me Maybe and also had another hit in a collaboration with Owl City but has been off the radar for a while and then boom, she comes out with this.

Pop music should make you smile. I listen to lots of different genres of music dependent on my mood and some make you think, some make you zone out, some pumps you up but pop music should make you smile, make you bop about. This song does that and does that in spades. Who though had the idea of plonking in Tom Hanks as the lead character and why on Earth did Tom say yes?

Well surprisingly it was reportedly Tom’s idea! Yes the coolest man in Hollywood (bar Bill Murray) heard about the project as he knows Carly’s manager and when told about the music idea wanted to be asked. I mean just how cool is that? Then at the end there’s even a cameo from Justin Bieber (that I missed the first few times I watched the video). So the video ticks a lot of ‘celebrity’ boxes.

I have long thought good music videos will help change my mind on a song. For example I’m not a huge fan of ‘Sky Full of Stars’ by Coldplay but I absolutely adore the video (embedded below) so therefore when it pops on one of the music channels I don’t turn over immediately and subconsciously I like the song more than I would without a cool video.

Carly’s song is extremely boppy and catchy but the video takes it to the next level. I mean who doesn’t want to see Tom Hanks dancing? I know I do. The song is available for digital download in the UK from Sunday 26th April and this has smash hit written all over it. This will surely be her second UK #1 and has the chance to be the song of the early summer. This is pop music at its absolute best.

Catchy, cheery, a happy message. Love it and this is why I don’t write reviews. How terrible was this blog post…? Please don’t send answers on a postcard.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.