Hero’s scathing attack after Macca exit

Former Pompey player Paul Walsh
Former Pompey player Paul Walsh
Carl Baker. Picture: Joe Pepler

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POMPEY hero Paul Walsh has launched a furious attack on the club in the wake of Alan McLoughlin’s shock exit.

The Blues hall-of-famer has aimed a fierce broadside at the Fratton Park board in the wake of McLoughlin’s departure.

In an astonishing onslaught, Walsh questioned the experience and knowledge of those making decisions at PO4.

He also passionately backed first-team coach McLoughlin’s football experience, and insisted he’s been made a ‘scapegoat’.

Pompey yesterday released a statement saying they are refusing to comment on the future of club employees, with McLoughlin still officially on the payroll, as the saga continues.

His future will, however, become clearer on Monday when the former midfielder is set for further talks with the club.

When contacted by The News, McLoughlin declined to comment on the situation.

But Walsh: ‘The problem is you’ve got supposed high-net worth board members who think they know what they are doing.

‘But they are just punters with a few quid. That’s all.

‘Why do board members have to look for excuses or scapegoats when they haven’t got a clue themselves?

‘It’s propaganda. It’s what I hate about football most. It makes me so happy I’m not in the game any more.

‘They are punters, they are football supporters who have a decision in Portsmouth Football Club now. That’s the most dangerous thing that can happen.

‘They’ll make a mess of it, but what do you expect?

‘You’ve got supporters listening to supporters on football decisions.

‘This lot think they are hands on, but they are going to mess it up.

‘The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

‘They don’t know how to play the game and it’s not a graph of straight upward trends in football. Look at Liverpool this season.

‘Sometimes it goes brilliantly well, sometimes it takes a bit more time.

‘These people think they have all the answers, but they haven’t.

‘They are playing Football Manager.

‘Ultimately, you’ve got people who are making decisions who have no football knowledge, I’m afraid.’

Walsh delivered a ringing endorsement of McLoughlin’s football credentials, and his suitability for a role on the Pompey coaching staff.

He said: ‘Alan McLoughlin was a very intelligent goalscoring, forward-running midfielder, and when in his company I enjoy talking with him about his way of playing football.

‘For me, there wasn’t a better person than the one in place. I’ve got a lot of admiration and affection for Macca.’

He’s a good guy. He knows the game.

‘But now we have these other people who think they know it better.

‘They sit in the middle of the south stand and all of a sudden they know the ins and outs of football. That’s what it is.

‘These people think they know what they are doing.

‘They saved the club and they think that makes everything okay.

‘It makes me so angry. Who are these people? They’ve never kicked a ball in earnest and never played.

‘Do they know what it’s like being a player in a team or a manager?

‘Do they know whats it’s like playing with a lack of confidence or being out injured.

‘No chance. They know nothing.

‘But because some of them have been relatively successful in business they can now have a mess around with Portsmouth Football Club.’

Walsh rounded on the notion an exit for McLoughlin had been taken out of Awford’s hands.

He acknowledged the boards’ role in saving Pompey from going out of existence, but felt that didn’t equip them to make footballing decisions.

‘Andy Awford should be dictating his own staff. They’ve undermined him, if it’s different,’ said Walsh.

‘All of a sudden Alan McLoughlin is not good enough to be coach. So who is?

‘Andy obviously wanted Alan there, but now Ron Manager is suddenly deciding who is a good coach.

‘They’ll listen to someone talk rubbish in an interview and think: He talks good rubbish, we’ll have him.

‘The best football clubs appoint knowledgeable people with good experience – and let them get on with it.

‘Because people watch it they think they know it.

‘Of course they can have an opinion on it, but it doesn’t mean they know it.

‘They have done well in managing their way out of the financial trouble the club was in – but that has nothing to do with football.’