No debate to be had over future of Pompey boss

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy in action against Northampton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s Checkatrade date announced

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Pompey’s topsy-turvy season had seen the majority of supporters reserve judgement.

And even in the aftermath of FA Cup first-round disappointment there was little in the way of audible angry reaction from the away section at Kenilworth Road.

But four defeats on the bounce had been enough for the more vocal members of the star and crescent’s online community to hop off the fence and on to their keyboards

‘He needs to be sacked now,’ blasted one fan. ‘Time to go Jackett,’ ranted another. ‘Clueless!’ came the perennial riposte after a loss.

The bad news for those calling for their manager’s head four months into his reign is it ain’t gonna happen.

You can debate the progress made in the early stages of Jackett’s stewardship.

You can question the lack of playing time for the members of the League Two title-winners being feted in the summer.

And you can even doubt the wisdom of tactical and positional decisions from a man with multiple promotions under his belt.

No doubt, some of the views being forwarded were relevant observations worthy of further inspection. Others less so.

What isn’t up for questioning, though, is the future of Pompey’s 38th permanent manager.

Sorry to all those who have jumped on the anti-Jackett bandwagon across the past few weeks of disappointment but all the signs are he’s going to be hanging around for the foreseeable future.

Take away the debate over the validity of any criticism. Likewise, the merits of demands for a change 21 fixtures into Jackett’s PO4 posting.

The 55-year-old is going to be given the chance to shape his Pompey vision – whether his critics like it or not.

Every single signal from the Fratton hierarchy points to a long-term view being taken over the club’s managerial position.

Just last month, Eisner outlined his vision of Jackett staying put at the club for a decade.

‘To have a manager that is on life support from the day he arrived,’ Eisner said.

‘What kind of confidence can he have in leading a team?’

It’s an approach at odds with Eisner’s new peers in English football.

Two years ago, the average lifespan of an English manager was measured at 1.23 years.

It’s a fair assumption that figure has shortened in the ensuing period.

Through his Guildhall address, endless rounds of interviews and meetings with supporters, Eisner preached a mantra of operating with a steady hand at the tiller in the new era of ownership.

It was a message which was applauded and received favourably enough for 81.4 per cent of the club’s equity holding to agree the sale.

The calls over the summer were for organic growth both on and off the pitch.

In fact, it’s a job to remember a single supporter demanding much more than League One stability.

It appears the reality of the process has engendered a rather different response in some quarters.

Jackett has set about the rebuilding job he believed was necessary to carry the club forward.

The average age of the first team has dropped by five years with just a single, inherited, player in his squad north of 30. It was six last season.

Yes, eyebrows have been raised at how some of the change has been actioned, especially with many of the players lauded as heroes a few months ago now on the fringes.

The run of league defeats leaves Pompey in a League One netherworld – five points from the play-offs and the same distance from the drop zone.

There’s every chance little will change over the next six months.

Being confronted with the mundanity of what lies ahead seems to have distracted some from the reality this is what people signed up for.