Teenage Kicks: Cook failed to show loyalty he preached

Paul Cook celebrates the League Two title with Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook celebrates the League Two title with Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Theo Widdrington in Pompey training. Picture: Sarah Standing

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Paul Cook’s departure after two years at the Pompey helm leaves an overriding feeling of disappointment.

Until now, I have consistently backed him in the face of unwarranted criticism.

But this week’s developments have lowered my high opinion of him.

I wonder whether Cook is searching for a quieter life after the hurt of his conflict with some fans last season.

Let’s face it, Wigan fans will not be so demanding.

And if this is the case, I accept it.

Of course, Cook may have been wooed by a more lucrative financial package.

And as a manager in such a fickle business, I guess you have to look after yourself while you can.

Then there is the opportunity to head back north and be closer to his Liverpool roots.

In truth, all of the above are likely to have had a bearing on his change of heart and I can understand them.

But it is his dishonesty which has really angered me.

Cook has been vocal in his disapproval of managers getting the sack.

And then in the wake of the title triumph, he said he would never leave Pompey, unless he was pushed.

Less than a month later he walks out of Fratton Park.

How can he question the loyalty of owners to managers when he jumps ship in this manner?

I see no loyalty in that.

I feel his job at Pompey was only half done.

I wish him well at Wigan and thank him for finally dragging the Blues out of League Two but this is a massive let-down.

Pompey are on the up, even if it is not with Cook.

• Ben Sturt, 18, is a season-ticket holder in the Fratton End and writes a column in the Sports Mail every Sunday.