Tubbs saga will be forgotten amid success

Matt Tubbs. Picture: Joe Pepler

Matt Tubbs. Picture: Joe Pepler

Michael Eisner. Picture: Neil Marshall

Only winners and heroes in Pompey’s new dawn

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The murmurs of discontent had been building in volume all week.

But instead of rising to a crescendo, they dissipated to a barely-audible whisper.

Mark Burchill and Graham Rix

Mark Burchill and Graham Rix

There’s nothing quite like three points to make everything just fine.

And that was reflected on the pages of portsmouth.co.uk

After the low of Leyton Orient, the anger had been palpable with the comment count reaching 136 across two post-match stories.

All of that on the back end of a week of mourning at Matt Tubbs’ departure, with plenty questioning the wisdom of that move.

It was all change on Saturday as the reaction to a dominant performance over a promotion rival generated 56 comments.

The groundswell of frustration at Tubbs not being about had dried up to, well, not a single published view.

It’s been two games without a goal in Eastleigh colours for the striker since his exit last week.

Bagging against Forest Green this weekend and Pompey failing to harvest three points at Yeovil would, no doubt, see the issue surface again.

Why? Because these are the opinions which drive the game.

And when the subject matter is a goalscorer those views become intensified.

Casting your mind back 14 years delivers a case of Groundhog Day when it comes to a marksman’s lack of selection.

The parallels between Tubbs and Mark Burchill are striking.

Burchill’s place as a favourite with Pompey fans was quickly established after he was signed by Graham Rix in 2001.

A cruciate knee ligament sidelined him for 11 months, however, and when he returned Harry Redknapp was in situ as manager.

Burchill, it very quickly emerged, wasn’t Redknapp’s cup of tea.

That paved the way for all kinds of conspiratorial tales about why he wasn’t being featured.

Most famous was the myth it was Burchill who hit Redknapp with a football during a TV interview (it was actually a young defender by the name of Terry Parker).

The clamour grew strongest for his inclusion when Pompey’s form faltered during a run of one win from nine games.

Burchill was quickly forgotten, however, as Redknapp went out and signed Yakubu – and the Blues stormed to the Championship title in record-breaking fashion.

Questions were asked when Alan Ball wouldn’t publicly praise John Aloisi, as he fired the goals to put him at the head of the Division One goalscoring charts.

And remember how the Bundesliga’s top scorer couldn’t get a game at Pompey? Theofanis Gekas was a hot topic as the Blues struggled under Paul Hart in 2009.

As with of all of those men, there has been a similar search for a plot line with Tubbs.

The 31-year-old’s public words questioning Paul Cook last week will probably see that deepen.

True, they haven’t been received very well in the offices at Pompey’s Roko training base.

The fact of the matter is, however, Cook simply doesn’t rate the striker.

Eyebrows can be raised at that assessment and that is probably the case inside and out the Fratton corridors of power.

It’s well established that Blues chairman Iain McInnes is a paid-up member of the Matt Tubbs Appreciation Society.

But his views will be tempered by the knowledge it’s a board’s lot to appoint a manager – and then back their decisions.

If this season fails, Tubbs’ presence will linger around Cook. If it proves memorable, like Burchill, he’ll be quickly consigned to history.

Ultimately, managers live or die by these decisions. They deserve the freedom to make them.

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