Wilson’s Wisdom: Tubbs can only prosper if others create

Matt Tubbs
Matt Tubbs
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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It’s been one of the longer transfer pursuits in Pompey’s recent history and indicates a shift in policy.

Matt Tubbs finally arrived at Fratton Park this week to bolster the striking options available to Andy Awford.

The 30-year-old is an experienced campaigner and knows his way around the division.

He also knows where the goal is and has done well on loan at AFC Wimbledon this season, scoring 15 goals in all competitions.

He should be a useful asset.

But the worry is that some see him as the magical cure to Pompey’s ailments.

The reality is he can’t fix the problems on his own.

Hope and expectation are the regular currency for Blues fans but perhaps we’re all a touch guilty of setting the bar too high on occasions.

Perhaps we’re entitled to set the bar high – after all, a club of this size and stature should never be content with knocking around in the bottom division for several seasons – so maybe the problem is in setting that bar too high too quickly.

Strikers thrive or fail on the service they get.

Guy Whittingham would never have scored 42 goals in the 1992-93 season without Paul Walsh setting up so many of them.

The better ones take the majority of the chances that come their way, the average ones miss a few more, while the poor ones miss too many.

The exceptional ones create and score their own opportunities out of nothing.

But one of Pompey’s major problems this season is the lack of chances they have created – especially away from home.

Of course, the art of putting the ball in the net is not the only part of a forward’s game.

Workrate, movement and creating opportunities for others all come into the reckoning.

But goals are how a striker is always judged and delivering that precious commodity is why he has been brought to the club.

Tubbs was expected to make his debut at Newport County and it remains to be seen exactly how he fits into the plans over the coming weeks and months.

During his spell with the Dons, his combination with Adebayo Akinfenwa has been fruitful.

But that has seen him playing alongside a physical strike partner in a two-man forward line.

In recent times, Awford has reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation away from Fratton Park and it’s hard to see how that formation will get the best from the new striker.

And getting the best from his new man will be the problem Awford needs to resolve as quickly as possible.

Craig Westcarr was recruited on the back of a decent goalscoring record but it’s not as if he’s wasted a glut of glaring opportunities this season.

Many think Pompey have been lacking that regular goalscorer this season and missing a threat in behind the opposition defence.

But a goalscorer can only seriously be judged when those alongside him allow him to flourish.

So whether it’s crosses, knock-downs or clever through balls, someone has to be the creator.