OPINION: Pompey to benefit from recruitment drive that added leaders

Pompey season-ticket holder Daniel Statham returns with his View From Up North column.

Friday, 27th July 2018, 3:57 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 4:59 pm
Summer recruit Tom Naylor Picture: Joe Pepler

This week, the North Stand regular discusses the influx of leadership qualities boss Kenny Jackett has added to his squad.


Last season's injury problems highlighted Pompey's leadership void when key members of the first team were out of action.

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Summer recruit Tom Naylor Picture: Joe Pepler

But this season's transfer recruitment has gone some way to amending this issue.

In terms of last season's leading men, Nathan Thompson, Brett Pitman, Gareth Evans, Danny Rose and Stuart O'Keefe all had lengthy spells in the treatment room.

As a result, it was in the centre of the park, in particular, where that leadership void was felt most.

Following Michael Doyle's departure last summer, there was a distinct lack of leadership in the squad.

Giving Pitman the captaincy, as a new signing and a forward, was a bold move from Jackett.

In my view, it's hard to influence the game as a leader and focus on scoring goals, although Pitman did a fantastic job at both last season.

But I always felt a more natural leader would be someone like Matt Clarke, Thompson or Rose.  

Thompson is a player I cannot praise enough.

His work rate, defensive ability and that side of his game is perfect.

On the pitch, and as a former captain, he provides real leadership at the back.

Jackett's recruitment policy so far this window has been perfect, filling the gaps which caused us the most headaches last term.

The arrivals of Tom Naylor and Lee Brown have added vital experience and leadership to two positions which caused us a real headache last season '“ left-back and central midfield.

Both players were key individuals in their respective former sides: Burton and Bristol Rovers.

The duo are both natural on-the-field leaders and provide excellent depth as senior figures to fall back on should the main protagonists fall foul of any injury complaints '“ as happened all to regularly last season.

Another area where leadership was lacking, in my opinion, was in goal.

I really rate Luke McGee, he is an insanely good shot-stopper '“ but his flaws have been fairly well publicised.

His kicking has let him down at times, while he needs to be more authoritative.

Yet, with the signing of Craig MacGillivray, we now have that extra authority figure and leadership at the back '“ which McGee isn't currently available to offer.

Fingers crossed, Pompey will have better luck with injuries this season than we did last term. 

But if the worst comes to the worst, we have much better depth '“ both in quality and leadership ability.

And this surely puts us in a strong position for this upcoming season.

Is it too early to dare to dream?