Cotterill’s record ranks highly in table of recent Fratton bosses

112202-786_WEST_HAM_SR_10/9/11'Action from  West Ham United vs Pompey at Upton Park.'Steve Cotterill on the touchline at Upton Park''Picture:Steve Reid 112202-786
112202-786_WEST_HAM_SR_10/9/11'Action from West Ham United vs Pompey at Upton Park.'Steve Cotterill on the touchline at Upton Park''Picture:Steve Reid 112202-786

O’Keefe gets Pompey nod – but Close gets Walkes remit

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Pompey’s owners have spoken of their unshakable belief in Steve Cotterill.

Skipper Liam Lawrence has insisted the dressing room remains united.

But with four defeats in five matches, there are lingering doubts.

Certainly some Blues fans remain unconvinced about the team’s direction.

Nonetheless, the facts don’t lie.

Regardless of the current run of results, Cotterill ranks as one of the better-performing Pompey bosses of recent times.

His Fratton Park record compares highly favourably with his 11 predecessors as Blues boss.

In terms of points per league game, only Harry Redknapp, in both his spells, and Tony Pulis have a better average.

Fans don’t need reminding where both are these days managing.

In fact, Cotterill’s record is far superior to the likes of Tony Adams, Velimir Zajec, Paul Hart and Alain Perrin.

Even Avram Grant, whose FA Cup heroics saw him taken into the hearts of Pompey fans, has a league record which cannot compare with the current manager.

The former Chelsea and West Ham boss may have masterminded a memorable Cup run to the 2010 final.

But in the league, the bread and butter, the staple diet, only Adams has a worse record at 0.84.

Even the much-maligned Hart did better on that front than dear Uncle Avram.

Since January 26, 1998, Pompey have employed 12 first-team managers.

Of that list, Cotterill (1.20) currently stands fourth.

No opinion, bias or prejudice required – they are set-in-stone statistics.

Not even the recent disappointing run of results – and they have been disappointing – have been enough to see his average points-per-league-game figures sufficiently damaged.

However, defeat in the televised October 15 home fixture against Barnsley would signal a worse record than Rix.

It would also inevitably heap more pressure on the Blues to turn their season around.

Unquestionably, there is criticism from some quarters over a league placing of 19th with a clearly talented squad.

However, at present, Cotterill’s points return as boss is far better than eight of his predecessors.

Of course, such statistics don’t take into account cup results.

Cup games represent an unfair playing field in terms of comparison and a format in which draws are rare, if allowed at all.

So purely league records will be used to judge the performances of the last 12 Pompey managers.

Unsurprisingly, Redknapp occupies the top two spots, reflecting his two successful periods at Fratton Park.

It was his first spell from March 30, 2002, until November 23, 2004, which picked up the most points.

During that time he took Pompey to the Championship title – then kept them in the Premier League the next season.

By the time he walked out for Southampton, he had averaged an impressive 1.56 points per league game.

In addition, 46.55 per cent of his matches in charge in all competitions had ended in victories.

Redknapp’s return in December 2005 heralded the return of the FA Cup, the best top-flight finish for half a century and a first foray into Europe.

It also produced 1.42 points per league game on average and a 42.51 win percentage.

Third in the ranking of recent Blues bosses is Pulis.

His nine-month spell was hardly vintage, yet he kept the club in the then first division before Milan Mandaric’s trigger finger got twitchy the following season.

Still, he did manage 1.23 points per league game before moving on to Stoke, the first of two spells in the Potteries.

A mention also to Perrin, whose reign started with a win over Charlton in November 2005.

Just 20 matches and 227 days later, he left with four wins in all competitions.

An average of 0.90 points was worse than the likes of Cotterill, Rix (1.20), Steve Claridge (1.14), Perrin (0.90), Hart (0.89) and the second coming of Alan Ball (1.07).

Bringing up the rear is Adams, who endured a disastrous 106 days in charge.

The Arsenal legend over-saw two wins in 16 league games and a number of Kamikaze attacking performances.

His short tenure came to an end in February 2009, by which stage he had averaged a mere 0.69 points per league game.

He has never managed in English football again.

Back in the here and now, Cotterill is Pompey manager.

And he’s armed with a record far better than the majority of his Fratton Park predecessors in recent times.