Wilson’s Wisdom: Hard to see how Matt Tubbs has Pompey future

Matt Tubbs. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Tubbs. Picture: Joe Pepler
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On Boxing Day 2014, an opposition striker was given a one-man standing ovation by the Pompey chairman.

Matt Tubbs had scored against Andy Awford’s side as AFC Wimbledon sealed a 2-0 win and Iain McInnes was suitably impressed by his performance

Less than a fortnight later, Tubbs was conducting interviews as a Pompey player.

The story goes that Tubbs was available on loan at the start of last season and McInnes was keen to see him recruited.

But Awford had already decided to use the formation that had worked so well for him towards the end of the previous campaign and declined.

Awford felt he didn’t need him and the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Then Wes Fogden suffered a serious knee injury in pre-season, the system needed a rethink and the original plans went up in smoke.

For a striker with the goalscoring record he has, it’s surprising how Tubbs is still not everyone’s cup of tea.

Boss Paul Cook made it pretty clear at his press conference earlier this week the former Bournemouth man is on his way.

Whether that happens in January or in a loan deal later this season, remains to be seen.

And of course, nothing is ever definite until it happens.

Football is so often built on shifting sands and things may yet change.

But if I was putting some money on it, it looks pretty certain Tubbs is on his way.

In his defence, his goalscoring record remains impressive. Nine goals in the second half of last term – in average team – and five goals this season is a healthy return.

Tubbs is certainly not a lazy striker but he can go long spells of a game without looking like he is involved.

He is a player who needs service and chances to shine.

Perhaps more is required of the modern-day striker and Cook is looking for more than a pure goalscorer to get the very best out of his side.

In Cook’s system, Caolan Lavery has operated as the striker with others playing in behind.

But Tubbs has always thrived alongside a big man, as he showed in his partnership with Ryan Taylor towards the end of last season.

For Cook to accommodate Tubbs would require the manager to move away from his preferred way of playing.

Change the whole system for one man or change one man for the benefit of the system?

It’s a no-brainer really.

As a Tubbs fan, it’s difficult to accept he’s on his way.

But I can also see why it’s the right thing for all parties.

Scoring goals is the toughest part of the game and he has a natural gift for it.

But scoring goals does not guarantee success – you have to keep them out as well.

And Cook’s method and philosophy is based on defensive solidity, control of the game and dominating possession.

He’s a quality goalscorer, a good player and a very nice bloke.

But unfortunately, Tubbs is not part of Pompey’s future.