Is this the most 'pessimistic' Portsmouth fan out there at the moment?
The predicament Pompey currently find themselves in has been getting us all frustrated lately.
Poor results, players out of form, individual errors, the football on offer, growing criticism of the manager, that ‘disgusting’ first-half performance at Northampton, and the Blues’ main promotion rivals leaving them in their wake – it’s a toxic cocktail of factors which make being a member of the Fratton faithful a hard slog at the minute and many pessimistic about the future at PO4.
Yet heading into tonight’s game against Sunderland, north-east website Roker Report claims they’ve unearthed a Pompey fan who has taken this defeatest attitude to a new depths.
Indeed, they suggest the contributor to their preview piece, Pompeynewsnow co-editor Freddie Webb, is ‘probably the most pessimistic opposition supporter’ they’ve heard from this season.
Well, we’ll let Freddie’s answers to some of the Roker Report’s pre-match questions reveal all.
In fairness, though, his thoughts are probably shared by many Pompey fans out there at present, so he’s not alone.
On Saturday’s embarrassing hammering at Northampton...
Pompey’s form and ability to create goalscoring opportunities has dropped off a cliff since February, starting with a 3-1 defeat against Bristol Rovers and of course the humiliating defeat against Northampton Town.
The hammering was caused by a multitude of reasons, ranging from defensive errors, a lack of movement in midfield which invited Northampton to press aggressively and no clear distribution plan to the forwards aside from long balls. Think about how Sunderland performed regularly under Phil Parkinson, this was ten times worse.
Overall, the lack of clear tactical approach, with a group of players low on confidence, led to the defeat – one which Portsmouth fans all saw coming.
On Kenny Jackett…
The manager has no more support from the fans. It has all become very toxic. Personally, I supported Jackett earlier in the season due to him finally finding a tactical approach that got the best out of Pompey’s key players.
An aggressive pressing 4-4-2 system, which worked in the 3-1 away win at the Stadium of Light, coinciding with the players believing in themselves, allowed the Blues to compete for automatic promotion.
Now, all that progress and the winning mentality has completely vanished from the team. They are a totally different side.
Kenny Jackett doesn’t have my support anymore and very little from the rest of the fanbase. But even with this negativity, the board support him.
With Pompey estimated to be losing £700k a month, they presumably feel it would cost the club too much to sack him, even though the same problems of inconsistency, team selection, man-management, and substitutions, have persisted for three years.
The reason for his job security is purely speculation, but one thing is certain, he has the safest job in football until his contract expires in the summer.
On Pompey’s slump in form…
Wow, where do I start?
The abandonment of the tactical philosophy of earlier in the season is the key point, but even more worryingly, the morale of the squad has tanked.
Before the six-game slump, Mark Catlin, CEO of the club, told the News Portsmouth out of contract players – 11 in total including key personnel such as Tom Naylor, Craig MacGillivray and Jack Whatmough – were told to expect a reduction in wages if they stayed at Fratton Park due to the financial implications of the pandemic.
That article was published on 10 February 2021, before the six-game slump where Pompey have shelled 11 goals and failed to get results against mid-table and relegation-threatened sides.
It is no coincidence that the form has dropped significantly after this interview. In the long term, the club could be a mess.
On the Papa John’s Trophy final…
The EFL Trophy was pointless to start with given the inclusion of Premier League and Championship B teams, but now the game is even more of a dead rubber.
However, Pompey have to win that game for the players to retain confidence in themselves and to avoid embarrassment against a League Two side.
It is the most meaningful meaningless game the Blues will ever play.
And tonight’s score prediction for the Sunderland game…
3-0 Sunderland win, and it could easily be more.
Pompey are in wretched form and I have no hope this side will drag themselves out of it. All of the Blues' weaknesses this season, and over the past three seasons of failure, will be on display in front of the Sky cameras.
Portsmouth management will get shown up by an ambitious club on the rise.
The players and staff are lucky that fans aren’t allowed in the stadium, the relationship between the two has completely gone and might never recover.