What most can agree on when it comes to Portsmouth leadership shake-up

Brett Pitman replaces Gareth Evans at Shrewsbury. Picture: Simon Davies
Brett Pitman replaces Gareth Evans at Shrewsbury. Picture: Simon Davies
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It was news that took almost everyone aback. 

Just eight matches and little more than a month into the season, Kenny Jackett has opted to shake up his Pompey leadership roles.

Brett Pitman’s no longer club captain, with Gareth Evans also being stripped of deputy duties.

Instead, it’ll be Tom Naylor donning the armband and Lee Brown will serve as his lieutenant when he returns from his Achilles problem. 

Having been informed on Monday morning, it explains why Naylor was skipper against Crawley on Tuesday, despite Evans starting and Pitman coming on at half-time.

It’s caused the debate to rage on social media, with numerous theories being bandied around. 

We won’t know exactly until Jackett addresses the media. 

One thing can almost unanimously be agreed, however. That’s the timing of the decision, which large sections of the Fratton faithful can’t fathom. 

There were no guarantees either player was going to be an out-and-out starter this term. 

Last season, Pitman played a bit-part role, only having a sustained spell in the line-up from March onwards after a period completely in the cold.

Evans, meanwhile, was Jackett’s go-to man, a consummate professional who the boss had the utmost trust in and was rewarded with a new two-year contract.

Yet with forwards such as John Marquis, Marcus Harness, Ellis Harrison and Ryan Williams arriving, it appeared both  were in line for less prominent roles. 

When asked by The News if the captaincy would change before the summer programme began, Jackett declared the status quo would remain.

However, both started on the bench for the opening friendly at UCD, which would muddy the waters. 

While Evans has started four times this term, he’s been unused twice and was ignominiously substituted at Blackpool just 25 minutes after replacing Marcus Harness.

Pitman is still to feature from the outset, despite him being confident he’d bolster Pompey's promotion hopes if he was starting every week. 

The choices Jackett's made for his new chiefs on the pitch can hardly be disputed.

Naylor’s been captain five times already this campaign and is a certainty to play every game when available – either in central midfield or the heart of defence.

Brown’s also featured consistently since his arrival from Bristol Rovers last summer.

But the timing of the decision is what’s difficult to comprehend.