Appleton Leaves For Blackpool

Last updated : 07 November 2012 By Jim Bonner

Michael Appleton has left Portsmouth after 363 days in charge to join Championship side Blackpool.

The move has been on the cards for the last couple of days and the news has been met with disappointment from many Pompey fans, although certainly not all of them.

I am personally slightly surprised that Appy decided to walk having previously stated that he wanted to see the job through at Fratton Park despite having to deal with the monumental amount of problems in the past year.

But having also stated that it would take a "sensational offer" to leave Portsmouth, it's strange that he would accept a one-year rolling contract with the Tangerines.

It will be interesting to see how he does at a club that is financially stable and has a squad capable of challenging for promotion to the Premier League.

After all, detractors will point to his lack of tactical nous and reluctance to use substitutions as a reason for some dreadful performances this season, and some may even believe that Pompey should have stayed in the Championship with the team he assembled last season.

Still, this is terrible news from a stability point of view. Who knows how many players will leave now that Appleton has departed and who would want to take on such a difficult job?

Guy Whittingham will be placed in temporary charge for the trip to Bury on Saturday and is favourite to take the job permanently given his ties to the club and a decent spell in caretaker charge along with Stuart Gray.

However, Corporal Punishment has previously said that he wasn't interested in taking the top job, despite the backing he'd have from everyone at the club if he did.

Other early names being talked about are Steve Cotterill (again), Harry Redknapp (again), Paul Jewell, Paul Ince and Phil Brown.

My personal punt would be on former Pompey defender Noel Blake. Blake was a cult hero back in the 80's, winning Pompey's Player Of The Season award in 1986 and 1987.

The 50-year-old is having some success in charge of the England U-19 side and could be tempted back to Fratton Park.

Whoever takes charge has a hell of a job on their hands, but this is a massive opportunity to play a huge part in the revival of Portsmouth Football Club.

This is my last article for a couple of weeks as I'm going on a much needed holiday after the events of this year! Who knows what would have happened by the time I get back?

Perhaps results would have effectively relegated Pompey to League Two? Maybe Whittingham will be the catalyst for a charge up the table? Maybe the Trust will complete the takeover of the club? (Ha!)

Whatever happens, one thing is for certain. It is never dull supporting Portsmouth Football Club.