Cook Appointed As Pompey Manager

Last updated : 12 May 2015 By Jim Bonner

As expected, Paul Cook has been named as the new manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

The 48-year-old left Chesterfield after their elimination from the play-offs after a compensation fee and terms were agreed. He has signed a three-year-deal and will move down to Portsmouth to begin working on his squad through the summer.

It is expected that former Accrington Stanley boss Leam Richardson will follow Cook from the Spireites and join him on the Pompey coaching team.

But is Cook the right man for Pompey? His managerial career has seen almost nothing but relative success excluding his first job at Southport when he was sacked in 2007.

He fared much better at Irish side Sligo Rovers having transformed them from a struggling team into a trophy winning side in the space of five years before he returned to England and Accrington Stanley where he guided them to a 14th place finish in the 2011-2012 season when they were hot favourites for relegation.

That achievement saw Chesterfield prise him away from Stanley where he finished 8th in his first season in charge before winning League Two last year. That impressive form continued with the Spireites finishing sixth in League One despite having one of the smallest budgets in the division, which turned out to be one of the reasons he left the club.

Off the pitch, Cook is seen as one of the respectful men in management and has earned plaudits for the way he handles the media. He certainly has something about him and the only real question about him would be whether he could handle the immense pressure he would be under given the size of the clubs he has previously managed and the lofty expectations of the Portsmouth fans.

He is almost certainly the best realistic candidate for the job. For those Pompey fans who are "underwhelmed" at this appointment, just who do you think would do a better job that the club could realistically attract?

Brian McDermott, Nigel Adkins and Mark Warburton are not going to drop down into League Two for any club whilst Neil Warnock almost certainly isn't looking for a job in management now given his age.

Ian Holloway was the fans' initial favourite for the role and whilst he is charismatic and has a few impressive promotions on his CV, his last job at Millwall was a disaster and he seems to be a man who struggles to handle high-pressure situations, and the Portsmouth job certainly contains a lot of pressure!

Some of the other names such as Peter Taylor, Nigel Worthington and Gary Megson are old heads who wouldn't necessarily be welcome at a club that needs a younger, forward-thinking manager whilst promoting Gary Waddock, whose future at Pompey is now uncertain, would have been a dire move on the board's part. 

Cook is a man who knows the lower divisions and his teams play an attractive style of attacking football which will hopefully be seen at Fratton Park.

His first job will be to try and keep Jed Wallace at Portsmouth but nobody expects the midfielder to stay. It would be a huge bonus if he decided not to leave but if (or when) he does, Cook's next job will be finding a replacement for him if possible.

Even if it isn't possible, you can be sure that he will have some transfer targets in mind to strengthen the squad as well as an idea of the out-of-contract players he wants to keep hold of.

Hopefully the board (and the fans, for that matter) will be patient and give the new man time but ultimately the aim for next season is promotion.

But Cook looks like the man to finally deliver what we've been wanting. He has the knowledge and the pedigree to get Portsmouth out of League Two and possibly even better than that in the next few years.

At the fourth time of asking, it looks like the men in charge may have finally got this one right.