Is Allen Right For Pompey?

Last updated : 29 April 2015 By Jim Bonner

Former Pompey player Martin Allen is being considered for the Portsmouth manager's job.

"Mad Dog" - as he was known to fans of the clubs he played for due to his knack for getting booked and being "overly aggressive" towards opposition players spent 1995-1997 at Fratton Park but retired from playing after a loan spell at Southend.

Allen has just won promotion from the Conference with Barnet as champions but his contract is up at the end of the season and he has always been one to consider his options.

The latest spell at the North London club is his fourth, with the first beginning in 2003 where his success took him to Brentford after a year in charge. A rescue from relegation and two successive League One play-off defeats followed before dropping down to taste play-off defeat with MK Dons in 2007.

A move to Leicester followed but Allen only lasted four games there due to falling out with Milan Mandaric whilst his next job at Cheltenham ended with him being placed on "gardening leave" after placing the entire squad up for sale and letting some of their best players go on the cheap due to the club's financial problems.

A return to Barnet came in 2011 where he had eight games to keep them in the Football League but he left for Notts County after just three. He instead saved them from relegation from League One but was sacked in February the following year. He then returned to Barnet for a third time for the last few matches of the 2011-2012 season, when he again saved them from relegation.

Allen was appointed as Gillingham manager the following summer and won his first promotion as the Gills were League Two champions at the end of the 2012-2013 season with Martin being named the division's manager of the year.

A poor start to the following season meant Allen was sacked and his next club was Barnet once again as he was appointed their manager for the fourth time in March 2014, where a year later he would win the Conference.

So, would Allen be a good manager for Pompey? His teams are well organised and play some uncompromising football, much like his playing style back in the 90's. If he was appointed, Allen's record suggests that Pompey would make the play-offs at least next season and that would be considered a successful campaign so long as it ended in promotion

However, Allen is hardly the most stable manager to have at a club if his past is anything to go by. Whilst falling out with Mandaric is easy to do, he still didn't last long and his actions at Cheltenham are particularly worrying. Not to mention the fact that two of his stints at Barnet were extremely short-term, so he's hardly the most loyal of men.

Personally, I think the board would be taking the cheap option if they hired Allen and I'm not convinced he would be the right fit for our club despite the passion he would instill into the squad.

I would much rather see the board fork out the compensation to get a more progressive manager in the mould of Paul Cook down at Fratton Park, even if it means waiting a little longer for his services.

Incidentally, Cook is still heavy favourite with the bookies to be named as Pompey's next manager but Allen's odds have shortened. They seem to be the only two realistic candidates for the role at the moment with Phil Brown due to sign a new contract with Southend shortly.

Whoever takes the job, they will be under huge pressure to deliver from the start.