Pompey Part Company With Hart

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 24 November 2009
Paul Hart has been sacked by Portsmouth FC with immediate effect.

In a statement by the official website it states that Hart was offered the role of technical director, developing players of 18-21 and it has been revealed by Sky that he is considering a role in the youth development.

Ian Woan and Paul Groves will be temporarily in charge of first team affairs and it is also believed that Avram Grant will not be the man to take Hart's place.

To paraphrase the official statement, the board believe that despite the difficult circumstances that Pompey should have more points on the board but thank him for his work with the youth development and for keeping Pompey in the Premier League last season.

Mark Jacobs has told the media that the board had been discussing Hart's future for a couple of weeks and decided to pull the trigger because we can't keep outplaying teams and failing to get results.

He also said that the board will take their time to decide who replaces Hart as the manager and the new man in charge will be in it for the long term.

The bookies have listed Alan Curbishley, Gary McAllister, Joe Jordan, Steve Coppell and David O'Leary as the early favourites to take over from Hart but the favourite is Darren Ferguson, who recently departed Peterborough United after two successive promotions.

I do have sympathy for Hart. He has kept his head held high despite everything that has gone on around him and we have played some good football this season.

However, he was out of his depth and he simply couldn't keep churning out the same old excuses and phrases in his post match interviews. Some of his tactical substitutions baffled the mind and his reluctance to play certain players did grate with some of the Pompey fans.

Attentions will now turn to his successor and I would be happy to see Grant take charge if he does change his mind. He did well at Chelsea despite what their over-expectant fans might have thought and his knowledge of the game is extremely deep.

Darren Ferguson is an interesting bet (especially if he is appointed before the United game!) he may have left Peterborough when they were bottom of the league but something fishy went on there and he could do a "Roy Keane" and either galvanise the team to safety or his methods will bomb and we'll be in even bigger trouble than what we are now.

I'd would accept Curbishley as the next Pompey manager because he is a man that screams "stability" and somehow managed to keep West Ham in the Premier League when they looked doomed in 2007.

Steve Coppell would also be a good choice for the long term and had a very good record at Reading where he worked wonders with a low budget, something that no doubt the Pompey board will be looking for.

On the other hand, employing Joe Jordan or Gary McAllister would be a huge risk and I don't think you'll see any Pompey fans jumping for joy if either of these names were revealed, same goes for David O'Leary but I'm not so sure that he would be a terrible appointment.

Of course, you could always put your money on Harry Redknapp returning to his spiritual home....

Current Manager Odds (courtesy of oddschecker.com)

Darren Ferguson: 5/2
Alan Curbishley: 3/1
Roberto Mancini: 8/1
Steve Coppell: 8/1
Paul Groves: 14/1
Kevin Keegan: 14/1
Greame Souness: 14/1
Slaven Bilic: 14/1
Steve McClaren: 14/1
Tony Adams: 50/1
Harry Redknapp: 50/1

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