The Big Week Ahead

Last updated : 22 September 2019 By Jim Bonner

Yesterday's dismal defeat to Wycombe Wanderers saw a large group of fans call for Kenny Jackett's head at Adams Park, which surely is the beginning of the end for the manager's reign at Portsmouth.

The owners can crow all they like about staying loyal to a manager and refusing to sack him when the going gets tough but rule number one of any business is to keep your customers happy and currently. the vast majority are either angry or apathetic to the whole situation.

His defenders will state he has one of the best win percentages of any Pompey manager in history but those numbers don't paint the whole picture. How many of those victories were against weakened sides in cup competitions and, more to the point, how many of those wins were eked out by the odd goal when luck seemed to be on Pompey's side?

That luck seems to have deserted Jackett and given how fans are now comparing him (a little harshly) to Richie Barker, the worst Pompey manager of all time, there seems to be no way back for him.

After all, is tactics are mind-numbingly boring, he has lost a portion of the dressing room as he continues to alienate players whilst tinkering with systems and players not playing in their natural positions. Most importantly the results no longer back up his outdated football philosophy which has led to many Pompey fans beginning to lose all interest in a season which promised much after the disappointment of losing in the play-offs back in May.

Apathy is a dangerous thing and although the Eisners have pocketed record season ticket money, if that apathy grows then they can kiss goodbye to merchandise sales and extra ticket revenue as nobody wants to watch a poor team playing dull football with no promotion prospects. They'll have to take action soon.

The only way Kenny can buy himself more time is if, by some miracle, his current crop of players can win the derby on Tuesday. Saints fans can play down their team's chances all they like but a mediocre Premier League side is still better than a poor League One side.

The only hope Pompey have of winning is that, despite the recent dross on show, the atmosphere at Fratton Park won't have been sapped by recent results and the fans make it so hostile that the Southampton players freeze. That, coupled with this team clicking all-of-a-sudden, would give Pompey a chance of victory but there can't be many fans expecting anything other than a loss and hopefully not a heavy one.

Naturally, Jackett won't be sacked after a derby defeat and then all eyes turn to Saturday's fixture against the only League One team without a win so far this season; Bolton Wanderers.

The Trotters were unlucky to only draw with Sunderland courtesy of a late penalty scored by Aiden McGeady but under Keith Hill's management they are improving now they have some senior players in their ranks.

However, that won't matter when they come to Fratton Park on the weekend as their away record is dire and only a comfortable win will be seen as acceptable. Fail to win that and the fans who havn't walked away in disgust will surely be in the stands protesting fervently and the Eisners will surely be forced to act, even if it meant paying Jackett off.

The question then would be who replaces Jackett and nobody has managed to come up with an answer that satisfies everyone, even if that is an impossible task.

Phil Parkinson would be the favourite given his promotion credentials and the fact he's out of a job at the moment. However, his style of football is much the same as Jackett's and so wouldn't please the purists or those who just want to be entertained.

Would the owners pay another club for their manager's services (if they even wanted to come here?) Would they even be willing to invest into the suqad further in January to bring in players that the new man wants? The answer to those questions if the past two winters are anything to go by is no.

But something has to change to save this season whether Jackett can somehow turn this awful start to the season around or, more likely, someone else with fresh ideas can come in and breathe new life into the club.