The Contenders

Last updated : 24 May 2010 By Jim Bonner
If there was ever a "poisoned chalice" in football at the moment it would be the role of the next Portsmouth manager. It's a dirty job but, as they say, someone's gotta do it. The big question though is simply "Who?"

There are a few frontrunners for the position, some better than others but nobody who stands out. Here is the lowdown on the main contenders for the firing line:

Paul Groves

Andrew Andronikou today revealed that Groves has told him personally that he doesn't want the job and has "ruled himself out" of the running.

We're all smart enough to know that there is no such thing as a main candidate "ruling himself out" as Paul Hart once said the same thing before being installed as the new manager.

As I've said before, Groves seems to be a good coach but with only a torrid managerial spell at Grimsby on his CV, his appointment would not be the wisest or the most inspiring.

That's not really the important thing though, because he would be the cheapest and that is the important issue as far as the administrators are concerned.

Steve Cotterill

The current Notts County boss is currently the bookies' favourite to take the Fratton Park hotseat. Despite outcries that he "wouldn't be good enough" for a team in our position, his managerial record isn't too bad and I'd be content with his appointment.

He made a name for himself at Cheltenham Town, taking them up to the old Second Division in 2002 before joining Stoke and then making the ill-judged move to Sunderland alongside Harold Wilkinson after just 13 games in charge of the Potters.

He then moved to Burnley in 2004 and brought some stability to the side, managing to get the best out of the club with little resources. Things began to go stale in 2007 and so Cotterill left by mutual consent.

Notts County went on to win League Two this year after Cotterill took over in February but with the financial situation in question and the club facing a winding up order, Steve may decide that he can get the same pressure in a higher league and then jump ship.

Brendan Rodgers

After supposedly being "regularly sighted" at Fratton Park, Rodgers will probably be installed as the bookmakers' new favourite in the very near future.

The former Chelsea youth-team coach made a name for himself by turning around Watford's 2008/2009 season when it looked like they would be relegated.

Despite pledging loyalty that summer, Rodgers did a "Harry Redknapp" and joined Reading which turned out to be a very bad move as he was sacked last December with the Royals languishing around the bottom three of the Championship.

I personally wouldn't be over the moon with Rodgers' appointment, not because of his managerial record, but because of his disloyalty. We've had enough of being left in the lurch and if Rodgers did somehow turn things around at Pompey, he could very easily be tempted elsewhere.

David James

This is an intriguing one.

Let's be honest, if Jamo doesn't get the job then he'll be off, meaning that Pompey will have Liam O'Brien as the only "recognised" goalkeeper in the squad following Jamie Ashdown's release.

Andrew Andronikou has distanced himself from suggestions that James could be the next manager and in my eyes it's difficult to see him take a player-manager role next season.

I wouldn't be totally against his appointment, though. It sounds silly and it could be a disaster but James comes across as a knowledgeable man who is popular amongst his team mates and so should have control of the dressing room.

You never know... Jamo may just be a mastermind in the making!

Other names such as Gareth Southgate, Iain Dowie and Greame Souness have been mentioned and I hope to God that we don't get any of these men. Gus Poyet and Eddie Howe have also been touted as replacements for Avram Grant but I couldn't see either of them making the short trip across the South Coast either.

Peter Storrie is having a say in who gets appointed and he will just suggest anyone who is available. Hey, even I couldn't rule myself out of the running for the job. I'm available tomorrow Peter!

Andrew Andronikou has also said that he "won't rush" appointing a new manager at Portsmouth.

So expect an announcement by the end of the week.