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Please Don’t Sack Pompey Manager Paul Hart


Portsmouth, it’s players, football supporters and Paul Hart showed today what an incredible club they really are. In most grounds around the country, fickle supporters would have booed their team off the pitch after a Premier League record of seven defeats to open a season, but not at Fratton Park. Despite a one-nil loss against Everton, Portsmouth supporters — rightly so — gave a standing ovation to Paul Hart and his entire Portsmouth team.

This was a Portsmouth side today that poured their hearts and souls into the game and treated it like a cup final. Paul Hart got all of his tactics right, and his players did everything they could possibly do to try to win this match. But ultimately, against a very resilient Everton side who put all eleven players behind the ball for periods of the second half, it was almost impossible for Pompey to score.

But Pompey tried. They had a header that hit the crossbar. Tim Howard, my man of the match, pulled off several incredible saves (one with his shoulder that needs to be included in a ‘Best Goalkeeper Saves’ video) and another header that was cleared off the line by Leighton Baines.

Based on the performance that Portsmouth gave today, you can see that they believe in their manager, fellow players and supporters. If they continue playing like that, they’ll definitely stay up as the passion and persistence is bound to pay off in the near future with a much-deserved win. In no way is this a club who deserves to be rooted at the bottom of the Premier League. This was a side that was playing a spirited and physical 90 minutes against a very difficult to beat Everton side.

For Al-Fahim to sack Portsmouth manager Paul Hart would be a travesty. Yes, sometimes sacking a manager turns around a club, but based on the way that Pompey are playing right now, it would be the worst move to make. If anyone out there calls for Hart to get sacked, either they haven’t been watching Portsmouth play this season or they’re just jumping on the bandwagon of the British press who will undoubtedly pile more pressure on Al-Fahim and Portsmouth to sack the manager because it creates headlines and copy that sell.

Paul Hart has to be commended for creating an incredible spirit and passion in this team. Play up Pompey, play up.

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  1. the theory

    September 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Well done, Gaffer. You’ve made a great case, and I hope SAF does the sensible thing. What a contrast from the rubbish that Harry Harris is writing over at ESPN.

    1st article – “Soccernet has learned that Paul Hart”s future will absolutely rest on whether or not Pompey picks up at least 1 point against Everton”.
    Following article – “Soccernet has learned that because the home supporters cheered at the end of the match, Paul Hart will keep his job until next week”.

    Waiting for “Soccernet has learned that Ronaldo will die unless his heart continues to beat. Stay tuned to Soccernet for more details on this breaking story”.

  2. Sam

    September 26, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Hart out. The worst top flight manager in 79 years. No-one can defend him. This is a results business. Imagine that you’re a plate maker and you try hard and work well but all your plates are broken by the time the plate-making process is complete, are you kept on or are you backed by your boss to one day make a plate that isn’t broken?

    • Zola612

      September 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm

      I think your metaphor is a bit off. Here is how I see it, indulge me…

      Hart isn’t really a plate maker, he is the manager/foreman of a plate-making business/factory. A business that through poor planing and a lack of fiscal discipline, found it needed to lay-off(or transfer) it’s best, most experienced and highest paid plate-makers in order to pay it’s creditors. The foreman, Hart, is then forced to go out and find lower quality plate-makers to fill out the open positions at the plate-making factory. These less experienced plate-makers create some of the worst plates that the plate-making industry has seen in nearly a century. The owners of the plate-making business promise the foreman that money will be made available in 3 months to hire better plate-makers, but until then, he should just try to get as many plates out of the current lot as he can.

      Obviously, there is plenty of blame to be spread about for the sorry state of plate manufacturing on the south coast. But to put it all on the foreman, would seem a bit harsh. I reckon even a legendary Scottish foreman for a very successful plate making factory in Manchester would struggle to make quality plates under these circumstances.

    • Lyle

      September 26, 2009 at 8:23 pm

      I’m sympathetic to the Gaffer’s take. Hart is actually a decent manager. Not a big name or flashy, but he knows football. Portsmouth problems aren’t just down to him, but that the owner is no longer investing in the team and trying to sell, and all the quality players have jumped off the sinking ship.

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