Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughYoung impetus the call of the day - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Young impetus the call of the day - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Young impetus the call of the day

The name Michael Appleton will not have registered on many a Portsmouth fans’ radar while they were delving through the list of potential new managers.

Indeed, the bookies and media were similarly unaware that the former Manchester United midfielder was the favourite of Pompey Chief Executive, David Lampitt.

As early front runners Sean O’Discroll and Dave Jones fell away, Appleton quietly crept towards the post, winning over the powers that be at Fratton Park with a youthful enthusiasm.

The departure of Steve Cotterill to Nottingham Forest gave Lampitt and co a chance to inject fresh blood into the club. The appointment of 35- year-old Appleton is as fresh as they come.

With no previous managerial experience, Appleton is a risk. But this is a club where evaluating the risks of a situation rarely comes into play.

Just ask those who were at Wembley in May 2008 as Sol Campbell gloriously lifted the FA Cup. Little did they know that the players had been promised huge bonuses that would add to a rising mountain of debt and the catastrophic downfall of the club.

The saving grace with Lampitt’s risk is the playing squad Appleton has at his disposal. With genuine Premier League class in the ranks, and (fingers crossed here) stable owners, the realistic target has to be an improvement on last season’s 16th place finish.

Appleton may be inexperienced, he may fall short of the stated ‘Championship experience’ line talked about by the owners and Lampitt, and he may have to win over large sections of fans. However, what he does have on his side, for the first time since the days of Graham Rix, is a realistic group of supporters.

Gone are the days of splashing out £9m on Peter Crouch and paying astronomical wages on long contracts.

Today the club is what is always should have been while pretending to mix it among the big boys – a potential mid table Premier League team.

Appleton and the board must use this to their advantage. The majority of fans will not want to see irresponsible spending for five minutes of fame.

Much like the quiet student at the back of the classroom, Pompey need to be understated, quietly going about their business, leaving the headline grabbing to those who can afford it.

Above all else, the board and fans need to give the new man time. Upheaval has been the buzz word at Fratton Park for far too long now.

It is time to close that chapter – Michael Appleton is the new Portsmouth.

Gary Peters

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