Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMichael Appleton- Does he possess the best job in football? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Michael Appleton- Does he possess the best job in football? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Michael Appleton- Does he possess the best job in football?

Bear with me because what I am about to propose may shock a few of you but, regardless of my position as a Portsmouth supporter, I can see reason why Michael Appleton’s job is far more exciting than may initially seem the case. There are, of course, several caveats to this statement, like the looming specter of liquidation, but as the saying goes, “every cloud…”

If, and some may argue that this is a big ‘if’, Portsmouth are able to find a new owner before the money runs out then Michael Appleton will find himself in a fairly unique position. A recent statement came out of the club suggesting that of the current squad that has been relegated from the Championship, probably only 4 will remain for the tour of League 1. The wage bill at Portsmouth 2010/11 in the Championship was higher than Tottenham’s, who at that time were fighting their way past both Milan clubs in the Champions League. So with the aim of cutting the wage bill at the top of Portsmouth’s agenda it means this close season will see approximately 18 people leave and 18 new people come back in.

Surely my argument is beginning to take shape? Appleton has the opportunity to build his own squad from scratch, there is no need to deal with the inherited players of the previous manager, and there is no need to fit your tactics around the players available to you. Instead there will be an opportunity to have a vision of what football he wants to play and to build the squad he feels can achieve this vision.

Michael Appleton’s potential, with regards to building a League 1 team, is excellent. His loan signings, which have already been put on display at the end of this campaign, are inspired. His grounding in youth football at West Brom along with connections to high profile clubs make the prospect of young exciting talents, yet unable to break into the First XI of their parent clubs, arriving at Fratton Park a growing possibility. Marry this to the fact that Portsmouth will be the big name in League 1 next season and it will be a very likely promotion candidate; if Appleton is successfully able to convey that the club’s time in League 1 is only a short one then all those players looking, and hoping, to cut their teeth in the Championship will surely see Portsmouth as an attractive offer.

There is no doubting Portsmouth are still in a terrible position but one only needs to look at the build of Michael Appleton to understand that this is a man that likes hard graft. He is also a man with a vision not just for the First XI but for the whole infrastructure of the club and Trevor Birch’s ‘hands off’ warning to all possible suitors of the young manager suggests that everyone at the club sees Appleton as the man to take the club forward. So not only does Appleton have the opportunity to build but he is also in the uncommon position of a manager with the full confidence of the club’s executives in his decision-making.

With the opportunity to build the club up from scratch and with the full confidence of the clubs management this is an exciting time. Of course the pay cheque Appleton receives every month will not be substantial and the quality of player under his tutelage will not be of an extraordinary caliber but this is about a project. There will be no glitz or glamour but if Appleton is able to bring Portsmouth from its deepest depths back to where it belongs, and on a system by which the club lives within its means, then it will be a fantastic success and one he will be able to look upon with enormous pride.

Edward Lane

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