Date: 11th November 2011 at 9:49am
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The ‘rumours’ and ‘speculation’, as far as the new manager goes at least, are now at an end with the Pompey search for a new manager concluded on Thursday following the appointment of Michael Appleton.

Appleton has signed a deal to be our manager for the next 3-½-years and I would suggest that ‘if’ he can see this period out, at least, then he would not have done a bad job, right?

I know we could certainly do with seeing a manager stay in place for the long-term as it has been a while since we have seen this…

David Lampitt, as he told The Pompey Site, believes that Appy ticks pretty much all the boxes that needed ticking: ‘we are delighted to welcome Michael as our new first-team manager. He fought off very strong opposition to get the job from a high quality field of candidates.

‘We were looking for somebody young, forward-thinking and ambitious who wanted to be part of our longer-term plans for Portsmouth Football Club. Michael has an excellent track record as a coach with a positive mentality about the game and the way it should be played.

‘He also has great experience of developing players through from youth team level to the first team.

‘We wanted an individual with good knowledge of, and successful track record in, the Championship. Importantly we also wanted someone who would fit in with the existing coaching infrastructure at the club.

‘As a board, we laid down a set of criteria that we were looking for in the new manager and we have not diverted from that. It`s fair to say Michael started out as a bit of a dark horse in the selection process but he ended up the unanimous choice.

‘He is a hands-on coach with a fantastic reputation in the game. He`s positive and analytically astute, coming here with the experience of being an integral part of a very well-run football club for the best part of a decade.

‘He shares our desire and commitment to take the club forward in the right way, and we know that he has a big career in management ahead of him. We also know our supporters and everyone at the club will welcome him and get behind him and the team.’

One thing that can be assured is that even ‘if’ he was not the first choice of some he will be welcomed to the club and will be supported.

I just hope that he can do a decent job and this support can remain for him in the longer-term, something that I have this sneaky feeling it will…

Fingers crossed!

As for Appy himself, well he is ‘delighted’ and ‘excited’ by the challenge ahead of him but is ready for this.

In fact he has already set his targets high: ‘I`m delighted and excited to be taking the job and hopefully I can share that enthusiasm and excitement out around the club.

‘It`s going to be a progressive challenge. You get judged on results and the first team is the most important thing, but we want to build the infrastructure of the club, developing the academy and hopefully along the line getting our own training ground. Things like recruitment will be key.

‘Hopefully, with a sensible approach, we can take the club forward.

‘It was very difficult to leave West Brom because I had spent nearly a third of my life there and had made a lot of good friends and worked with good people.

‘But it was time for me to take on a different challenge, and this is one I`m really excited about.

‘Portsmouth have fantastic traditions and the supporters are renowned throughout the football world for being very loud and getting behind the team. We want to give them something to shout about.

‘A few years ago Portsmouth were a successful Premier League club. I would like to think I can help the people at the football club achieve that again.’

Like I said yesterday I do think that given the right amount of time, support and backing that this can prove to be a decent move.

Ok, Appy has no real managerial hands on experience, a brief spell as West Brom caretaker manager aside, but he has been in the game a long time now and has the best part of a decades worth of coaching experience, at various levels and roles, behind him.

That has to count for something and everyone has to have a starting point…

For me this shows that we are genuinely thinking long-term here with this appointment and are not just going for a ‘quick fix’ and again like I said yesterday I feel that PFC and Appy can grow together and move forward to a position that all want to be.

He may have come from left field, he may not be known to all – I remember him as a player and have heard his name mentioned a fair bit, more so in the past year or so, as a very good up and coming coach/would be manager – but I think, and hope, that in the not too distant future that Michael Appleton may well become a household name!

From a personal viewpoint my fiancée, and her family, used to refer to her granddad as ‘Appy’ so the name has plenty of fond memories for them – I am hoping that the name Appy, as far as Appleton goes, can bring fond memories for myself and all other Pompey fans and then Trina’s family too can have further memories of the Appy name!

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