Two key areas to blame for Portsmouth’s latest League One failings – while jury is out on Danny Cowley’s summer recruitment plans
The Blues’ 10th-placed finish meant they took a backward step in their pursuit of Championship football, guaranteeing a sixth-straight season in League One.
And according to the fans, two main factors were responsible over all others – investment in the team and player quality.
It’s an argument that owners Tornante can’t shift from their doorstep after taking control of the club in 2017.
The accusation has been countered on numerous occasions, both by the Eisners and past and present chief executives Mark Catlin and Andy Cullen.
Yet, after the Blues finished 10 points adrift of the play-off places last season, 31 per cent of those fans who took part in our latest Big Pompey survey believed not enough money was allocated to the team – and that was Pompey’s main downfall over the campaign just gone.
It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that the belief last season’s players were simply not good enough came second in this particular poll.
Despite some decent acquisitions from the funds that were available – Gavin Bazunu, Connor Ogilive, Joe Morrell, Louis Thompson, Hayden Carter and George Hirst – 24.6 per cent claimed that was the case, with an additional 9.4 per cent picking on Cowley’s signings in his maiden season in charge.
Notable errors were made in the loan signings of Gassan Ahadme, Miguel Azeez and Tyler Walker, while several others from last season’s intake failed to endear themselves to the Fratton faithful on a consistent basis.
That said, blame should not all be pointed at those 20 players who arrived over the course of the season.
Players who remained at Fratton Park after last summer’s cull played their part, too, according to our survey participants.
Indeed, 14 per cent believe Cowley was hamstrung by legacy issues from Kenny Jackett’s time in charge.
Pompey’s failure to keep hold of the likes of Jack Whatmough, Tom Naylor, Ryan Williams and Craig MacGillivray received 12.9 per cent of the vote.
Meanwhile, 8.1 per cent placed the blame firmly at the door of the manager.
Talking of whom, 45.9 per cent have faith in Cowley’s recruitment plans heading into the summer transfer market.
Thirty-three per cent remain unsure, while 21.1 per cent said ‘no’ they don’t have confidence in his summer vision.