tenure at Portsmouth
is over after a mere 103 days and the question is, how did he last that
Four wins from 22 games and an inexorable slide into relegation
trouble were not helped by Adams's failure to convey even the remotest impression that he knew how to arrest Pompey's
freefall into the second tier.
Adams has revelled in a
pseudo-intellectual rebirth since undergoing treatment for alcoholism.
While Early Doors accepts it is probably better for Adams to
be devouring Marcel Proust than Stella Artois,
this new-found cerebral side never really translated itself to the pitch.
In fact, Adams's Gallic bookishness seemed limited to the silly
rainbow scarf he wore incongruously on the touchline, looking like he had
whipped it off the neck of an unsuspecting student who was cycling past.
Far from exuding a Wenger-like confidence in his tactical blueprint, Adams just seemed a bit lost.
The problem is that most players do not respond well when
things are explained to them in a cool, rational manner. The only time they truly pay attention to a tactics board is
when the manager hurls it across the dressing room at them.
old persona might have kicked a few backsides - the new one merely insisted
after Saturday's meltdown: "It's football. It's fantastic." Hardly surprising there was complete chaos at the back.
If you had sent Early Doors to the moon for the last six
months, then brought it back and shown it a video of Portsmouth and West Ham's
respective performances at the weekend, then asked it to guess which team was
managed by Tony Adams and which by Gianfranco Zola... well, you know where ED
is going with this.
And clearly, ED's
response would have been to question why you would go to the trouble of paying
for a voyage into space to facilitate such a mundane exercise in guesswork.
3-2 defeat at home to Liverpool, featuring one of the most ludicrous
half-hours of football you will ever see, Adams
did what all good managers do and accepted where the responsibility lay. Sylvain Distin.
Never mind the fact that Distin is one of Pompey's most consistent performers. Never mind that he
was one of the senior players who stuck up for Adams
during crisis talks last week. And never mind that his mistake for Liverpool's
second equaliser was just one among a catalogue of defensive woes.
In Adams's words: "I was preparing substitutions to
kill the game off and then Sylvain goes and makes a mistake. Before you know it
you're chasing, just trying to stay
in the game, never mind going on and winning it."
But if Distin had not been trying to plug holes in the most
rickety defence this side of Second World War Rome, he might not have made such
a massive hash of trying to tackle Dirk Kuyt.
What Adams chose to forget
was that when good players do rubbish things, you can normally point the finger
at the manager.
- - -
On Friday, Early Doors said it should be made illegal for
Dean Windass to retire from playing football, and a day later he showed why.
Even aged 39, it is clear that Windass has a glittering
future as a goalkeeper following his stunning clean sheet against runaway
League One leaders Leicester
Now on loan at Oldham,
Windass took the gloves early in the second half when keeper Greg Fleming saw
red for a professional foul.
His first act was to face a penalty from Matt Fryatt, the
top scorer in English professional football with 25 in all competitions.
Fryatt was so intimidated by the prospect of failing to beat
Windass from 12 yards that he caved under the pressure and put the ball wide.
Windass then ensured that Oldham did what only four other
League One sides have done this season - stop Leicester from scoring - pulling
off a particularly superb double save from Andy King and Fryatt.
Early Doors begs Oldham boss John Sheridan to keep Windass
in nets when Northampton visit Boundary Park
at the weekend.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Gary Megson on Bolton's 3-0 defeat at Everton: "That was a complete
waste of 90 minutes for us, by people being paid a week's
wages. I was disappointed with the first half and the feelings were a lot
stronger by the end. We were just shocking. Sometimes you try to cover things,
but sometimes you can't defend the
indefensible. We want to win every game, but if you are going to lose you do it
in the right manner and go down fighting. We were just not good enough and
there were no positives for us."
FOREIGN VIEW: Germany
is excited about the arrival of mega-WAG Nives Celsius, who got her hubby Dino
Drpic transfer listed by Dinamo Zagreb by revealing the pair had sex on the
Following Drpic's arrival at
Karlsruhe, Celsius has wasted no time in making her impression felt, revealing
that they chose the number 69 to go on the back of his shirt, but the German
league refused to play ball and Drpic was forced to take 11.
Meanwhile former Miss Bundesliga Sylvie van der Vaart told
Bild: "I have to say, Nives is a spectacular new recruit for the
Bundesliga. She is a real looker; a really racy, fiery young woman."
COMING UP: Everybody's two favourite
clubs, Leeds and Millwall, quite literally do
battle in League One tonight. Follow live scoring from Elland Road from 19:45 UK time. In the
meantime, enjoy our Monday feature fest, including Team of the Week, Winners
and Losers and more reaction to Tony Adams's