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League One: Should time be up for Kenny Jackett at Portsmouth?

Here we take a look at the thoughts of one of our bloggers @pompeyhub regarding the future of Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett. Head over to his Instagram and check out his page!

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Kenny Jackett’s Tenure at Portsmouth

Kenny Jackett is in his 4th season as the Portsmouth manager and has certainly had many highs and many lows, which is something you always get in football. However the low’s are starting to crop up more frequently. Many Portsmouth fans including myself have seen enough of Kenny Jackett as manager and feel that we haven’t progressed under him as much as we should have, and that it’s time for a change and here’s why:

Odd Team Selections:

The first problem with Jackett that started to arise was his odd team selections for important games, and his habit of playing players out of position. Portsmouth since being under Jackett have been in 2 playoff campaigns and in both occasions have not made it past the first stage, losing to Sunderland and Oxford United on penalties. In the Sunderland game during the 18/19 season Kenny Jackett dropped our two in-form wingers (Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis) for wingers that hadn't made much of an impact throughout the season. At the time all Portsmouth fans were very confused and worried as we would struggle for creativity without them, and we did. We all thought that it would be a one time thing.. We were wrong. The season after we finished 5th after the season had been suspended due to Covid-19 and we were doomed for another playoff catastrophe, which is when Kenny Jackett decided to drop our best midfielder and club captain Tom Naylor, for a midfielder that hadn’t played a game of football for a year due to injury, meaning his first game back was a playoff game, talk about being dropped in the deep end. And to no surprise the midfielder did not make much of an impact, however we felt it wrong to blame him, but to blame the manager who decided now was the time to drop our best player for him. Then it was playing players out of position that started to baffle us Portsmouth fans, with Jackett making our Striker (Ollie Hawkins) to a Centre Back, Harvey White this season who is a CDM to a Left Winger, and many many more strange decisions. Jackett always leaves players that deserve to be playing on the bench and on the reserves and that has been happening frequently, with George Byers and Jordy Hiwula being the perfect example at this moment. Jackett will continue to play players that simply do not cut it or are not good enough, over someone on the bench that could, had they been given a chance.


Kenny Jackett’s tactics are very limited and only have one plan, with no Plan B, and that’s Hoof ball. Kick it up long to our helpless strikers and hope for the best. It doesn’t work and never will, we get found out too easily, and are still yet to come up with a different tactic or method. All we watch is boring football and never expect anything else. A recurring issue is when we go 1 goal up, we sit back and try to see the game out every time, and it rarely works, with the countless amount of times we have conceded by doing so. And then there is the problem that when we go a goal down, we don’t seem to have the fight to force a comeback. The last time we won a game whilst being a goal down came two seasons ago when we beat Coventry 2-1. The

biggest issue we have with Kenny Jackett is his inept formations that doesn’t work which leaves our striker isolated. We need to be playing with two strikers upfront and when we do he doesn’t choose the right pairing, when there's one that's proven to work (John Marquis and Marcus Harness). His use of substitutes are tiring and questionable as it has happened too many times, where we will be losing 2-0 and he brings on a defender for an attacker, therefore nulling our attacking threat. We are in awful form at the minute having lost 3 on the bounce and we do not look like it will pick up any time soon, and we run the risk of dropping out of the playoffs this Saturday. We have a cup final to play in which we can’t see winning due to our horrible form but if we do it still does not mean this season will be a success as our main goal is promotion.


His man management over the years has been awful and harsh to the players, to the point where a player will have one bad game and will not feature in the squad for months afterwards. This has happened with James Bolton, Jack Whatmough, Brett Pitman, the list goes on. In recent news one of our midfielders on loan from Swansea stormed out of the stadium having not been selected again, after this midfielder is easily one of the most creative players in our team with Championship experience.

Post Match Interviews:

The things that Jackett comes up with in the post match interviews are both laughable and concerning. When we lost to Brighton 4-0 this season he said he thought we played well because we had more corners than them.. He said during our loss to Doncaster that it was a good way to lose because we scored a consolation goal in the dying minutes. The one thing that bugs us all is the fact that he smiles and grins in the Post-Match interviews for the games we’ve lost in, which to us shows us that he doesn’t care.

Final Thoughts:

Overall all Portsmouth fans have banded together in wanting Kenny Jackett out and no one can blame us. His tactics are outdated, his team selections are dodgy, and everything else. We feel he has had a fair amount of time to succeed at Portsmouth and has not done so in his 3 and a half year tenure. Portsmouth is a club with high aspirations wanting to get back to the Championship where we feel we belong, and we will not get that under Kenny Jackett. His contract ends at the end of this season, and we can’t see it getting renewed thankfully.


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