Back to the Table – Time for Eisner to gamble again?

Published: 14/11/2023
By Joe Wood

9 months is a long time.

I last wrote an article on this website 9 months ago discussing the Eisner’s decision to hire left field candidate John Mousinho.

I’ve had 2 jobs since then, a house purchase fall through and a friend of mine has created an entire human, all the while Pompey have gone undefeated in the league.

Things are good right?

Well, up until the opening minutes of Pompey’s FA cup tie against Chesterfield it was.

Because that was precisely the moment in which Pompey’s top transferee from the summer went over on his knee.

At the time, it didn’t seem too bad, there was still hope as Regan Poole emerged from the tunnel at the SMH ground to sit on the bench with the rest of the subs, and he didn’t appear to be in too much discomfort.

However, this weekends 2-2 draw with Charlton came with a pretty uncomfortable chaser of injury news.

Poole. Out for the season.

Suddenly, the juggernaut that was the blues promotion push, has just lost one of its most important parts.

Strangely, this felt like a good time to pen another piece off the back of this information. In the previous article, I likened the Eisner’s appointment of John Mousinho to an all in bet from a gambler at the poker table, whilst sat on a pair of twos. Decisions like that which they took in February are potentially decade and ownership defining decisions.

These moments are probably once every 5 or so years, and yet here we are, 9 months on, with another massive multi-year altering decision to make.

To extend the metaphor from the previous piece, the Eisner’s went all in, won and then on the way out of the casino, got stopped by Al Pacino and Joe Pesci and have been “invited” to play again.

This time, the decision is clear and so is the resulting message. With Poole out it’s fair to say that the fanbase, and possibly now Mousinho, have had their trust in Sean Raggett eroded by recent performances and there seems to be a reluctance to have Ryley Towler deputise for the stricken welsh international.

It leaves two choices. Put your money on the table and hope for another good turn of fortune, or play it safe and risk the ire of the fans.

For many the correct choice is easy, but it always is when it’s not your money, throw £3m at Rich Hughes and tell him to go and get another Regan Poole. This would be my inclination as well.

However, as good as Rich Hughes is, it’s not as simple as popping down to your local Regan Poole dealership and asking for one that’s “nearly new, with a full service history”. He’s going to have to use all his skills and knowledge to pull something brilliant off.

The alternative though, could be far more damaging to the club, and the ownership than the loss of a few million pounds. I believe that if the Eisner’s are not seen to be attempting to address this massive hole left by Poole, and the worst should happen, and they tail off and fail to gain promotion, then there may well be era defining ramifications for this ownership group.

Its an unenviable position that they find themselves in, but it really does come down to potentially one last hand.

Do they stick, or do they twist?