Andre Green’s loan move to Portsmouth raised a lot of eyebrows over the summer, with a lot of supporters believing he’d be better off staying in and around the first-team under Steve Bruce ahead of the 2018/19 season.
The winger started the 2017/18 campaign as a regular before a hamstring injury changed the trajectory of his career. Green spent nearly four months on the sidelines, returning in January, but didn’t return to the matchday squad.
Portsmouth came knocking at the end of August and Bruce clearly felt opportunities would be limited at Villa so he sanctioned the loan move to the League One side. And when hearing criticism levied at Green from his new assistant manager, it’s clear his departure was down to an alarming lack of development.
Joe Gallen believes Green is making himself too easy to defend against by always coming inside in possession. The Pompey assistant says he wants the midfielder to stretch defences by hugging the touchline at times, something he clearly isn’t doing enough of.
Gallen said to Portsmouth News: “We want him to be going down the outside a bit more rather than maybe coming inside. I feel coming inside lets teams off. You come inside and basically run into the back four.
“We want players going down the outside and pulling balls back, standing balls up at the far post, whipping crosses in – and we are looking for one-touch finishes off the back of that. Sometimes the player has to make his own decision
“From a defensive point of view, we are looking for him to stay with his full-back, not get beaten and not let his full-back get the other side of him ever and get any crosses in.”
Gallen’s critique may highlight why Bruce felt Green would be better off getting game time elsewhere. If the midfielder is struggling to beat his man and create chances, while also not doing his defensive duties diligently, he’s not going to be very useful on the pitch.
The 20-year-old has 18 months left on his deal at Villa so he needs to take all the advice on board so he can return next summer and put himself in contention of featuring in the first-team. He’s made three appearances for Portsmouth so far.