|Do It For Ipswich|
written by Edmunds5 Friday, 26th Oct 2012 15:57
This blog concerns the lack of direction that has been present at the club and the reasons for this. Such as the youth policy as well as other pieces of the puzzle which I feel have been overlooked in recent years. I’ll also give my opinions as to how these areas can be improved for the well-being of our football club.
It’s been quite intriguing seeing what fellow Town fans views are on who the new manager should be, people have said that blurting out names is cheap but I must admit I’ve found all the speculation quite entertaining.
Looking through the comments there seems to be a divide in opinion between experienced managers who has been there and done it and can get us out of this relegation scrap and a young up and coming manager with high potential.
One of the biggest aspects I want to see from the new manager is the ability to forge a connection to the club, I don’t mean by just praising supporters after games, and commenting on how we are good, family club but to understand and appreciate the history and tradition of the club and its key values.
By this I mean an emphasis on developing home grown talent, and a care for progressing younger players at the club. Of course, with the situation we are in we need results, and pretty swiftly, and to throw in inexperienced players may be seen as a risk. I fully understand that youth has to be blooded at the right times but it is in the best interest of the club long term to really acknowledge the younger players.
This seemed to have been too much of a side issue under Roy Keane and Paul Jewell, with both managers immediate target of promotion hindering the development of our youngsters. When given a chance Keane’s style of play didn’t allow younger players the freedom to show what they were capable off with a focus on discipline and being hard to beat.
Keane also invested Marcus Evans's millions on players he had previously worked with, many of whom failed to make a massive impression with many leaving for free.
Even the younger players Keane signed such as Troy Brown and Conor Hourihane were never really given the chance to make a name for themselves. There also seemed to be a lack of emphasis on nurturing home-grown talents such as Owen Garvan and Jordan Rhodes.
Jewell focused on bringing in experienced players with big reputations were and majority failing to really impress. Many questioning the hunger they had to succeed at the club and seen as ‘over the hill’. In fact it was one of Jewell’s youngest signings, Aaron Cresswell, who seemed to make the biggest impact, which saw him named Town’s player of the year.
Many fans have talked about the need for a long-term plan and to do this our youth must be used more sensibly, our younger players need to be coached properly and in depth and the management, whoever they may be have to put effort into developing a personal relationship with these boys instead of throwing them out the team for several weeks if they haven’t played particularly well.
These players have to know where they stand, if they’re to be shipped out on loan then they need to be sat down with and talked to about the reasons and should be reminded how influential that player could be in the future and what is required of them.
That way the player can relax and enjoy the loan spell and impress with the knowledge that he is still highly regarded and not just elsewhere because he cannot get in the matchday squad. This will give him an added confidence and motivation that is likely to improve performances.
Brendan Rodgers has taken considerable care since being appointed at Liverpool, though Liverpool are in a different predicament to us at the moment with the Anfield club in the midst of rebuilding, Rodgers has throw in young blood and it seems to have paid dividends with the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Suso and Andre Wisdom impressing.
And most notably Raheem Sterling. Rodgers has mentioned in interviews how Sterling has really listened to him in training and has taken in his ideas and this is evident in his play, with Sterling operating behind as a second striker and seen pressing and tracking back on numerous occasions.
Crewe are another side who focus deeply on youth, and they saw results last season, winning promotion with many prodigies such as Ashley Westwood and Max Clayton excelling. As well as Nick Powell who left for Manchester United for around £4m, the impressive Westwood departed to Aston Villa for £2.5m.
Yes, for the future you want your young players staying put and at a club in a higher league where you have more stability than the likes of Crewe we may expect our prospects to stay, but because of the hard work being put into youth Crewe have not only been rewarded with promotion but the club is in a more healthy state financially because of the fees received.
They will now wait for their next players to appear through their production line and continue the trend, the club is very structured and it only holds teams in good stead for the present and future.
All I’ve heard from our managers when being asked about young players is that they’ve done well; I haven’t heard anything about how they have been coached or what has been worked on. I haven’t seen our younger players utilised in any other positions bar there familiar ones.
Luke Hyam may make a great right-back?, Josh Carson may be more useful behind the striker, these are just examples but what I’m saying is there have to be strings to the managers' and coaches' bows because it is pivotal that our club can produce young talent because it has always been a popular trait and gives a homely feel to the club as well as considerably improving the team.
I think it is important that the new man realises the assets of the club that have been hidden, and has a structure unlike our previous two appointments who were lured in by the Premiership and were in hindsight far to hasty with what they were trying to do.
The problem with being a manager is that it is like any other job in the way that you want to go as high as possible and achieve as much as you can for yourself and future prospects.
And particularly in Roy Keane’s case we have maybe been seen as a stepping stone which is what concerns me about the idea of Alan Shearer being appointed.
Shearer recently told Football Focus that he would talk to Blackburn with regards to their manager’s job; it seems he has yet to be approached and I would hate to think that we are just a bit on the side and just wants to give us a stab because we are a reasonable club and as a consequence of not securing the Blackburn job.
He has no connection to the club, which is why someone like George Burley or Mark Venus may be seen as a more natural appointment, as they understand the traditions of the club and have a genuine concern for the club's state.
There is even more pressure now with regards to how the game has evolved. With wealthy foreign owners on the rise, many expect instant return on there investments and so demands are on the manager to get results as soon as they take the job meaning less consideration on the long-term health of the club and the internal and external attributes needed for continued stability and success.
I am hoping we are an exception with our next appointment and that the importance of having a long-term plan and clear intent is reiterated by the board. Marcus Evans and Simon Clegg should not just the new man to keep the team up and then build a squad for promotion, we need mending, and we need players who want to be here and are eager to succeed.
We need a brand of football that allows players to express themselves and reclaim some kind of identity, we need obvious work on the defence and to stop conceding late goals, which may requite a new defensive team.
We need to regain that spirit at the club and see a genuine connection between the players and fans with the players showing more passion and commitment to the cause. I don’t think I have once seen a player lift his arms and rev the crowd up or celebrate by doing a Hermann dive, a reflection of the malaise surrounding the football club.
We have to see the new manager understand these issues and try to instil some drive into these players then you will see a warm response and an appreciation from the fans and ultimately togetherness.
I’m sure whoever becomes our boss, will take the role very seriously and bring his own ideas to the club and will be under no illusions as to the challenges and the club faces. But much has to change from previous regimes and I hope the new manager can improve some of the aspects I’ve mentioned and make Ipswich a proud and successful club again.
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