|United We Stand, Divided We Fall|
Written by Pessimistic on Friday, 26th Oct 2012 19:37
Like all football clubs both near and far, Ipswich Town houses a very broad church of opinions; from those of us who loathed Paul Jewell almost from the start, to people like myself who loved the socks off him!
They say that statistics are no substitute for judgement but sadly in the case of Paul Jewell they were. He was dealt a poor hand from the start and the more he shuffled the pack the further away he seemed to get from a winning hand.
He was, of course, the first to admit he made mistakes but once Marcus Evans brushed away the cobwebs from his wallet once again, expectations rose and the long term plan became a short term fix.
Snap judgements however have a way of being quickly unravelled and as the old kids on the block filled the ranks, they soon realised it was their last chance of a fat pay cheque and gladly volunteered their services.
I suppose the most memorable performance under Paul Jewell was that out of the blue 5-1 drubbing of West Ham and when in pre-season they defeated them again, some supporters began to even whisper in quiet places about the prospects of promotion to the elite league!
Twelve games into the season and this is but a distant memory, which has been replaced by doom and gloom and fear of the unknown. Lying, as we speak, in last place in the Championship we can only guess at what might have been if some of those excellent early season performances had been rewarded with more goals and ultimately more points.
Our Achilles' heel remains our inability to see out games. Too many times we have had leads only to lose them in the dying embers of matches by conceding sloppy goals. It has been a reoccurring theme for some years now and not just an exclusive frailty of the Jewell regime.
The Jewell Out campaign gathered pace as we dropped with ever increasing rapidity down the table. The boo boys were back in Town and made their feelings felt at every home game which failed to live up to its billing.
Everyone could see PJ was coming under increasing pressure but his dry wit and water off a duck's back mentality seemed to quell our worst fears but what he needed most of all was a win! This sadly never came and in the end he accepted defeat like a man humbled yes but dignified with it.
On a personal note I will miss him. Not because he got everything right - far from it but because he was man enough to admit to his mistakes and leave the club without a chip on his shoulder. He was an honest person and a nice bloke. Some might say too nice. Nice worked for Wigan and nice worked for Bradford all those years ago so maybe nice is no longer all that fashionable any more?
Or should we refer instead to respect? Did the players respect him sufficiently - or like naughty school kids, when confronted with a nice teacher, decide to try to pull the wool over his eyes? We may never know and quite frankly it matters not any more. All we really need to know is that when the new incumbent takes the helm the players will give their all.
And this is not just about the players, it is about all of us. The Paul Jewell saga divided not only players but supporters too and the wounds went deep into the very heart of this wonderful football club.
Now it is surely time to repair the damage and heal the pain. Whoever Messrs Evans and Clegg pick, we must collectively back their man. People power gives football its voice and if we work together, following the same common goal, then Portman Road could be awakened once more from its seemingly endless slumber.
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