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The L Word
written by prickettboy3 Thursday, 10th Jan 2013 08:36

The day always comes when one of you has to say it. It’s one of the most important words muttered and to some it means so much and to others it just rolls of their tongue but means nothing to them. I’m talking about the only word that truly makes you feel excited and nervous at the same time. Loan.

I think I’ve said that word so much in the past year that it’s now lost all meaning to me. A loan by definition is ‘something lent for temporary use’. We’ve brought in Aaron Mclean and David McGoldrick on 'loan' in the past week and I see some people moaning about this, the fact that we’ve yet again turned to the loan market and that we thought those days were behind us.

Even Adrian Durham on Talksport has decided he wants to have a dig at Ipswich at every opportunity and criticised us through various tweets on Twitter, sharing his opinion that the number of loans we have in at the moment demonstrate a “short-term plan” by the management.

In reality the McGoldrick deal in particular is not really a loan because we’ve already struck the deal to sign him up permanently. In essence he's a new signing we won't formalise until July. Of course the footballing authorities say that only a certain number of loan players can be named in a matchday squad so this is the only sense in which it becomes relevant.

A lot has been said this season (and in fact last) about how we’ve over-used the loan system and we can all agree that as a club we haven’t benefited really (with the exception of DJ Campbell, of course). But other clubs have. The feeder clubs. They’ve used us to get their player match fit, learn his trade or simply free up the wages so they could afford to bring in someone better. So let’s do the same.

The addition of Frank Nouble now gives us an abundance of attacking options with 10 strikers on our books. At best only five of these will make a matchday squad, most likely to be Daryl Murphy, Mclean, McGoldrick, Michael Chopra and Nouble.

Paul Taylor is injured which leaves four strikers surplus to requirements for the rest of the year - Jason Scotland, Ronan Murray, Nathan Ellington and JET.

The last may surprise a few of you but Mick McCarthy has said he sees him primarily as a striker and not a wideman which by my reckoning makes him sixth choice. We’ve invested a lot of money (£1.1m fee + wages) and time in JET so I’m not all for getting rid just yet, he does after all possess great pace and has a very powerful shot on him, sadly he just can’t hit a barn door from five yards.

So, let’s allow another club to pay his wages for a few months, invest time in him and let him learn about playing as a striker through the middle in League One. Then we’ll have him back in the summer and let Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor decide whether he can be useful to us in the long term. I suspect he can’t be, but there’s no sense in us selling him now. We don’t need to and we will gain nothing from it.

The same logic can’t be applied to many others though. For some their time at Ipswich has simply run out in my opinion. A look down the squad list and for me it’s easy to identify some of these: Ellington, Scotland and Murray for starters – another loan out for the latter will do little other than delay the inevitable. He’s had various loans in the past and still we’re yet to see an improvement significant enough to suggest he’ll progress into the first team squad any time soon, so let’s not waste any more of his time or ours.

These players are not what’s necessary if we’re to ever seriously challenge again at the top of the league. A look at some of the players we’ve shipped out in recent years will show that the current crop aren’t even of a matching quality to those we’ve already deemed to not be good enough. Gone are Gareth McAuley, David Norris, Grant Leadbitter, Liam Trotter, Damien Delaney (albeit their choice), Jon Walters, Connor Wickham, Jordan Rhodes and Owen Garvan to name just a few.

We need to start being ruthless and stop holding on to players for sentimental value (such as they’ve been with us since they were 10 years old) or because we’re fearful they might go on to be awesome elsewhere. If there’s no evidence to suggest they’re going to be awesome for us, then Mick needs to ship them out. I believe he will.

There may be some eyebrows raised when doing this as I wouldn’t be surprised to see three youngsters in Jack Ainsley, Josh Carson and Joe Whight make way in the shake-up, but ask yourself this: have any of these players showed anything to suggest they are worthy of being involved in a promotion-winning team?

We all know the answer really. Ainsley did OK against Huddersfield at the start of the season and I was pleasantly surprised, but he’s not big enough to play as a centre-half and certainly isn’t going to be better than Chambo or Tommy Smith, we have a very highly rated player in Elliott Hewitt ready to step in and make the right-back position his own for years to come, so there’s no place really for Jack to fit in.

Carson seems to have made very little progress in the past two years. I was genuinely excited about his potential involvement this year but a change of manager has bought with it a change in attitude (from me) and I’m no longer convinced he possesses the ability to be an influential part of the Mick McCarthy reign.

Similar to Lee Martin, Carson doesn’t have the raw pace or skill to be our answer for the right side of midfield. Look at previous McCarthy players in Michael Kightly and Matt Jarvis, both of whom have been successful enough to earn moves to Premier League sides and hold down a place. This is the standard we can expect Mick to be looking for.

Finally, I mentioned Whight. I haven’t personally seen enough of this lad to know if he’d be a loss to us or not, but the recent acquisition and immediate squad involvement of Tyrone Mings suggests that Whight isn’t good enough. You don’t replace a teenager for another teenager unless there’s a significant gulf in quality between the two.

So, we’ve established that loans aren’t always the best thing for a club, but they are a large part of modern-day football, especially in the lower leagues in which we reside and I think it’s simply that we haven’t utilised the loan system in the way that best suits us.

There are signs to suggest that Mick is more in tune with how to do this. It’s unlikely we’ll see any more players come in on loan now as I don’t think they could all be involved anyway, but we can certainly expect to see a fair few players shipped out using this method. The next few weeks will reveal all.

Happy January transfer window everybody.







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olimar added 10:53 - Jan 10
"In reality the McGoldrick deal in particular is not really a loan because we’ve already struck the deal to sign him up permanently. In essence he's a new signing we won't formalise until July. Of course the footballing authorities say that only a certain number of loan players can be named in a matchday squad so this is the only sense in which it becomes relevant."

Not sure I agree with this.
We have agreed a loan with a view to a permanent transfer, but what does that actually mean? The player is out of contract in the summer, so the only agreement that needs to be made is between the club and the player.

McGoldrick is in a strong position, with interest from other clubs and out of contract in 6 months. If he wants security of a long term contract, then why not find one right now? If he is only being offered a deal with an option in June, then surely he wants to give himself the opportunity of using that option to see what other offers he gets at the end of the season?

To me, the only way I read this deal is that we have offered him a deal to sign in June. If both parties are happy in June that its the best offer, then he will sign it. But any other club can offer him a competitive contract between now and the end of the season that he can choose to sign instead.

Taking him on loan, as you say, does take up one of the available spots. But I can only presume we werent keen on paying a permanent fee for him (even though that would have been quite minimal) and putting him on a long term contract. But it leaves the options wide open for the player at the same time.
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daniel9624 added 11:33 - Jan 10
For what its worth, I think while we use alot of loans, our use of the system in terms of getting players out there is poor. Hyam should have been out on loan two years ago, Carson, too, Whight should be out now, Ainsley never got a good run anywhere. Murray was at Swindon last season, didn't feature regularly enough. We seem to be poor at using the system to benefit out own players. Byron Lawrence should be out somewhere in League Two now, getting used to the game at the highest level possible. We have a number of talents very close to the graduation end of the academy that we should be actively sorting out deals for the second half of the season, getting them games in competitive environments. Even looking at the non-league teams who progressed in the FA Cup what a marvellous experience that could have been for one of our young players. You can't tell me Luton have any better than Whight at full-back, or Macclesfield wouldn't have taken Hewitt back until the end of January (looking back to his return in November), when Orr's loan is up. Thoughts?
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Daleyitfc added 12:32 - Jan 10
Glad that someone else has realised that Carson, despite probably being the most popular player in the squad amongst TWTD posters, is way below the standard required. He is fat, slow, arrogant, and yet another example of a young player who got above himself (don't they all?). He'll never make it in the Football League at any level : neither will Ainsley or Whight or Emmanuel-Thomas, the laziest player we've ever had, and that's saying something. Clear them all out, and all the loan players (including the new 3) and start again.
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MattinLondon added 12:33 - Jan 10
@daniel9624
Why would lower league clubs want to loan our younger players?
Have they played any games to indicate that they are good enough for L1 or L2 or have any cup experience?

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prickettboy3 added 12:36 - Jan 10
I completely agree with daniel9624 and it's kind of teh direction my blog was aimed at. Other clubs seem to benefit from loaning players out, whether that be by getting an improved player back or simply having increased his value to sell on. We've never achieved either, even when we have sent players out on loan we've had them back too early from a developmental point of view. Murray being the prime example.

Olimar - an interesting view regarding McGoldrick but I would counter your argument by stating that MM himself said in a recent interview that McGoldrick was a done deal and he wouldn't be leaving. That implies that we at least have a pre-contract agreement in place with him. Signing for a minimal fee now would have made no sense when we need pay no fee in July when he's a free agent.
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Edmunds5 added 13:23 - Jan 10
Interesting read

I think our use of the loan market has symbolised where we've been at for the last five or six years, constant instability and a lack of structure. when we were having better times it was no coinsidence that we only got in a couple of loans at most, obviously because there was an understanding that we had a settled side, Matt Holland and Magilton pretty much had nailed midfield spots and taking them out of the team, amongst others like Marcus Stewart,Jermain Wright would have been ludicrous. We've thrown a lot of money at gaining promotion with Keane and even Jewell and it can backfire when we either make poor signings or just let players go, the money goes down the drain the manager leaves then the next manager picks up the pieces and then does a similar thing. Cardiff, who admittingly have spent alot, have bought well, and Malky Mackay has assembled a real good side, but he's kept Whittingham who has been the fulcrum and kept a consitent back five. Derby haven't great money but have used the youth system superbly with players like Will Hughes, Mason Bennett but has bought in slightly more experienced players like Keogh and Sammon, clever. They can keep doing this for several years and they dont have to spend too much if they dont want to, or they can always cash in on a starlet if they are forced too. Stay up this season and then let Mick really think about what he wants to do in the summer, and I trust him, there is no way things will be anywhere near as manic next season.
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olimar added 13:23 - Jan 10
I see. So the suggestion being that he has already signed the pre-contract agreement and we are loaning him so that he remains a forest player on a loan. I guess any fee for a loan is liable to be less than for a permanent transfer.
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daniel9624 added 16:42 - Jan 10
So i write my response to a very good blog, then a couple of hours later I read that Carson and Murray are both off on loan, if you reading Mick its okay your welcome (before all the negatives I am of course joking)
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marco007 added 14:27 - Jan 28
Well I have to say that Campbell was a good short term signing but when you look at the bigger picture and the amount of loanees that have come and gone you have to say that this strategy has not worked and will not work.
Let's be honest, throwing in a kid with no league experience, into a new team, in a relegation scrap has very limited chance of success.
We have not built and developed players for many years and are now paying the consequences with an alarming downward spiral. I for one am so fed up with the conveyor belt of players coming and going and feel the spirit and performance of the club is under serious threat.

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