Written by bongoblue on Tuesday, 25th Oct 2016 15:05
Twenty-four months. This is the period over which Ipswich fans have remained patient, in the main. Some like myself have found it very hard going during this time, but enough is enough.
Marcus Evans has his own weaknesses, but I find it hard to say that he brings anything other than patient capital and stable financing, whilst we the fans have offered Mick McCarthy patient support in the hope that he would develop and build not only a competitive side but a side capable of big things in the future.
Evans, on the face of things, through his budget restricted acquisitions, could be seen as using a subtle (or not so subtle) influence over what is clearly McCarthy's domain, team selection; this you would expect of a sensible owner because no one wants direct dabbling, but some leadership at a time when McCarthy appears all powerful is key.
If you were a football manager with a multi-year contract and you had an owner that didn't want to overstep their mark, but restricted your budgets, wouldn't you see that as the time to innovate, develop and provide opportunities for your talented academy products? Especially as this is the one big investment over and above the player budget?
Not Mick. You could see this all unwinding at least 18, if not 24 months ago and many said as much. Evans should intervene as soon as is possible.
Meanwhile, McCarthy continues with his unadventurous game plans, his consistent inconsistencies, such as the ridiculous selection of both out of form and players for positions in which they are ill-equipped to play at this level.
He continues to divide the fanbase, odd because he loves loyalty and team ethics. And over his four years he doesn't seem to have helped enough players to become better football players, passing, moving, composure on the ball and decision-making under pressure.
McCarthy doesn't even appear interested in winning football matches sometimes, only competing to draw, but not versus the top teams where we can now expect to lose.
I know money has changed the game, but shall we all pack up now if we are not setting out to win?!
This is football, and no one is going to tell me there isn't an Ipswich Way, but McCarthy is dreadfully misaligned with a large number of the fans - customers - these days.
ITFC players are seemingly being asked to do simple and unadventurous things, or not capable of doing anything more? Fine in a stabilisation period, but players are paid a lot of money to maintain this level of performance where games too often pass them by or they make no meaningful positive impact on the game other than by defensive contribution. All important stuff, but there are unfulfilled talents going wasted.
In fact, increasingly players are looking out of their depth as the world improves around them, Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Jonathan Douglas, Kevin Bru et al. It's unfair to say players haven't improved at all, many have improved consistency of performance but they are seemingly not asked for stretch performance. McCarthy in their ear, they are all nailed on the teamsheet, there is simply too little ambition and mediocrity, and it is showing.
For only so long will fans not blame individual player performances for what is a more systemic problem in our management, coaching and game set-up; we have seen this before, as the tide turns the fans blame the players and by the time the manage leaves the club needs an overhaul. ITFC is not quite at this point but this is the direction of travel.
Ipswich may have had a many barren years with managers that have struggled to adapt to a changing football landscape, but coaching, developing, improving and selling to reinvest remain every bit as important today as they have ever been, especially with the backdrop of less money and bigger debts. So why then is it so difficult for youth products to get a few first-team minutes when you have these seasoned pros in place?
Mick clearly doesn't believe we can properly compete hence the safety first approach. Why isn't he building the next generation team whilst we have stable seasoned pros in situ? He's still relying on various loans that will not be with us going forwards?
In the here and now. Mick looked like a man with no plan stood out there on Saturday at Newcastle with the loyal number two by his side. It's laudable, but he sowed this crop 24-18 months ago, last season he failed to plan forwards adequately and lost a season, now we are losing another.
The world could see a game there to be positively influenced at 0-1, we lost 3-0 anyway. Newcastle were nowhere near the level you and some others would like us to believe, but Mick has masterminded a yawning chasm in the middle of the park over four years and you could see that poor Jonny Douglas was like a lost sheep, later evidenced to great embarrassment by social media.
I expect, but don't like the thought of, Ipswich fans continuing to fall away in the lead up to December. It wouldn't surprise me if there were more walkouts before long, early leavers or late walk-ins after kick-off as a show of the 'meh'.
What McCarthy did four years ago was great. What McCarthy has done in the last 24-18 months has and will set the club back.
Mick please go. Thanks for the service but now I would like a new bold vision of what we can be, not what we can't. I can't continue going to watch Ipswich Town regularly whilst McCarthy sucks all hope out of the future.
I'm going to leave this on a positive. Ipswich Town is a great club, with a great history, great coaching facilities and a great future, even a first team squad that is stronger than for many years. I do however hope that the future is a little bit closer!
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