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Ipswich Ramblings
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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Mullet added 16:28 - Oct 25
There isn't an Ipswich way. It's an easily proven myth by your own admission of "barren years", the fact that SBR's team, approach and style changed significantly over time and looked little like Burley's or Alf's etc.

It's a convenient get out for nostalgia which doesn't stand up to any kind of scrutiny. The only consistent factor in ITFC's history and success is our ability to punch above our weight for prolonged periods of time.

You seem to have fallen into the trap of rewriting much of Mick's reign here. How did Mick achieve such notable and linear success with these players that "haven't improved"?
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marcus1642 added 17:02 - Oct 25
Totally agree, hit the nail on the head.
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bongoblue added 17:17 - Oct 25
Mullet, The Ipswich Way, look it up, educate yourself, our academy talks of such a thing http://www.itfcpdp.co.uk. I'm also not seeing the linea improvement you talk of, certainly not in the last 18-24 month which is the emphasised timeframe for my moan!
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Mullet added 18:38 - Oct 25
It's a meaningless phrase chucked about but doesn't actually exist. People talk of God, feel free to go and educate yourself on that one.

The problem with your moan being timeframe dependent is that it doesn't stand up very well at all. Hence the question.
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bongoblue added 19:14 - Oct 25
Mullet, thanks for your comments. I thought that I answered your question - I don't recognise notable and linear success over the last 18-24 months. Credit to consistent performance levels of some, rather than many notable genuine improvements; it's a little disturbing that the one notable improver, Bart, shares a specialist coach!!
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blueblood66 added 19:56 - Oct 25
Interesting reading. The problem is the club has no plan on how to progress, other than the age old sound bite 'to reach the Premier League at the earliest opportunity'. I have heard both Clegg and Milne spout that one on numerous occasions. No vision, no plan, no progress.
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Daleyitfc added 21:19 - Oct 25
Excellent blog. But it won't move the ever-diminishing members of the flat-earth-McCarthy society to accept the damage he is causing and has already caused. Just as with the 2 previous incumbents, the Marcus Evans Group will eventually call time on the McCarthy era, and once again we will be a lot further down, in every respect, than we would have been had they taken that decision when it was first evident that 'it' wasn't working. Sad days.
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Pip50 added 08:01 - Oct 26
Excellent piece and absolutely spot on. Never been an admirer or McC. I get he has a difficult job but no worse than 80% of the Championship managers. We are entering an era even more so than ever the riches of those related give then stella advantage. Newcastle Villa and Norwich will occupy 2 of the 3 slots for promotion. I could live with the situation seeing a bit of football ...Portsmouth Burton Stevenage come to mind!!! With the likes of our U18/19 International youngsters and Bishop, Kenlock Emmanuel given time in the team to develop. Under this regime I suspect they will be looking for another club. Evans McCarthy please one of you smell the roses.
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Penguinblue added 10:28 - Oct 26
Bongoblue - an excellent piece.

McCarthy OUT
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TR11BLU added 10:49 - Oct 26
'I can't continue going to watch Ipswich Town regularly whilst McCarthy sucks all hope out of the future'.

You and me both buddy, Spot on. This will be my last season if he is still in come May, which I suspect he will be. ME committed a heinus crime when renewing his contract mid last season.
He will never get another job after this shambles, he has throttled us, we are the ridicule of fans and commentators up and down the country.

Go now Dino
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DurhamTownFan added 12:31 - Oct 26
Totally agreed with the general sentiment and the actual detail of this blog. Very well written, my good man.

Mullet: YES THERE IS AN IPSWICH WAY! There has been ever since the days of Sir Bob: periods of success have been achieved through short passing football and a team featuring local lads/youth products (see: Robson, Lyall, Burley).
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Vizslaraner added 12:44 - Oct 26
Absolutely spot on with what you say. Even if people don't agree there's an Ipswich way, there is certainly a football way something which the current incumbent doesn't get or know how to use. And Burleys team did play good football as did Joe Royles, and Royle had to go through far worse than Dino ever has, administration and shopping in the real bargain basement. Unlike Mr Dull, Royce put his faith in youngsters like Bent and Ambrose and paid the dividend.
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blue_beats_yellow added 17:01 - Oct 26
@bongoblue - 24 months ago was the 14/15 season, the same season we were pushing for promotion and almost did it. It was the best season in 10 years. That was a breath of fresh air from the horror of Jewell and Keane. 12 months ago (last season) we finished 7th, 2 wins off the play-offs. We also had our 3 best players (Fraser, McGoldrick and Bishop) out with injury. It's been a difficult start to season, but not tragic and once again, injuries have been against us. McCarthy won't be going this season. Get behind the team and the club.
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jalapenosteve added 18:19 - Oct 26
Bongoblue - totally agree.

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Pip50 added 20:36 - Oct 26
Blue beats what pants. Almost did it we were played off the park by our friends up the road. It's not too difficult to be around the play offs. 22 wins out of 46 gave us 6th that year. Last year 18/46 this year 4/14 ain't going to do it. Getting behind this moron is not going to cut it.
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blue_beats_yellow added 20:55 - Oct 26
Pip 50 - we were neck and neck with our 'friends' until the red card and then fell short right at the end. They had 40 million quids worth of talent on the pitch that day. We had 10k. Whether you like it or not, McCarthy's last two seasons have been our most successful in 10 years. That's not rubbish, that's just fact. Minus Newcastle, this season is the tightest season in the championship to date. No point in wishing this fails. Players are coming back from injury. We've invested in young, exciting footballers this summer. Get behind the team.
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Mullet added 21:41 - Oct 26
Lyall? I have a question. Steve Whitton?

It's a lie. Periods of success that were all very different and relative. The only things that links them is success itself. Hence why blogs like this are massively flawed from the offset.
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bongoblue added 06:17 - Oct 27
I dont see how a fans opinion is flawed from the outset! Unless of course you are unwilling to accept alternative views. The main themes running through this blog are trust in youth; player development and improvements; game set up; in game tactical changes; and, the many fans losing faith with what the current manager is doing. I put it to you that it will not be long before the players feel the same and the owner makes his move, that's unless there is a remarkable turnaround by MM. A few injured players returning will not save MM in the end as he seems to believe they will.
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PortmanTerrorist added 09:41 - Oct 27
Decent blog and well done for avoiding a rant. Too much on this site however understandably. I have already made comment that echoes much of the above and that there is malaise running right through our great Club right now:-

- an owner who at best seems disinterested, not just evidenced by lack of investment
- a manager who tells the World's media that we are not good enough to compete with the Newcastle's of this world
- players who look like they carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, and probably forgotten that football was once fun.
- fans feeling ignored, confused, exasperated and generally disenfranchised
- a general lack of investment in the Club; not just the 1st team

These problems are coming from the top down......am coming round to the idea that maybe a change at the top is indeed the only way forward.

Have said this before, and will keep on saying it, as I think those who think we should grin and bear the current dross seem to ignore this, but i have an 11 year old true blue son who has only the vaguest idea what a positive football memory feels like. Combine that with the dross on offer at home (even in the last home victory) and we are in danger of losing a generation, if not the Club's complete identity such that it was.
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