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[Blog] Peterborough: Another View
Written by SouperJim on Wednesday, 17th Feb 2010 12:28

We were three goals better first half. We scored one. They were two goals better second half. They scored three. The pitch was awful, it didn't help. Keane's substitutions were awful, they didn't help. Our luck was utterly dismal, the officials didn't help.

We were undone by the same problems we've seen over the last dozen games, we start well, are the better team first half, but then don't come out second half.

With that in mind, why the sudden change of heart by a lot of previously optimistic TWTDers? Because it was Peterborough? We've been the better team against Boro three times this season, we've got a draw out of it. We must learn to make our dominance count and kill teams off when we're on top.

Will we be relegated? There are 16 games to go, eight at home, eight away. Our home form will be key, as is the fact we are still to play Reading and Plymouth at Portman Road. six of the eight home games are against sides currently in the bottom half of the table and only one is against a current top six side (Cardiff). I fancy we'll be safe, but it's tight.

Is Keane the right man for the job? For me nothing has changed. We're not the finished article and we're not getting there as quickly as we hoped, however progress has been slow but sure. On paper we are a good side and we show patches of dominant play, but we must iron out the inconsistency and our apparant inability to play well for more than half a game.

Whether you like Roy Keane and his style of football is a different argument, but for me, now is not the time for another clean slate. I want to see Keane in charge next season, even if the worst happens. He is building a team and Evans must see that process through to whatever conclusion, not throw it all in the toilet when the going gets tough.

A new manager has a sizeable cost attached, including the inevitable new players as the building process starts all over again. Evans bought the club as an investment and he is not a bottomless pit of money. If Christmas 2010 comes around and we are still unhappy with how the team are performing, whichever division we are in, then it'll be time for a change.

The support last night was fantastic. I'm still proud to be an Ipswich fan.




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vesuviusblue added 12:49 - Feb 17
Summed up perfectly. The atmosphere was great last night - just a shame the second half was woeful.

What I want to know is what has David Wright done wrong? He's a solid defender but is 3rd choice left-back behind a cental midfielder and a right winger!
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LincsBluebelly added 12:55 - Feb 17
The pitch didn't look great but I thought it played OK, and I actually thought the officials were OK last night...however, whether you agree or not, the simple fact is that the pich and the officials were the same for both teams.
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naa added 13:05 - Feb 17
Hmmm, yet another 'unlucky' post. We can't keep being unlucky. The table does not lie, we have not been unlucky time and time again. There is a reason why this keeps happening, and it isn't luck. Not over a whole season at least.

I find it amazing that you see progress being made over last year's team. We were poor last year and we all thoguht we should be doing better, but we came 9th. We haven't looked anywhere near good enough to come 9th this year, so where's the progress?

The football has largely been poor. The team selections baffling, the transfer dealing astonishing (and not in a good way) yet we're making progress?

If you looked at any other club in our position, saw the money going in and the results and performances you'd be saying that they need to get a new manager in. So why not for us.

Agree that it may be a bit late to try it now, but I'm flabbergasted that you'd be happy to see Keane stay in charge should we get relegated. Surely, if ever proof were needed that he isn't up to it a relegation would be it.

A lot of people on here need to see beyond the name and the history and see what he's actually doing for us. Not what a good player he was, not how he got Sunderland promoted at the first go, but what he's doing for us.

That's what I've always been doing and, for the most part, he's been doing a lot of things badly and it's looking very scary.

Teams often need 50 or more points to avoid relegation. Can we honestly say we can easily see that happening? 17 points from 16 games when we can't even beat Peterborough?
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SouperJim added 13:26 - Feb 17
If you look again, I didn't blame the result entirely on bad luck, but I don't think we deserved to lose 3-1. The saying goes that the table doesn't lie, I don't agree. Results and league position never tell the whole story. Explain why Leeds can be brilliant against Man U and Spurs, yet win 1 league game out of 7? We remain a piece of the jigsaw away from being a top 6 side, right now that piece is the bit in the player's heads. Under Jim we were missing half the puzzle. Thats progress.

Yes, if we were relegated, I would still rather see Keane given the chance to turn it around. For the same reason relegated Prem sides usually give the manager until Christmas to find the top 2. Rome wasn't built in a day and it makes little sense to start tearing the walls down because the Visigoths are invading.
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naa added 14:05 - Feb 17
Hmmm, don't agree, sorry. Firstly, what pieces of the puzzle were missing under Jim? A lot of people thought he failed to get the best out of the squad he had.

Then this year everyone is saying that the squad RK inherited was rubbish and needed wiping out. Well both statements can't be true, as we'd have got to the play-offs under Jim if he got the best out of them, yet apparently they were a rubbish squad.

Fans all have their own idea on what's wrong. Personally I think there's an awful lot more wrong than player's mindset at the moment. Just look at the transfer dealings, the squad rotation, the tactical changes, the dumping of established players for people playing out of position. All of those are jigsaw pieces that RK has removed himself.

Personally, if we go down, we need to get rid, give someone the summer to try to get a team together. After all, will Leadbitter (RKs only truly successful signing) want to stay in League 1? I doubt it. There will be others too - Walters for one.

And no the table doesn't lie. If Leeds aren't winning then there's a problem. It's not luck. Are you saying Leeds' run is down to luck? It obviously isn't. There are many reasons why runs of form happen but a run of form like ours (the entire season) is down to one man....
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cbower added 14:21 - Feb 17
I like this blog SouperJim. No irrational "I hate Keane" / "I love Roy" drivel just some well presented views and even if you don't agree with some or even all of them, this is the kind of rational presentation of a fan's opinion I like to see. Well done!
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naa added 14:40 - Feb 17
cbower: have to agree with that. Far too much sniping on the boards/news comments. It really shouldn't be so hard for people to explain their position rather than just bait the others.
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petermorris added 15:06 - Feb 17
Forget the first 15 mins, the pitch, and the officials. Last night we were absolutely terrible.

Keane’s substitutions were hopeless, our players looked generally confused….Colback was running out of different positions to try out.

Some of you ‘TWTD’ers’ seem to have unlimited faith in our manager and I don’t think you realise just how bad all of this could get. A lot of the ‘moaners on here’ live in the real world. Some of us remember the diabolical Duncan era and this is worse.

Great support last night as usual – shame RK didn’t hang around to give us another wave – even though his players had been ordered to.

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Surco72 added 16:39 - Feb 17
Souperjim i agree fully with the rebuilding of his team but not if we get relegated as all of the loanees would be gone may do anyway,Leadbitter,Norris,Mac,Garvan would be picked up by championship sides and then we have to rebuild again with a new team and that is what has let Keane down so far gelling a team,formation and style .New manager ,new ideas Keanes are not working
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tractorboybig added 17:19 - Feb 17
re building starts at the top downwards. The present manager must go. All this crap about being unlucky, poor officials etc. We were well beaten by a team that are bottom an relegated. The fact is we are joining them and we are not going to do a norwich next year, more a luton.
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yorkshire added 17:26 - Feb 17
One of the better blogs on here over the past few weeks.


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marchy added 21:05 - Feb 17
'We remain a piece of the jigsaw away from being a top 6 side, right now that piece is the bit in the player's heads. Under Jim we were missing half the puzzle. Thats progress.'

Do you actually believe what you're saying? That is astounding. So the missing piece doesn't arise from RK not being able to select a single XI he's happy with out of a squad now very largely comprised of his signings? Nor from the fact that we're hailing as saviours two loanees with abysmal scoring records in recent years? (I concede that Murphy's made a fantastic start at proving half of that concern unfounded, but Healy certainly hasn't.) You actually think a collective mindset is what's keeping us in a relegation fight?

I am not calling for RK's head, but neither do I have much faith in him; I couldn't even propose a solution, because whilst I think he's had long enough to justify his fee, it wouldn't help matters to replace him now, and no decent candidates really make themselves obvious.

But I wish these die-hard RK fans would grow up, take off the rose-tinteds, and concede that we are simply NOT any further forward than we were last season. We didn't finish 9th by being as crap all year as you're making out we were, neither by getting roundly beaten by the bottom side (twice.) And you don't improve upon finishing 9th by narrowly escaping relegation (or worse) with a different set of players. We have some good players now - we had some good players then. Dodgy manager then - dodgy manager now.

Join me in cheering the lads come what may, but blind unquestioning faith might leave you looking a bit silly at this rate.
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svendust added 03:28 - Feb 18
At the start of the season I didn't really expect anything from this season, I was happy to give Keane a season to build and wait for next season to push for promotion. I wanted to see Keane clear out Jim's players that weren't up to it and bring in his own players who were good enough to build a team that could compete for automatic promotion next season.

Instead Keane has made a mess, he panic bought Martin, Delaney and Healy and none of his signings bar Leadbitter have excited the fans at all. Now, instead of coming to the end of a season which was supposed to prepare us for a promotion push we are having to make further changes to the squad in the close season, though there are better players at the club than this time last season.

A left back and left winger are a must and hopefully Murphy will join us permanently and prove he is the goal scorer we have been looking for but I fear wholesale changes will be made again and we will again have to wait for players to bed in, something we seem to have been doing since we were relegated!
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SouperJim added 10:19 - Feb 18
Some fair comments and I agree with what some of you have posted. I'd like to quantify why I feel Roy's team is superior to Jim's and has a better chance of going somewhere IF we can pick up the points needed to get us away from the bottom of the table. I agree that Roy's transfer record is far from good. The same criticism was levelled at him at Sunderland: for every good signing he makes, he makes 2-3 bad ones. That aside, in my view he has significantly strengthened the team.

Under Jim we had no settled defence and permanent problems at CB and LB. McAuley was our only decent CB, so he struggled being partnered with Bruce, Campo etc and repeatedly being played on the wrong side to accomodate them. Now we have a strong central pairing in Delaney (who would have thought it) and McAuley. Under Jim the host of players who were tried at LB were awful, with Thatcher perhaps the pick of the bunch. Roy hasn't found a permanent solution, but Wright, Pim, Peters and Colback have all done good jobs at LB for us. Also in Rosenoir, Roy has found a top RB who seems to love it here and will no doubt stay. For me, we are a million times better at the back now than under Jim.

Onto the midfield. Jim most-often used Walters, Garvan, Miller, Quinn and Norris. Walters was poor last season under Jim, Quinn and Norris both tried hard but Miller was useless and Garvan played when he felt like it. Roy has brought in the superb Leadbitter and has motivated Garvan and Walters in particular to play better than they have for some time. Colback has also been a revelation, even if he is only a loan. I should also mention Peters, who has found some kind of form again under Roy, largely being used as a utility man or as a tactical switch where pace is needed. Again, it is clear to me that in the middle we are much much better off with Roy's team. Yes, Martin and Edwards have been flops, but I would still rather have them in the squad than the god awful, totally past-it, strutting around, caught in posession every 2 minutes Campo.

So we reach the strikers. Before I start, you look at the goals we've scored under Roy and it's simply not good enough. No-one is going to dispute that. But I do still argue that the personnel are superior to what we had 12 months ago. Jim's most-used strikers were Lisbie, Stead, Pablo and Haynes. I think Lisbie is a good player, but at no point during his time at Town did we play to his strengths or man-manage him in the right way. He obviously needs to be made to feel like the big fish. Forget the scoring records, his performances in Town shirts were ineffectual at best, plain awful at worst. Stead did OK for Jim but had more off days than on. Pablo again like so many players under Jim clearly picked and chose when to turn up and had little respect for the manager. Haynes was just Haynes, headless chicken hand-of-god Haynes. Exciting to watch, but a freak of a footballer who it's very hard to take seriously. So who do we currently have under Roy? Murphy has got off to a flier and looks like a real catch, Healy looks off the pace and needs to regain fitness and sharpness but the signs of his pedigree are there. It's too early to conclusively judge either of them, but I'd still swap them right now for the 4 of Jim's players. Under Roy, Pablo has shown more energy and effort than at any other time in this latest spell at Town and is now a useful tactical option. I don't think it's fair to factor in Wickham as he's come through the ranks. Priskin's days at Town are not yet numbered, he has undoubtebly been a flop so far, but you can't argue with his potential as shown in half a season at Watford. He may still come good, form is temporary.

Thats a good thought to end this post on. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Roy's team has, in my honest opinion, twice the class of Jim's. That is what I refer to when I say I believe we have made progress under Roy. Nobody would argue we have made progress in terms of form. My earlier reference to Leeds was me stabbing at something about performance being linked to self-belief and the right attitude towards games. That is what we still lack. Under Jim half the jigsaw, in terms of quality players, was missing. Also his players played well in half the games (home one season, away the next). Under Roy, the players jigsaw is nearly complete. Now he has to get them playing well in the other half of the games, in his case the second half of every game. I hope thats as clear as mud, I've been typing for some time now.
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LincsBluebelly added 12:38 - Feb 18
Souper Jim, you have made some interesting observations in your post, and I do agree that we have better players now than we did 12 months ago - so the big question must be: why isn't the 'team' better than it was 12 months ago? Cue debate...
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8ashblue added 13:20 - Feb 18
I agree with Souper 100%. The problem for me was that Keane took over a very poor squad which would have performed no better had Jim stayed. Ok Keane hasnt performed well but the squad is definitely stronger. In addition Keane has had to overcome three enforced changes to the keeper. Had Portsmouth not called back their keeper we'd been higher up the table.
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marchy added 13:59 - Feb 19
SouperJim - some well-made points, and it's nice to hear from someone who actually recognises that Pablo makes a valuable contribution at least some of the time, as opposed to the brigade of 'OMG Healy and Murphy on loan all our problems are over bye bye Pablo and Stead in Keane we trust!!!!111one' cretins who seem ever more common on here and were the main focus of my original criticism.

On which note it is also a relief to hear your apparent view that the problems last year were substantially down to the way players were used, rather than who they were. I agree with this for the most part, and you certainly won't hear me disputing that Campo, Miller and Lisbie were deadweight. On the other side however, I would say that we had consistently better performances out of the likes of D Wright, R Wright and McAulay last year - which may or may not be down to management. And whilst I am reluctant to consider loanees in an analysis of a squad's strengths (though we've become so dependent upon them that I suppose we must) you've neglected to mention a Mr. Dos Santos in your comparison to Jim's choice of striking options. The forward line was better with him in it than anything we have at our disposal now - I'd have picked him over Murphy, Healy and Priskin combined any day of the week.
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SouperJim added 15:54 - Feb 19
marchy, agreed, dos santos was a class above anything we have at the club now. I didn't consciously leave him out, but it begs the question where would we have finished up without him?
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