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[Blog] For the Sake of My Football Club, Please Go
Written by GlasgowBlue on Monday, 21st Nov 2011 11:47

I've been supporting Ipswich since seeing my first game as a wide eyed 10-year-old at Portman Road in 1974. I've seen the good times and the bad. I've experienced the joys of winning the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup, promotion and play-off glory with the anguish of relegation and play-off failures. In 37 years of following this club, I have supported every manager, whether good or poor. I've never called for a manager to be sacked and, until now, I thought I never would.

This isn't a knee-jerk reaction to a poor run of results. This isn't a call for us to become a hire 'em and fire 'em club. It's a call for the owner and directors to admit they have made a mistake in appointing Paul Jewell and to rectify that mistake before any more damage may be done.

I would rather Mr Jewell could see his failings, admit that both his failure at Derby and the two years out of the game that followed his departure has left him 'out of touch' with the modern game, and do the decent thing by resigning. If he won't then the club should make that decision for him.

People have asked me on the Message Board, "Why were you prepared to give Roy Keane so much more time than Paul Jewell?", and yes, to the very end, I was a vocal supporter of Roy Keane, as I was of Jim Magilton.

My answer is simple. Roy Keane, like Jim Magilton before him, was a young inexperienced manager. As part of his learning curve he was liable to make mistakes, and for every one step forward I would expect us to take two steps back. We are a club that in the past has allowed young managers to find their feet. In his first two seasons Sir Bobby was flirting perilously with relegation, surviving at the end of the 1970/71 season by goal difference alone.

Like Jim and Roy, there were reports of bust-ups with players in Sir Bobby's early days, but the club stuck by the great man and Ipswich prospered under his management.

Paul Jewell, however, was supposed to be the finished article. The real deal. The experienced manager who had seen it, done it and wore the T-shirt. After all, he had taken two small unfashionable clubs in Bradford and Wigan to the Premier League and kept them there.

However, the catalogue of mistakes made by Mr Jewell in recent months are of the sort you would expect from a rookie. Not from somebody who has managed five English clubs in 13 years.

We should start first of all with results because it's a results business first and foremost. Now I am not a football fan that expects to win every match. We will lose games of football. Of course we will, but it's the manner of our defeats that causes me such concern.

Now I can accept that teams, no matter how good, get a hiding every so often. Already this season we have seen Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United on the recieving end of high scoring defeats. But under the stewardship of Paul Jewell we are making a habit of conceding three or more goals in a game.

And what is most worrying is that these high scoring defeats come back to back. You would expect, after a game where we concede a high number of goals, that the manager would attempt to rectify the situation by both work with the players in training and selecting a more 'solid' team together with the emphasis of not conceding. Paul Jewell doesn't seem to have the ability to do so. Whatever he is saying, the players clearly ain't listening.

In the last seven months of football, September excepted, we have conceded three or more goals 11 times:

March: Reading 1-3, Watford 0-3
April: Boro 3-3, Norwich 1-5, Swansea 1-4
May: Leicester 2-4
August: Southampton 2-5, Posh 1-7
October: Millwall 1-4
November: Doncaster 2-3, Forest 2-3

You may conclude from those results that we have a defensive problem. However, in those games Jewell used three different goalkeepers (Arron Lee-Barrett, Márton Fülöp and David Stockdale) and various permutations of 13 defenders (Gareth McAuley, Darren O'Dea, Damien Delaney, Carlos Edwards, Troy Brown, Mark Kennedy, Aaron Cresswell, Tommy Smith, Jack Ainsley, Reece Wabara, Ibrahima Sonko, Ívar Ingimarsson and Danny Collins).

Now it can't all be the fault of these 16 players. It must surely bring into question the ability of the manager to set out a team that doesn't concede so many goals on such a regular basis.

I would also call into question some of Paul Jewell's tactical decisions. Taking aside his persistence with the diamond, which most people had acknowledged has been found out by the opposition some weeks ago, he has made some bizarre decisions that has seen Michael Chopra, in the first six games of the season, isolated and unhappy on his own as a loan striker, Jason Scotland completely ignored at the beginning of the season until his goal against Leeds forced Jewell's hand, Grant Leadbitter played as an orthodox winger, Tamás Priskin totally ignored for the entire season then parachuted into the starting XI against Doncaster then being bombed out of the squad again after scoring two goals in the recent internationals.

Then there was the decision to play our third choice goalkeeper against Norwich. With no prospect of making the play-offs ourselves, it was an opportunity to stop our deadliest rivals from making the automatic promotion places. We were humiliated that night thanks, in no small part, to mistakes made by the goalkeeper.

This result was followed by the defeats to Swansea and Leicester as detailed above, and with the departure of McAuley, Brown and Eastman it was obvious that signing two central defenders over the summer was a priority. We signed Ívar Ingimarsson, a 34-year-old injury plagued defender who had been released by Reading, a club with similar ambitions as ourselves.

And hey presto, he is crocked after one game which is then followed by the Saints/Posh nightmare. Games that we may have faired differently in had the manager listened to the come and get me plea from Ibrahima Sonko. Paul Jewell ignored those pleas. Paul Jewell knows best.

An example of what can only be described as reckless gambling by the manager is the current goalkeeping situation. After firstly dropping him for no good reason Mr Jewell sold on Márton Fülöp to make way for the loan signing of David Stockdale. Now nobody can deny that Stockdale isn't a class act but whilst we are sliding perilously closer to the relegation places, we are an injury to 39-year-old Mark Schwarzer away from the prospect of a relegation dog fight with ALB between the sticks. That is negligence from the manger at the very least.

I could add the signing of Premier League journeymen, has-beens and never weres, that has seen our team, synonymous with bringing through our own young talent from Wark to Wickham, become the Dad's Army of the Championship whilst young players who showed great promise such as Luke Hyam or Shane O'Connor have been left in limbo.

Why on earth did we sign Nathan Ellington? A man who has scored just ten goals in English football over the past five seasons. Those who expressed doubt over his signing were assured that if anyone could get the best out of him then it was Paul Jewell. They obviously don't remember his spell at Derby under Paul Jewell where he scored a total of three goals in 27 games. The mixture of loan signings and golden oldies reminds me far too much of the Norwich team that was relegated just three years ago.

Another concern is the poor form of the love of our lives, Mr Jimmy Bullard. On his return I made tentative enquires to the availability of Mrs GlasgowBlue for him and an appointment at the hairdressers for my perm was booked, but he seems a shadow of his former self. Is it the lack of pre-season football? It didn't appear to affect him last season when he seemed to almost single-handedly drag us up the table.

Again, I believe he is the victim of the poor tactics of Jewell, playing deep at the bottom of the diamond. Pressed by opposition attackers, isolated from our forward players he doesn't have the time or freedom to play his natural passing game.

Paul Jewell seems to have assembled a talented squad that is not playing as a team and if we need a crystal ball to see how events will unfold in the next few months then we need look no further than Derby County. The last team managed by Paul Jewell.

Jewell took over a Derby side heading for relegation from the Premier League, of that there is no doubt. Billy Davies had done a remarkable job in getting them to third in the Championship, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion but they were rock bottom when Jewell took the job.

But let's not kid ourselves that he took over in the final few months of Derby's Premiership campaign. He joined in November and was given funds to ensure that they at least put up a fight for survival or plan for life back in the Championship with a much better squad.

In the January transfer window he signed eight new players: Alan Stubbs, Emanuel Villa, Danny Mills, Robbie Savage, Laurent Robert, Hossam Ghaly, Mile Sterjovski and Roy Carroll. They went 21 league games without a victory.

Still, with the core of Billy Davies's promotion-winning squad plus the January additions they should have had more than enough about them to mount a successful promotion challenge. But this is Paul Jewell we are talking about.

In the close season he brought in 13 players: Paul Connolly, Paul Green, Jordan Stewart, Kris Commons, Nathan Ellington (yes him again. Well if anyone can bring out the best in the Duke etc, etc), Steve Davies, Martin Albrechtsen, Liam Dickinson, Rob Hulse, Przemyslaw Kazmierczak, Aleksandar Prijović, Andrejs Perepļotkins and Nacer Barazite, before adding Luke Varney and James Tomkins on loan once the season had started.

After signing 23 players in just 12 months they sat, in December, 18th in the Championship table, just five points from the relegation places. In keeping with the rather bizarre statements we have become used to hearing from him about "lack of pace" and "we can't defend", Jewell came out with another gem, stating his desire to bring fresh legs and impetus into a squad hit by injuries and a busy fixture list. After signing 23 players for Christ's sake.

This is the way I see Ipswich going if we continue to be managed by Paul Jewell.

Jewell seems to be running out of excuses. I'm fed up with him saying how he doesn't talk about other club's players and then coming out in the press with the opposite. I don't want to hear another "I tried to sign him" quote. I don't want to hear him say how he envies the pace of other teams when he is responsible for signing so many players over the age of 30 that lack pace.

To be honest, I'm fed up with Paul Jewell and I wish he'd go now.

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

IvorFeeling added 10:00 - Nov 22
Lots of people on here quick to critisise a well reasoned blog. GB is entilted to his opinion and has spent time putting this togther - it's so easy to dis someone else's work rather than have a go yourslef. You don't need to agree with him but accept the manner in which he has put this togther.

Anyway for the moment I am in the wait camp. PJ has made some very strange decisions, especially in the last month as he seems desperate to find the right formula. I also think he has backed himself into a corner re Leadbitter. However, there was alot wrong with the squad balance and depth when he took over and this takes time to rectify. Short term I do not see any quick fix, especially as we will lose Collins (at least for 2-3 weeks if not perm) and likely Andrews.

Every Manager deservces 1 full season in my opinion.

Jugsy added 10:10 - Nov 22
@ Jewell_do - i love it when people think they can apply equations and maths to football. Not sure how you came to get 3 or 4 under 30s will save us come January. I understand everyone's frustration though, I went to the West Ham game and we were excellent. PJ, you got my hopes up we were becoming good again!


Coastalblue added 11:24 - Nov 22
Football is a game of opinions, and I respect yours, however I don't agree with it.

We have no idea how this season was seen by those making the decisions, or what their strategy is, all we get are soundbites to appease us.

I would like to think that the main three sat down in the summer, agreed that the squad was in a horrendous mess and that what was required for this season was to get something solid in place that wasn't going to get us relegated, hence the number of old pro's. Hopefully stage two will be to slowly inject some younger talent into the squad, and then the team over time, JET should probably fall into this camp.

I think we all just have to accept that the club was and still is to a degree in a bit of a state on the playing front, and that it might take us two or three years to really consolidate and then make a real push for the playoffs.

I'm not sure any club can do more than aim at the playoffs now, because unless you are West Ham or Newcastle just arrived in this division, building a side to gain a top two finish is going to require a bit of luck to go with the talent.

I'll be quite happy for a couple of seasons of top half finishes followed by a realistic chance of making the top six, expecting too much more than that is a bit unrealistic and probably a bit arrogant in my opinion.

Lightningboy added 11:43 - Nov 22
Good blog and some very good stats & points.

We have been extremely inconsistent under Jewell but that's the kind of league this is these days - a mess to be honest.

Unless you're willing to shut up shop,play defensive boring football ala West Ham & Birmingham city,then you're always going to concede a few here and there.

It all comes down to the fact that Magilton shouldn't have been sacked in the first place as far as i'm concerned - we were playing good football (great at times),were pretty solid and well organised at the back,and were improving season after season.

I hope Jewell turns it around cos I do quite like the guy but I fear he is starting to test everyone's patience.

sonian_blue added 13:40 - Nov 22
Well researched and written blog and for me you are on the money.
I too have followed and watched Town since the early 70's and have never called for a managers head...until now.
10 months into his tenure he may be but there is absolutely no signs of optimism.
Bad choice...go NOW

Garv added 16:03 - Nov 22
NO signs of optimism? Are you blind?

blues1 added 17:39 - Nov 22
have to agree, much as im disappointed at doing so that it might be time for him to go. was really hoping we had the right man for the job but hes makoing the same mistakes as the previous 2 managers. players playing out of position, stubbornness. e.g. refusing to ditch the diamond when every1 knows its been sussed out. while i agree hes not had that much time, hes been here 11 months, when he 1st here he pinpointed our lack of pace & stength, yet he still hasnt signed anyone who gives us either. the way out of this league is to sign players with strngth, pace, big players. just as pompey when they got promoted, norwich last seaon, & look at southampton now, a team full off height, power & pace. souper jim, so u think 20 points out of a possible 48 is ok? thats relegation form, & unless something is done soon, either by pj or the owner, thats exactly what will happen. & i for 1 dont look forward to playing in the third tier of english football next season.

rgp1 added 20:01 - Nov 22
well said GB

llewej_tuo added 20:13 - Nov 22
"Win percentage as managers Jim 38% , Keane 34% ,Jewell 46%" --- >WRONG YOU NUMTY .....

Jewells results have been a mixture of HUMILIATING hammerings, poor runs of form, the odd win and with a bunch of injured journeymen pro's on the bench incapable of halting the inevitable slide ....


Garv added 05:43 - Nov 23
Jewell 41.46%

Keane 34.57%

More losses under PJ but too many bore draws under Keane. We WILL lose football matches but Jewell has made it much more enjoyable to go to Portman road when we are playing well, playing good football and winning. Keane was boring all the time. Therefore, progress and improvement has been made so far in PJ's reign.

phantom added 08:01 - Nov 23
im afraid im starting to agree on jewell being another misake by our so called experts who run and own this club, why?
jewell clearly needed to change things but bringing in old has beens has a smell of bradford city to it as well as a smell of cluelessness.
dont get m wrong i thought jewell would do a good job thinking he would have learnt from his mistakes but the reality is he hasnt and he is doing them again with my club.
on paper we have the players BUT on paper im a millionaire.
the problem is, while evans may have invested in our club he and his cronies have taken this club backwards with their inept ways.
i think its time evans sold the club to an invester who acually knows whats he is doing rather than using our club as a taxable loss for his empire.

adrianpaz added 12:29 - Nov 23
Can't believe this blog. Jewell has not even been at the club for a year and yet you want him sacked???!!!!

You say you have never called for a manager to be sacked before - let me get this straight - you were happier with the dross served up under John Duncan, Mick McGiven & Roy Keane????

We lost Jordan Rhodes and more importantly the universally respected Brian Klug under Keane. We played dull & unattractive football under him and he wasted millions on average players. I never called for Keane to be sacked as I will always back the manager/players of ITFC, but the point I want to make is that I can't believe you think Jewell is the only manager since 1974 that you have wanted to be sacked!

Having supported Ipswich for as long as me, I thought that you would appreciate the "Ipswich Way" is to give managers time. It is as tough as hell to get out of this division and the point still remains that Jewell has done it twice.

Give the man a chance!!!!

Pessimistic added 14:37 - Nov 23
You have been supporting Town for almost as long as me but quite frankly Glasgow Blue your condemnation of Paul Jewell is largely unfounded. Yes, we are all disappointed with our current form and our defensive frailites but to pin all the blame on a manager who said from the start that people should not be expecting miracles overnight is not fair.

There is much work to be done and Marcus Evans was fully aware of this when he hired him. Nothing has changed in my view. Rome was not built in a day and although patience is a rare commodity in football circles, the owner has already promised Paul Jewell this and so he should. It is in keeping with the Town way of doing things and if you have a long memory it is something that you used to be proud of too I guess!

Unlike Roy Keane who promised to get Town promoted in his first season, Jewell has never made such bold and short-sighted claims. If you are so impatient for success then maybe it is time you started supporting a team nearer home? Rangers are doing well at the moment.

bigolconnor added 14:50 - Nov 23
Forgive my ignorance, but what is all this crabs about sussing out the diamond formation. It's just like saying teams have sussed out the 4-4-2 or the 4-3-3. It's not the formation that isn't working it's the players. Our problem is that we aren't playing our wide men. Now Martin, JET and Carson might not set the world alight but in the games I have watched the difference they have made has been patently obvious. We should use those three in whatever rotation necessary and run their socks off and only when the steam is running out should we bring on the likes of bowyer and leadbitter. Bullard and Andrews can provide the pinpoint passes out to the flanks. JET, Martin, Carson and Cresswell can get the ball in the box for chops and Scotland.

Just a thought..

bournemouthblue added 16:49 - Nov 23
I have to say Glasgow, you're setting yourself up for a tremendous fall if Paul Jewell turns us around :)

Sindre94 added 17:08 - Nov 23
Ridiculous, support the man!

rosseden added 17:48 - Nov 23
I love the fact someone wants PJ to go and ME to sell as well..... im sure there are multi-millionaires lining up to buy a mid table, debt laden football club with fickle supporters. If solid prem teams like Everton cant get a buyer and investment, teams like Watford and others have dodgy new owners with no real cash, do we really honestly think were going to get someone better than ME to come along and dump a club transforming amount of cash in?!!

Be realistic people........

llewej_tuo added 03:18 - Nov 24
"but Jewell has made it much more enjoyable to go to Portman road "

oh yeah ? i dont want to see my team gettin hammered and losing badly, that destroys confidence. Id rather see a draw the odd time ... we dont seem to be able to do that with jewell, we just lose, pathetic sh*te

youidiots added 13:37 - Nov 24
Must be the biggest load of tripe I have ever read. Picking the stats that suit you to back up your argument. I'm not the biggest Jewell fan by a long stretch but I can see what angle he is taking into helping us build and I must say I'm with him on most things. He cant just hand pick what players he wants like Real Madrid can or teams like that, its a fight in this league and for a team which hasn't really done anything since relegation, I cant blame players for not wanting to come here. But as fans we must give the lads as much encouragement as we can for 90mins every week. Not right nonsense like this.

TractorRoyNo1 added 18:04 - Nov 25
i always think a manager should be given at least 18 months, that's 9 months to get rid of the old team and 9 months to build his own, so this is a work in progress
most worrying is that i now find the programme the most exciting thing during the game, please take a leaf out of nobitch and saints book, who play with energy, speed and skill.
to me the litmus test for PJ is that he hasn't bought a house in the area (yet), to me that says in his heart he knows he is only temporary


PJ_Needs_Duncan added 19:20 - Nov 28
Jewell Out


reyes added 19:16 - Jan 17
I am visiting from the future and I have to agree with GlasgowBlue, Jewell out!
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