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Need, Need, Need, Got
Written by prickettboy3 on Monday, 15th Oct 2012 12:54

As a young boy I loved collecting ProSet cards. Readers of the same generation as me will know what I’m talking about and for those of a younger generation the best way to describe them would be to say they were a better version of Match Attax.

At the time of ProSet cards (early 90s) I can’t recall if a binder was available to keep them in and if it was nobody had it. We all just carried our cards to school every day in a shoebox, waiting eagerly for break time so we could sit with our friends and trade our unwanted ‘swapsies’ for a much sought after player.

In my case this would have been a Gavin Johnson or a Mick Stockwell, but of course to others these were unwanted and I was more than happy to offer my Kerry Dixon or Gary Lineker in return.

There were only two guarantees when purchasing a sealed pack of ProSet cards; 1) you were going to get six cards in your pack, and 2) one of them was going to be Clayton Blackmore. The joy of buying a gold foiled pack or two at my local shop was sometimes short-lived when I quickly realised I’d unassumingly purchased twelve ‘swapsies’ and the excitement of the week building up to it had now turned into an anti-climax - much like supporting Ipswich Town now.

Paul Jewell, Chris Hutchings and Simon Clegg appear to be assembling the current squad with a similar approach, perhaps even sitting in the manager's office with their own list of players that they want to add to their collection. “Got, got, need, need, got, need, got,” can maybe be heard from the corridors at Portman Road as PJ looks through the list of players he can get with the pocket money he has available. Mumbles of “In return for your damaged Richie Wellens I can offer you my Luke Hyam” can also be made out.

The result at the end of a day’s trading is that Paul Jewell has a bunch of new additions to his collection but he’s had to (or will have to) sacrifice some valuable assets to accommodate these. He also has a very imbalanced collection now comprising of too many of much the same thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually quite pleased with the recent additions in terms of the quality but I’m struggling to understand quite how PJ fits them in to his team without damaging us in the long-term.

Playing the likes of Nigel Reo-Coker and Wellens may give us the necessary experience to move us out of the bottom three, but how are the likes of Hyam, Josh Carson, and JET going to benefit from this?

There is also young Mass Luongo to consider in all this. He was our standout performer for the first few games and even drew comments from Jewell that he was delighted with the partnership he and Hyam had forged.

In the games I’ve watched him he’s done very little wrong (one stray pass leading to a goal for Charlton is all I can think of) and he’s here for the entire season but there are no guarantees that Mohsni, Wellens or Reo-Coker will be so why are we sacrificing Mass?

Not only will we need him after the others have gone, but there is the added danger that if he’s not playing Spurs will recall him and send him out elsewhere. For his own personal development I wouldn’t blame him if he made this request himself as he’s too much of a top talent to be warming the bench for an underperforming Championship team.

So what does PJ do now? He could play a 3-6-1 and accommodate them all although I doubt even Jewell would employ such a ridiculous formation. He could play a 4-5-1, accommodating Lee Martin, Wellens, Reo-Coker, Luongo and JET but then how does he fit Paul Taylor back into the side when he returns from injury in a few weeks?

And who does he favour up front in this case? Probably DJ Campbell but this risks Michael Chopra’s off-field problems becoming onfield problems leaving us with no strikers of any quality if Campbell returns to QPR in December. I suspect he’ll do what he does best and opt for a narrow, diamond formation with players asked to take up unfamiliar and inappropriate roles for their skills.

One thing is clear, we seem to be collecting players now for no real purpose other than to be able to say we have a great collection. PJ has to work out the best way to utilise all of these players and he has to work it out fast.

For the record, I continue to remain unconvinced that the players are the problem at all. Happy collecting PJ!

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IamSpartacus added 13:31 - Oct 15
“In return for your damaged Richie Wellens I can offer you my Luke Hyam”

Genius :-)

Jewell seems to be in some swarm of desperation. Using your analogy, he has now gone beyond getting specific cards and is actively looking for 'doubles'.

The question I would ask (just as the blog's ending suggests) is 'would we be better under a different manager?' The answer to that question seems a definite 'yes'.

When he came in Jewell essentially had a clean slate. A blank canvas. He could pick the formation he wanted to play and then got a list for each position 30/40/50 deep. he could have selected players that could adapt to the way he wanted to play. He could have ensured the right players with the right temperament came in. He failed dismally in this regard.

We are now in a whilwind of 'any player will do', and loanees actually replacing loanees.

Good blog, though a sad, and honest, reflection of the current demise.


cornishnick added 14:14 - Oct 15
I think you are spot on to suggest it's not the players that are the problem. How many players has PJ had now at Portman Road? 100 odd isn't it? The one constant through all this has been the manager. I reckon it's about time we changed him, rather than the players

TheBlueStig added 14:41 - Oct 16
Great blog! Amusing to read but the points you raised are spot on. At the end of the day though, PJ is the man to assemble this team and not up to us fans. If he continues to get it wrong then he should be sacked. This is very much his team now too. - simple as.
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