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United We Stand, Divided We Fall
Written by Pessimistic on Friday, 26th Oct 2012 19:37

Like all football clubs both near and far, Ipswich Town houses a very broad church of opinions; from those of us who loathed Paul Jewell almost from the start, to people like myself who loved the socks off him!

They say that statistics are no substitute for judgement but sadly in the case of Paul Jewell they were. He was dealt a poor hand from the start and the more he shuffled the pack the further away he seemed to get from a winning hand.

He was, of course, the first to admit he made mistakes but once Marcus Evans brushed away the cobwebs from his wallet once again, expectations rose and the long term plan became a short term fix.

Snap judgements however have a way of being quickly unravelled and as the old kids on the block filled the ranks, they soon realised it was their last chance of a fat pay cheque and gladly volunteered their services.

I suppose the most memorable performance under Paul Jewell was that out of the blue 5-1 drubbing of West Ham and when in pre-season they defeated them again, some supporters began to even whisper in quiet places about the prospects of promotion to the elite league!

Twelve games into the season and this is but a distant memory, which has been replaced by doom and gloom and fear of the unknown. Lying, as we speak, in last place in the Championship we can only guess at what might have been if some of those excellent early season performances had been rewarded with more goals and ultimately more points.

Our Achilles' heel remains our inability to see out games. Too many times we have had leads only to lose them in the dying embers of matches by conceding sloppy goals. It has been a reoccurring theme for some years now and not just an exclusive frailty of the Jewell regime.

The Jewell Out campaign gathered pace as we dropped with ever increasing rapidity down the table. The boo boys were back in Town and made their feelings felt at every home game which failed to live up to its billing.

Everyone could see PJ was coming under increasing pressure but his dry wit and water off a duck's back mentality seemed to quell our worst fears but what he needed most of all was a win! This sadly never came and in the end he accepted defeat like a man humbled yes but dignified with it.

On a personal note I will miss him. Not because he got everything right - far from it but because he was man enough to admit to his mistakes and leave the club without a chip on his shoulder. He was an honest person and a nice bloke. Some might say too nice. Nice worked for Wigan and nice worked for Bradford all those years ago so maybe nice is no longer all that fashionable any more?

Or should we refer instead to respect? Did the players respect him sufficiently - or like naughty school kids, when confronted with a nice teacher, decide to try to pull the wool over his eyes? We may never know and quite frankly it matters not any more. All we really need to know is that when the new incumbent takes the helm the players will give their all.

And this is not just about the players, it is about all of us. The Paul Jewell saga divided not only players but supporters too and the wounds went deep into the very heart of this wonderful football club.

Now it is surely time to repair the damage and heal the pain. Whoever Messrs Evans and Clegg pick, we must collectively back their man. People power gives football its voice and if we work together, following the same common goal, then Portman Road could be awakened once more from its seemingly endless slumber.

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bluethroughnthrough added 21:10 - Oct 26
"if we work together, following the same common goal, then Portman Road could be awakened once more from its seemingly endless slumber." Good blog, great last sentence. Agree with every word.

JimmyJazz added 22:48 - Oct 26
Unfortunately the fanbase was also divided over RK for most of his reign and over Jim towards the end.
Fear it'll take a while for that situation to change

Fatcatevans added 17:20 - Oct 27
Are you talking about the same Paul Jewell who on a weekly basis blamed his players publicly for every mistake made? Not exactly man management at its best! So many were taken in by the merry quips and affable nature. Bottom line is that results are all that matter - personality means diddly squat without points on the board.

Keaneish added 18:01 - Oct 27
I have to agree. PJ knew he wouldn't have many more chances at this level if he failed and he put everything into it. If you look at the signings he should have had: Charlie Austin, Jason Pearce, Joel Ward, George Boyd, Tomasz Kuszczak...our squad would have been far better.

Alas, we are where we are and there's only one character to drag us out of this and that's McCarthy and we all have to back him and start rocking the north stand otherwise we are plummeting out of recognition.

All this, go down and re-group nonsense!? Whoever says that is a fool!

Good, well written post.


Adrian_Paz_Uses_Daz added 19:13 - Oct 27
Nice to read an educated article, well put. I remain deeply concerned for times ahead....

shamboy added 07:53 - Oct 28
Beautifully crafted blog. The dichotomy that puzzles me is that Liverpudlians are generally the most streetwise people around, and yet PJ has recruited a team populated with weak characters and wasters. Is he so nice that he has failed to see the bad in others?

IamSpartacus added 08:13 - Oct 28
A well written blog but I disagree with most of it- but I guess that is the joy of opinions.

PJ was NEVER the right person for ITFC. Never ever. He had only ever burtured 1 decent played through the youth system at any of the clubs he has been at. He completely negated the long term nature of the club and then, after advising he had made a mistake and would go more long term, backtracked and went for desperate loan signings. Most press conferences were a sea of contradictions and spin.

Jewell may have been, in his way, likeable and a cheeky chappie, but his tactical knowledge was (as far as shown on the pitch) dismal.

I don't doubt he tried hard but at far too few points did it make much difference. He started off with a formation that Keane left him, he stayed with it for the majority of his spell despite changing most of the squad (and promising a 4-4-2). Contradictions, contradictions.

I don't feel particularly sorry for him because Jewell was more than amply rewarded for his spell- probably almost as much in a month as most get in a yea, and then would have been paid off with perhaps as much as it would take many to earn in 10 years.

I hope we can collectively back the next man, and that may be possible, but not if it is one of the failures plucked off the managerial merry-go-round... Phil Brown, Megson et al. One thing is for sure, whoever comes in has a huge mess that Jewell has left for them....

Pessimistic added 19:37 - Oct 31
Cheers Bluethroughanthrough through, Adrian Paz and Shamboy for your positive feedback but thanks to everyone for taking the time and trouble to make a comment, whether you agree with me or not.
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