Written by Brownie on Tuesday, 11th Oct 2016 11:30
Why do we bother, what is about football and specifically for us ITFC that makes us spend so much time talking, writing and texting about it?
My wife is not a fan and often uses the 'It's only a game' line when I am stewing about something. I am bothered though, enough to put my thoughts down in this blog. I am no journalist or author but that doesn't matter. I am a fan and all our views count so here goes.
In my mind football fans need to have expectations. We need to be able to look forward to matches and seasons and be able to dream of success. We know not everyone can succeed but we need the hope that it might be our turn.
The problem for Mick and the board is that most fans now have no expectations. Fifteen years in the Championship leads to a feeling of apathy for many.
Overall we have never really looked like leaving in either direction - the season under Joe Royle with Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi scoring for fun being the one time I thought we were going up until the 'Happy Hammers' turned up at Portman Road in the play-offs.
Mick arrived with the club at its lowest for 40 years. The only way was up. We could see the improvement in team spirit and loved the spirit of journeymen pros moulded into a hard to beat team.
All for one and one for all! We still weren't sure about the owner - the Shergar of Football League custodians - but hey at least we could see improvement. Jay Tabb and Guirane N'Daw were no Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen but needs must.
That feeling only goes so far though. Most fans would agree that Christmas 2014 was the peak. Top for two hours; four goals away from home at Brentford; here we go.
But we didn't go did we? Surely that was the time to invest. Yes, the owner has been bitten before under Roy Keane and Paul Jewell but strengthen the squad! We held on for the play-offs but did we really believe we beat the Budgies? I don't think the players did and some fans were happy to see it as a season of improvement and roll on the next one.
It never ceases to amaze me that multi-millionaire businessmen lose their business brains when they take over football clubs. That summer again no investment. More of the same - journeymen and youngsters playing 20 minutes. Sell your assets (Tyrone Mings) and replace them with lesser quality. We'll be alright.
So yes I blame Marcus Evans but Mick McCarthy has in my view become the problem. His honesty and organisation was a strength in the early days. It's a short journey from there though to arrogance and stubbornness. Players are all 'different class' apparently; from my seat they look outclassed, out of position and regularly out of form.
Please someone from the ITFC press office tell Mick we are not as daft as he thinks we are! 'Dougie' has not been ripping it up. Kevin Bru has not been remotely brilliant. The entertainment has dropped to levels rarely witnessed at Portman Road. Crowds are dwindling. No goals and no expectations of improvement on the horizon.
Last season ended with McCarthy admitting we hadn't been good enough. We have added a couple for the future - Grant Ward and Adam Webster - but we needed more. Did anyone think we were going to make a challenge for promotion before the season started? Not many do now.
The club is at a crossroads. Take the wrong turn and we will leave the Championship via the wrong route. We need entertainment, flair, goals and wins. Lower ticket prices wouldn't be go amiss either. Yes, we need organisation and spirit but it is not enough on its own.
I don't think this manager will change and after four years of supporting him I do think it is time for a change. Be careful what you wish for apparently. How about progressive manager, not playing players out of position for seasons on end, trying to win games rather than not lose? Are my expectations too high?
I don't think so and if the club wants to get some of the supporters back in the ground they need to be taking some positive action.
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