|We Need to Talk About Kevin|
Written by Pickersblue22 on Thursday, 4th May 2017 16:57
After such a disappointing season in so many ways for Ipswich Town, there are post-mortems being written left, right and centre.
From the future of Mick McCarthy, to the extortionate season ticket prices, there are many aspects of our club being pored over by us long-suffering fans, in an attempt to figure out what would be the best way to move forward.
We have heard multiple times from Mick himself and from Ian Milne that the upcoming summer is hugely important for the club as an opportunity to rebuild and go again next season.
Personally I am still holding out hope that this process will take place with a new manager in the job, but I am starting to resign myself to Mick McCarthy staying on. I don't want to talk about his future in this blog as I am happy to leave that for others to do. Instead I am going to focus on the potential make up of the squad, with the assumption that Mick will still be there.
I want to discuss one particular member of our current squad and that is Kevin Bru. I am fully aware that the majority of supporters would not lose any sleep were Bru to depart in the summer, however I think it would be a travesty if a player who clearly has so much more to give was to leave the club.
The problem for Bru is that he is not one of Mick's trusted lieutenants in the squad. In my opinion Mick's selection process is an extremely unhealthy way of operating.
For Christophe Berra and Cole Skuse to continually be picked with no regard for recent performances is is ridiculous. I am not saying that they have been playing particularly badly, but it must be so demoralising for the players not in the team to see these guys get picked whatever the weather. Whatever Berra and Skuse say, they will know in their heart of hearts that if they are fit, they will be in the team. It is just a fact.
Bru represents everything that McCarthy isn't. He is a risk taker. A player who will do something different in the hope that it comes off. And that is precisely why he hasn't played many games. Mick does not know what he is going to get from him.
Whereas with Skuse he knows what will happen. He will pass the ball backwards or sideways and slow down the tempo. Mick's approach is to plan for the worst case scenario rather than being proactive and that is Bru in a nutshell.
He is a player who frustrates because he doesn't always keep hold of the ball. He might give away a silly foul. He might shoot wildly over the top. But he does things that no other player on our squad can do. I love watching him play as he always looks to play forwards and speed up the tempo. He has wonderful vision and can pick passes like few others in our team. But because it doesn't work every time, he is left on the bench.
I found it very frustrating that despite making nine changes at Rotherham, Mick did not select Bru. It was a great opportunity to let him show what he can do.
Bru is one of those players who needs a run of games in the team, in order for him to develop some real consistency. Unfortunately he doesn't have a manager who truly believes in his ability. It would be a massive kick in the teeth if he left and found a club with a manager who trusted him, as I think he has the talent to really thrive at this level.
I am sure that those of you still reading this will wonder why I am bothering to defend one of our bench players when there are so many other pertinent issues at the club at this moment. And that is fair enough. I just feel that this argument about Bru encapsulates the problem not just with the manager but with the club as a whole. There are far too few risks taken.
We have a become used to seeing Mick match up with the opposition in terms of formation, especially in terms of numbers in the middle of the park, rather than trust in his own team to force the issue. His attitude is too often to plan for if we are 2-0 down, which is just so uninspiring.
You can count on one hand the number of games this season that we have really grabbed by the scruff of the neck and taken to the opposition. I can think of Reading, Leeds and Newcastle at home, and to an extent, the first half at QPR. Too often we need to concede in order to shake ourselves into life.
Again I come back to Kevin Bru. If you start him, he hopefully helps to get us into a strong position in the game, and then you can take him off should you feel the need. Instead the attitude seems to be 'What if he gives it away and we go 2-0 down?'. It is this that sums up why Mick McCarthy's style of football is so dire, because he has such a safety first approach.
It is for this reason that I think we will struggle to attract good enough players this summer. It is not just about the finances. We play awful football, therefore why would good quality players want to come to Ipswich. It is why Bru has not been playing, same with Bishop, Dozzell and Rowe. You cannot know if a player is ready unless you throw them in and give them a chance. But it is not McCarthy's style.
It would not surprise me if Bru left the club this summer, but it would seriously disappoint, as I do not believe that he has had anything like a fair crack of the whip. I know I am in a small minority here, but for those of you who are still reading this, I urge you to see my argument as we are in danger of casting off a really talented footballer who has so much more to offer our great club.
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