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Perhaps the Glass is Half Full After All?
Written by NormEmerges on Friday, 23rd Mar 2018 10:48

There’s been a lot of gloom and doom published on this website over the past few months, and for sure there is nothing happening on the pitch at the moment to blow any of this away.

Another season is ebbing away with another mid table finish and nothing much to play for. So just where are we as a club and what are the prospects for the future? Perhaps it isn’t as bleak as some have suggested. Let’s look at the situation piece by piece.

Financial Position
There’s actually quite a lot to be proud of here. Ipswich has a sound financial footing, having rebuilt from the brink of bankruptcy to one that looks reasonably sustainable. Marcus Evans hasn’t pumped in lots of funds, but he does keep the club ticking over nicely.

There are plenty of examples of clubs with gung-ho rich owners who have not done anything like as well, or where the owners have totally lost the fans and protests are rife. We have built good training facilities, a good academy, and the basis of future prosperity is there.

The main risks to this continuing to build for the future are to be seen in supporter apathy, falling attendances and hence falling income. Now Marcus Evans is clearly a very smart businessman, and won’t be letting this situation drift unaddressed. The announcements about the season ticket prices and McCarthy’s future to be made soon will be very interesting.

The Playing Squad
Here I think we are actually rather better off than it might appear. Let’s discount all the loan players we have this season and look at our own playing staff.

In defence we have a number of very promising youngsters who are one or perhaps two years away from making a real impact. Myles Kenlock is continuing to develop and shows every prospect of seriously challenging Jonas Knudsen next season.

The likes of Chris Goteni and Luke Woolfenden are coming along, they may not be ready to replace Cameron Carter-Vickers next season (perhaps Knudsen will and give the left-back slot to Kenlock?) but seem likely to progress in time.

Michael Crowe seems to be getting better as a potential back-up goalie. Let’s hope Josh Emmanuel can provide competition to Jordan Spence in due course.

Up front, I think we have another couple of years in Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn, but there is real promise in Ben Morris and Aaron Drinan, and quite possibly Ben Folami too. And I think there may yet be more to come from Grant Ward, from Mustapha Carayol and from Freddie Sears.

It is in midfield however where I am most optimistic. We have suffered in this past season from a lack of creativity in midfield, but just look at the embarrassment of riches that should be available to us again next season!

Besides Tristan Nydam and Flynn Downes, we have four more players who would have walked into the team had they been available: Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop, Emyr Huws and Tom Adeyemi. It would be quite hard to leave any of these out if fully fit!

The Academy
It seems clear we have a very productive and good quality academy at the Town. I’ve already mentioned several players who are ready, or nearly ready, to step up to the first team, but there are also several more a year or two behind. The likes of Pat Webber, Chris Smith and Shane McLoughlin have already made first team appearances in the League Cup, and did enough to give Crystal Palace a hard time. Their progress too will be viewed with much interest.

The Facilities
We seem to have a decent stadium and training facilities; the only real fly in the ointment is the pitch. It is sad to recall how not many years ago Portman Road was renowned as having one of the best pitches in the country, and a head groundsman who won various awards for his work.

I don’t know how things have declined so far, but the state of the playing surface needs a bit of investment to get it back to an arena conducive to the kind of flowing football we aspire to.

So in conclusion, I am less worried about the current situation than many. I think there is enough potential in our club for it to challenge again for the Premier League.

The big unresolved question remains the manager, but whether manager Mick McCarthy stays or goes, and providing the injury gods smile on us a bit more, I think we will do much better in the coming year than in the one drawing to a close.





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Steve_M added 11:07 - Mar 23
This is just fanciful I'm afraid, I'm not sure that a financial situation that relies on either a) selling players or b) the owner spending £6m a year just to be mid-table is sustainable. And that's before considering the debt and although this is all owed to Marcus Evans it is at the higher end of this division.

The ground is a mess, the club are clearly skimping on basic maintenance the most visible example of which is the pitch but the North Stand roof is badly in need of a clean and there are patches of peeling paintwork all around if one looks hard.

It is a club where little care and attention has been paid to anything beyond the first team in recent years and a lot of that is down to the manager. It's highly likely that McCarthy will go this Summer, the time is right for a change, but his better spells in charge remain the only times that Marcus Evans' ownership has looked remotely successful.

There are, of course, far worse owners in football but since Evans' initial plan of spending a bit to get promoted was blown out of the water by Premier League money he has no clear plan for the club. Nor seemingly how to sell it.
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IpswichToon added 11:11 - Mar 23
Granted, we do have a great looking squad for the future. A lot of this is likely to be attributed to Mick and TC - they have done a brilliant job with all things considered. In fact, I am more than happy with what Mick has managed to achieve and the club and despite the not-so-pretty football being played, we have picked up some decent results, and still sit above Norwich who have had the luxury of money that we haven't. In that respect, great job!

My issue comes from Mick's distain towards the fans. A small number became vocally unhappy with him, and in response he seemed to actively try to wind up and and piss off ALL the fans anywhere he could. His press conferences throughout this season has been incredibly unprofessional and turned more fans against him than there previously was. He has had chances to make amens, but seems hell-bent on keeping up this great divide as best he can. It's a real shame.

I think it was put perfectly on 'Football On 5: The Championship'.
"Is Mick the man for the job? Probably.
Is it time for him to go? Probably."
4

Facefacts added 11:33 - Mar 23
I think there will be a change of manager and try to achieve the same aims with a different manager. Mick McCarthy probably can't believe he's being 'let go', as, to his mind, his departure means no one else could possibly do the same as him, or better, with the same resources. He has had his time here. The academy has to be seen to be producing first team players, you can't just give them 5 mins at the end of a game or give them the hook at half time. We're talking about young men's careers, and old pals being brought in on loan has to stop. Top quality, yes bring in on season long loan, as we can't afford to get the quality any other way. Yes, we may regret it in terms of league position, or even relegation next season. But it is time for a change. Zero entertainment is unsustainable.
7

monty_radio added 12:25 - Mar 23
If you think that's where the club really sits at the moment I suggest you take a listen to the latest Kings of Anglia Podcast where the collective (and fair-minded) Ham, Watson and Bacon mull over the state of the Town. Listen out especially for their summary of the defensive mind-set of Mick, not only on the pitch, but against the outside world - journalists, fans, any one expressing opinion really.

Then there's the boredom!
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TBT added 13:56 - Mar 23
As a season ticket holder of over 30 years I am so unhappy where my club is at the moment I can only think that this is s wind up or written by Ian Milne. It is as ludicrous as it is lucid and when we go down to 6,000 season ticket holders we can still find a positive from that can we?
If you are able to be that positive about the dreadful decline of our club could you please share out whatever it is you’re taking!
6

Edmundo added 14:39 - Mar 23
Hopelessly optimistic. All available evidence points to a disinterested owner running the club down.
6

Northstandveteran added 14:41 - Mar 23
Fair play for trying to lift the gloom and looking forward to the future.

However, so many years on from saying "This is our season" and following the 2 worst seasons in this club's history, I, and many thousands of others do not have a crumb of optimism left.

The first step has to be replace McCarthy. With whom? With anybody as far as I am concerned. Should the nightmare situation of him being in charge for another year occur, gates said will be much lower than 10,000 predicted by many on here.

Supporters have many gripes about the man but personally, I simply don't want to go and watch his style of football
5

RoyalAscotBlue added 14:47 - Mar 23
IpswichToon... MM & TC are not responsible for the academy. Klug is the one doing the great work there.

Monty_radio... You beat me to it. The Kings of Anglia podcast makes for an excellent listen and I think Phil speaks for most level headed supporters in his appraisal of the situation.
4

terryf added 15:58 - Mar 23
I agree that the pitch is a disgrace but I think a lot of the problem occurred when the height of the stands was gradually increased and now there is less sunlight.

You are right about the lack of TLC to the stands. Certainly on a rainy day the Sir Alf's roof leaks and has done so for several years. Also the hand dryers in the loos are a joke. They run for about 10 seconds and then cut out. The Stadium is not a great experience let alone the poor fare produced on the pitch.

The Academy is our saving grace with several promising players coming through. Not sure about Goteni though. I thought against Leeds under 23s he looked all over the place. Freddie would also benefit from a change of Club. The last 3 seasons have not been great for him and he now looks like a player who has totally lost his confidence.
Would have been interesting if all the players, particularly in the midfield, had been available as to how many creative ones would have made the starting eleven. I guess not many with Mr Safety First in charge.

Whilst we are not quite so volatile as some Clubs I do think the Fans have had enough of the poor football, so the Manager needs to go and the Owner needs to splash the cash. A couple of decent signings would make all the difference. Look what happened when we went out and bought Marcus Stewart from Huddesfield.

The situation at the moment is like groundhog day and if nothing changes more supporters will disappear.

4

Maltster added 17:06 - Mar 23
I think that Norm Emerging (or what ever) is the first realistic evaluation I have seen on here. Most contributers sit and watch the Premiership teams play and then expect the same to happen at Portman Road. They need to join the real world
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Daleyitfc added 09:31 - Mar 24
If only our glass was even a quarter full, that would be 3/16 better than now.
1

pragmatic added 19:01 - Mar 24
How many read the opening paragraph b/4 hanging Norm Emerging out to dry, yes things could & need to be a lot better on various issues not withstanding poor entertainment, but as in a lot things in life you sometimes have to a lateral view,
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