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Favourites for Relegation
Written by BossMan on Wednesday, 3rd Oct 2018 15:25

I'm a daily visitor to the bet365 website and noticed this morning that for the first time this season (with this particular bookmaker) we are now favourites for relegation. Of course, other bookmakers are available.

Having never wanted Mick McCarthy and his brand of football anywhere near Portman Road, I was delighted when he finally departed and equally delighted that rather than take on another well-known has-been that we were looking in the direction of young up and coming talent.

To that end Paul Hurst seemed the perfect fit and I for one was delighted with the appointment but it didn't take long before questions would be asked.

I think we all expected him to bring a couple of players from Shrewsbury and I think we all expected there might be a couple of other League One gems adding into the squad but what I don't think we expected was to lose the best of what we already had and then replace it with such large numbers from League One and even more surprising League Two.

Who among us feels Paul Hurst has built a stronger squad than the one he inherited ? As a club we are well used to uncovering gems from the lower leagues but I don't see a Tyrone Mings or an Aaron Cresswell among our summer recruits.

Where Paul Hurst is particularly open for criticism here is that he made quite a big deal of 'owning' the choice of recruitment targets. The club's established scouting network was sidelined and, while that was a brave call by Hurst, it doesn't look like the right one.

Maybe the team that brought Martyn Waghorn and others to Mick's attention might be brought back into the fold sooner rather than later especially as it looks essential we are active in January. I also think it was less than ideal that so many of those signings were only achieved so late in the day.

I didn't think pre-season was a success. There was a lot of talk of how hard the players were being trained and some implied criticism that some players were lazy and the squad generically not fit enough. Hurst made a lot of these tried and tested methods but maybe half of the team that faced Boro weren't involved in much of that training. The friendlies weren't a cause for excitement or anticipation although for me personally Woolfy and Tristan Nydam both looked ready to step up and contribute to the first team campaign.

Portman Road seemed a much happier place for the Blackburn game on day one but in truth large numbers of supporters were voicing their concerns prior to kick-off. I thought we would be really strong defensively but I was worried where the goals would come from.

After the Boro game we are the only club in the Championship yet to win a game and nobody has scored fewer than our eight goals in 11 games. The crowd numbers are worrying and the much hoped for entertainment hasn't arrived.

Tactically I've been disappointed to see Hurst adopt the identical double pivot employed by Mick for home games especially against the lowest-ranked teams in the division like Bolton.

Hurst has made a big deal about the fact that for him it's clean sheet first but has failed miserably so far this season to make us look defensively solid.

Much was also made of the emphasis he likes to make of wingers. I can't be the only one underwhelmed by our wingers so far and while we seemed to be chasing a dozen wingers during pre-season there seemed to be little focus on goalscorers especially proven goalscorers at this level.

Why wasn't one of our loan signings a young hotshot striker from the Premier League with pace to burn ? Finally, why drop Bart who seemed to be blamed for the lack of defensive cover in front of him?

Look back over the stats and see how many MoM awards Bart has picked up. He might of made a couple of mistakes in those early games but he is the first name on the sheet for me and although Gerks has done great he still isn't at the same level as Bart.

Bookies get it wrong, pundits get it wrong, fans get it wrong but the table never lies. We are favourites for relegation for a reason and if Paul Hurst can't quickly start to address the mistakes he has been making then we'll need to bring in someone who can.

Some have already given up hope and some will blindly clap everything at the club until our 60-year tenure in the top two divisions comes to an end.

A big test for Marcus Evans to decide at what point he should swallow his pride, recognise his mistake, and bring in someone who can build a winning team with an entertaining brand of football being played at Portman Road.

I was 12 when we won the FA Cup so I've seen a few ups and downs but I've never seen us play in the third tier and what a shame it will be if that happens.

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hyperbrit added 15:48 - Oct 3 I said all part of the plan. Evans wants to get out and maximize his profits before the impending disaster. Hurst is either crooked or stupid.Asset stripping is a major tactic of businessmen but little understood by the rest of us. Holloway asked awhile ago "how does it feel to keep losing your best players?? I really hope I'm wrong but as has been said the table doesn't lie!!

Lightningboy added 16:19 - Oct 3
Spot on with just about everything.

Never imagined that we’d be even less entertaining than under Mick but somehow Hurst has managed it..for that achievement this current set up should be shown the door asap.

Utter shambles..on & off the field.

jayessess added 16:36 - Oct 3
I have some sympathy with our present predicament. We were probably a touch unfortunate not to win *any* of our games pre-Bolton and from that point the confidence has drifted away and now we're in a nose dive.

That said, I don't think we've spent money wisely in the window at all. Loan fees on midfielders in the same age bracket as our own most promising players (and, predictably, just as inconsistent). More money on a right back who was playing at a league *below* one of our own youngsters. £2.3m on a striker with one good season in League 2, three times what we sold Kieffer Moore for when he had a better record at a higher level! A bumper new contract for a keeper we've now binned off. I thought the point of shopping in the lower leagues was to pick up bargains?


Carl2588 added 17:03 - Oct 3
I think ME should move for Steve Bruce

Lathers added 17:12 - Oct 3
Hurst came on to the scene full of confidence telling us exactly how he liked things being done, his love of sports science, having a super fit squad, real wingers, entertaining football and that the Championship was a league that he shouldn’t approach any differently to L1 or L2. And I’ve got to say we all bought it! What we now see is a man who is totally lost. Whether it was arrogance or stupidity he should never of sold or been allowed to sell our best players, instead he should of added a few select players to improve the squad. He plays the very negative 2 DMs like Mick used to, is relentless in playing 1 up front when we are crying out for 2, and on the subject of his love for winters, if he believes Graham is a class winger then he has no judgement at all. He hasn’t brought in the cream of the L1 and L2 crop, he has brought in random average L1 and L2 players and he hasn’t even picked the best of this bad bunch in his starting eleven. He’s not given our homegrown talent a chance, who are actually better players then the dross he’s brought in. He’s dropped our best player to the bench in some kind of pathetic attempt to prove he is still ‘the gaffer’. All in all Hurst has been too keen and moved too quickly to put his stamp on the team, coupled with a complete misjudgment of the standard he finds himself in and his summer press conference words coming back to haunt him. For a small man he seemed to command a great presence with his assertive comments back in the summer, but last night I saw a little guy just about holding it together. He must know that it’s just a matter of time... and maybe both he and Marcus Evans will learn from this.

OliveR16 added 17:38 - Oct 3
I agree with most of what is written here. I think it was well time for MM to go, that PH was a good shout but looks to be heading for failure. Where I differ is that I think it is much braver to keep him on and give him room to rescue his own reputation than bring in another MM for a one season rescue. Nobody is more incentivised to sort the mess out than PH and to a great extent if we go down then so does his managerial career. He may learn quickly. In our mess there is no incomer who is likely to turn us into world-beaters and we cannot, at this stage, attract anyone whose own reputation would go down if we do so he probably wouldn't care too much but just take the check (digitally speaking).

armchaircritic59 added 17:56 - Oct 3
We appear to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. It will be only a matter of time before ME calls time on PH's tenure if things don't pretty quickly pick up, (Roy Keane had 14 games into a new season). The only problem then will be trying to entice another manager to PR, who will undoubtedly be casting a serious glance at the league table and also at our squad, and wondering just exactly what he's got to work with! Will ME be prepared to release more funds in January to the new manager?

In my opinion ME has made another managerial mistake. I had it down to a choice of two, Maurice Steijn or Gary White, for what it's worth.

Having said all that, i would be delighted if and for PH if he got us turning the corner very quickly, i'm just rather doubtful it's going to happen.

afrodids added 18:18 - Oct 3
Scary times indeed, too much too soon. The worrying thing, apart from the lack of quality in the squad, lack of goals, clean sheets and our senior players being pants. Funny how we keep all our worse senior players apart from Bart. Back to point is we now pretty much need to win every other game to stay up, which at the moment I just can't see. I really really really hope I'm wrong!

EssexTractor added 18:35 - Oct 3
I met some friends today, all football fans, supporters of other teams but no they didn't gloat about our position...they simply said it is sad so sad..that a " small town " club with such rich history , and followed by many others as " their favourite second team" has now become an " embarrassment"
And regretably I could not argue.


ThaiBlue added 21:08 - Oct 3
Good read and agree with what he said.last night was poor and overall been poor all season.dont think these guys want to play for Hurst,think he has to go soon if we have any chance of staying up because if we don't div1 here we come.

delias_cheesy_flaps added 08:37 - Oct 4
Agree with the points made in the blog and we can all look and point our fingers at Hurst and rightly so!

Having watched all our games this season I have to say that apart from Villa match where we played somewhere half decent football and actually showed some spirit I don't think I can recall another match where Ipswich looked remotely like a coherent, well drilled, lively attacking force.

I don't think I can recall too many owners (apart from the bonkers Italian at dirty Leeds) showing such poor judgement with managerial appointments.

Marcus Evans is the root cause of the ever decreasing demise of our once renowned club, plain and simple and the sooner he stops dabbling in the unknown the better!

As for Hurst, I have to admit the more I see and hear, the less I'm convinced that he has the tactical nous or the ability, but even more worryingly the players don't appear to want to play with any commitment or passion for the majority and that's a real worry.

brittaniaman added 09:43 - Oct 4
I hear it all now, Swansea reckons that this game with Ipswich will be there easiest game of the season so far !!!!


Southamptonblue added 12:26 - Oct 4
Keane, Jewell, McCarthy, and now maybe Hurst have all failed to live up to expectations.

Time to blame the chairman rather than the manager perhaps?

1psw1ch added 12:47 - Oct 4
Bull sh1t

bobble added 12:56 - Oct 4
how did we end up like this ?..............

HARRY10 added 19:39 - Oct 4
Sheepshank mightily screwed up money wise so we had to accept whoever came along,

Evans, who has continued to bleed us dry.

No money, no hope.

Toronto_Tractor added 21:00 - Oct 4
harry, Does 'Bleed us dry' actually mean only spend 7 million a year? We all want a new owner but its delusional to believe Evans has gained anything from the deal.

dalianwasexciting added 13:46 - Oct 6
This blog is excellent and mirrors virtually what a lot of us think in terms of how we felt at appointment and how we feel now. I think it is painfully obvious that things are fractious within the squad/management team although there is no actual evidence to back this up, just heresy. ME is actually the saviour of the club, unless people know of another willing horse happy to bankroll the debt. Without him we *may* have had further financial issues, with him (like Mike Ashley) we have had to work with limited funds and this has impacted upon how we are able to recruit, retain playing staff. The situation has been made worse by yet another stubborn manager who is thus far, steadfastly refusing to accept he may be wrong in terms of his philosophies.

If the sports science is making our players fitter and more ready for game time then it is simply not translating onto the pitch and along with low/no confidence the squad is wafer thin, even before the injury woes.

ElephantintheRoom added 20:54 - Oct 11
Daily visits to a bookmaker sound like an underlying problem. Welcoming the appointment of Hurst suggest you never saw Shrensbury in action nor noticed their MM-like football, nor that they were given the runaround by Emmanuel and Rotherham in the play off final after he stabbed Shrewsbury in the back. Embarrasing to see alleged Town supporters so intolerant to something that might work. Or might not. Ross was clearly the first choice and Hurst is obviously tryung too hard. He's at a club with absolutely no support from within and a vile intolerant crowd to appease. Tough job - you cant blame him for trying it his way.

norfolkbluey added 19:26 - Oct 15
Why is it that managers, owners and the rest of the ITFC set up think that by bringing in a lot of lower league players and selling our best players who score goals to our rivals think that this ploy will bring success!!!
It beggars belief that our once famous and successful club ran the legs off most of our opposition at the top of their game. My memory stretches back to beating MAN utd 6 - 3 and Barcelona. Money speaks volumes and unless there is some decent investment in good players at this club we are destined for the drop. If we are in this position at Christmas there will be no reprieve. I for one wanted Hurst to succeed but the bell is ringing more and more loudly. There has to be a LARGE DEGREE OF ARROGANCE if he thinks he can get away with bringing in very very average players in such large numbers without failure on our monumental scale of ineptitude. The sale of our best players last summer left me breathless. What the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Naive at best but more like total arrogance and lack of experience. It was like having a good team of players who knew each other' strengths and weaknesses and deciding to go out on the streets and saying to a load of randoms come and play in our team. You'll soon get the hang of it!!! Sorry I'm ranting but I am so so disappointed at what is happening to a club I have supported since 1961.

Bluearmy_81 added 13:55 - Oct 21
That would make sense as we're bottom, shi t and have Scrooge of the year at the helm...
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