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Season's Beatings
Written by Moggasknockdown on Wednesday, 25th Nov 2020 18:08

It is a bitterly disheartening experience supporting Ipswich. At every sliding doors moment in our recent history we have taken the wrong path, at every opportunity for schadenfreude an ex-player will decisively score, or create or generally remind us all that they are happier now, away from the depressing, soul-destroying experience that was their Ipswich career.

The media spite has tailed off- we are now becoming an increasing irrelevance in the messy boglands of League One.

The truth is, we have been led blindly by an owner whose ambivalence to the club has seen a succession of awful appointments (Mick McCarthy aside), and an inevitable slide into the third tier.

Whilst clearly not in the league of some awful owners, Marcus Evans is also not the great altruistic saviour of our club that some seem intent on peddling. He is now wed in a marriage of utter inconvenience with his asset draining profits year on year, and little hope of a buyer to take the burden away from him.

We have had five-point plans, five-year deals and new eras. It is all spin and deflection - there is no plan; the club is not fit for purpose. The Emperor is naked.

Paul Lambert is clearly floundering and has been for a while. It is the mercy of circumstance that he still finds himself gainfully employed- perhaps though, this is just another sliding door moment in the sad story of Ipswich Town.

It feels like we are being gas-lit into believing that there is something worth trusting and backing going on behind the curtains, just out of view, be that from Lambert post-match, or from the club hierarchy.

It is clear, that if this owner was engaged and motivated for success, he would not tolerate the slumps in form that saw us exit the Championship with a whimper or drop like a stone to 11th last year.

He would look at the models of football clubs with modicums of relative success and seek counsel in their methods and structure and seek to put something in place at Ipswich that is becoming of a football club that matters to so many people.

Instead he has listened to the wrong people and tried to exist on the cheap, relying on his managers to operate the whole club whilst he runs it from afar. It worked with McCarthy, it has not with the others. The death by a thousand cuts analogy is well used, but the most accurate and stinging portrayal of a club in terminal decline.

Evans has overseen a dismantling of expectations and ambition over his tenure of the club. He bought the club in 2009 and all of its debt. He presumably did due diligence prior to his purchase. He has chosen this model; he has chosen not to change it. Previous circumstances are off the table, like a Government that like to blame the previous one: he owns this mess; both our current predicament and trajectory.

The club is now at an existential crossroads with a post-covid salary cap on the horizon and many of the squad out of contract, who can bet on the club getting it right and rebuilding effectively with effective player recruitment?

Lambert's lurching from constant tinkering last season to a rigid possession-based team has borne the same poor result. He surely must go - he has been afforded time, but any sane individual can see that it is not working.

He tapped into something unique with the fans, an obscure connection that seemed to galvanise the club at its lowest ebb, but he has shown himself incapable of arresting the decline.

His comments post-match are increasingly irritable with ill-conceived verbal attacks on our younger players which are damaging and irresponsible with little ire directed at his senior players, most of whom continue to flatter to deceive.

There have been patches of positivity, but the same problems remain that have haunted the Lambert tenure for two years remain - bad in both boxes.

Injuries have played their part - we have a wretched record in that department (which points to more to fundamental issues with our sports science and rehabilitation rather than just blind bad luck), but the lack of pattern and consistent failure to step up and beat a supposed rival is ingrained.

A final ‘Hail Mary’ needs to be thrown by Evans if we are to stand any chance of success this year. A new manager is needed - someone on the up with something to prove, for whom managing Ipswich Town would be a logical stepping stone to bigger and better things. I fear, however, that his next move is to promote from within, a cheap option and fraught with danger.

This all hurts and frustrates so many of us so deeply. I, like many others, am afflicted by a terrible compulsion that means I simply have to sit and watch us fall apart on a Tuesday night, like some sort of act of self-harm that I am incapable of stopping.

In short, I am hopelessly devoted to something that of late has given me nothing but misery. We are all desperate for a modicum of success, even if it takes a few years to realise, but we need to see something tangible on the pitch, building something meaningful that provides genuine hope that we can be be moderately successful and give the fans something to be proud of.

The Wembley 2000 documentary brought this to the fore - the tears shed watching that were really a realisation of the five-year journey than the day itself. All we can all do is hope that Marcus has watched this too or at the very least has some people in his ear that want the best for this great club, and he finally listens.

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hyperbrit added 01:36 - Nov 27
..if the financial reset is true Town's debt will be either cancelled or significantly reduced and therefore Town will be of no use to a ticket tote who probably should be in jail anyway.

kaptinkaos added 15:05 - Nov 29
I agree 100% with the posting. The manager and his coaches are bereft of ideas, the players generally woeful, with few worthy of a place in the team. Changes need to be made, starting with the top, and in every department downwards. I had the good fortune to have a season ticket during the glory years, so know that things are drastically wrong now. The cup game against Portsmouth was eminently winnable, but the performance awful, totally clueless, yet the manager continues to try to tell us that things are going well, the team is playing well, blah blah blah. No, it`s not. If people are daft enough to believe the guff about the stats, which seem to show that we`re an impressive team suffering a bit of bad luck, but as was highlighted by the cup game, all the passing was sideways or backwards, nothing actually created at all. There`s a huge gaping hole in the middle of the defence, ditto the midfield, and no central strikers worth the name, and really, shouldn`t Harry Wright be put between the sticks as nothing could be worse than the two who have the position between them, but are clearly not up to it. Lambert should accept that as a coach, he`s not up to it, and apart from a bit of success early on in his career, has done nothing since, despite some high profile jobs. There`s a lot of good young coaches/managers available, and a lot of older, experienced men available too. It sickens me every time I watch Sky, or even the BBC on a Saturday afternoon and number of scorers who show up on the teleprinter that are ex town players is heartbreaking.Somebody, pleasre, do something. Ray - Lowestoft.

RegencyBlue added 17:22 - Nov 29
What we are seeing is the culmination of years of neglect by Evans.

No club can constantly sell off its better players and replace them with cheaper/free/poorer quality ones without it catching up with it in the end. That is what has happened under Evans. People keep saying ‘where would we be without him’ but it’s where we are going with him that they should be worried about!

Could any manager succeed under the Evans regime? I genuinely doubt it. We’ve had thirteen years of this and nobody has managed it yet. Meanwhile the one constant in our relentless decline seems to escape justifiable criticism because of some misplaced view that he cares about the club.

He doesn’t, we are an investment that went wrong for him and, since that fact became apparent to him, he hasn’t had a clue what to do since.

StavangerBlue added 11:22 - Dec 1
I am an Ipswich fan of 30+ years and I want this club to succeed. If you look at the club we are nothing but a myriad of problems. This season will be like the last. Competitive against the bottom half and struggling against the top half. We will not be promoted this season. It is hard to accept but that is the reality.

DifferentGravy added 10:34 - Dec 2
Really good read, thanks

I also agree with RegencyBlues comments regarding Evans.

However(and particularly prior to the recent injury crisis), i really felt we had the squad to gain promotion this season and that Lamberts woeful tactics/formation have stifled us. Players in their wrong position, only one up top, a lack of chances created. Watch any game this season and see how many players were in the opponents box during an attacking phase.

Watch the game versus Crewe and see how incredibly fortunate we were to win. Watch the game against Wigan and see how they could easily have been 2-0 up against us but for poor finishing. Riding our luck against MK Dons. The performances against Lincoln, Hull, Gillingham, Oxford. Even when we won 4-1 against Blackpool, our best performance this season, we only had 9 shots, of which 4 were on target.

The performances of last season. The two thirds of a season that Lambert had during the relegation year....many seem to excuse this....... Hurst was only responsible for 15 games

Unless fans voice their discontent.....or vote with their feet......then nothing is going to change.

fergalsharkey added 11:58 - Dec 2
The long and the short of it are the owner doesn't care.
He needs to offload a huge mess and nobody in their right mind would take it on.

I can see no way forward.

Kitman added 17:24 - Dec 5
These few words sums it up for me as it must do for all of us: "In short, I am hopelessly devoted to something that of late has given me nothing but misery".
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